Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Treasure - Quilts with Memories

     

     These are just six of the quilts that I have that were made by my great grandmother, some over one hundred years old. I received these quilts after the passing of my grandfather and there are so many warm memories I have with some of them. Right now they are on display, as pictured, hanging on an antique ladder that I purchased while in Germany. Recently though my mother voiced her thought that I should be enjoying them more as my grandma Elfrank had, yes mom I will use them more. 


     When we, my brothers and I, were younger and would visit my grandparents during the summer or even during a holiday visit we would use these quilts. I remember personally using the one on the bottom, the butterfly quilt on top and the bright orange and yellow quilt. I know my mom is right and I should be using them as they were meant to be used. Nothing feels better then wrapping yourself in a quilt especially one that was made by hand, by your own ancestor and made with love.  





Monday, March 30, 2015

Ancestral Telephone Game

     Have you ever played the telephone game where one person in a group whispers a message to another person?  Everyone continues to whisper the same message throughout the group until the last person repeats the message out loud for all to hear. Only to find out that what was revealed by the last person isn’t even close to the original message. Don’t know about you but this sounds like some of my past research projects.  It appears that some of our ancestors have been playing this game for many years.

     All joking aside you know it’s true and many of us have had to tell either our own family members or our clients that every story pasted down through their ancestors isn’t completely accurate. Sometimes that can be a difficult task to face and truthfully it can be very touchy at times. I know I’ve been faced with this multiple times.  Explaining something as light as their ancestor’s actual date of birth is off by a month to letting them know that their great grandparents actually aren’t a blood relative at all. I have gotten mixed reactions, as is to be expected, when placing this documented find in their report and discussing it. I’m not sure how everyone else’s feels about situations like this.

     I personally take a professional stand point with a heavy dose of compassion. I’ve been hired to research their family, and in doing so I provide “all” information and documentation to support what I have found. In doing so they might find what they were told in that “ancestral telephone game” isn’t completely accurate.  Once my research is completed and I’ve given them their report it’s up to them to do what they will with the information. I know that I did my job that I was hired to do and provided them with a complete report and documents to support. It’s not my job to pick and choose what stays in a report to fit in with the stories they have always been told.  

     We never know what the end results are in those ancestral telephone games, sometimes they can be viewed as normal and boring while other times intriguing and mysterious.  But the important thing for me is to share the truth of what I have found.  We can’t all be a decedent of royalty.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

Published in June of 1895 in the Plain Dealer out of Cleveland, OH
ALL IS SILENCE.
A Description of the Great Cemeteries of Paris.
Customs Which Appear Strange
After Ten Years the Graves  Are Re-Dug Unless a “Concession a Perpetuiti” is Purchased – Many of the Graves are Several Stories Deep – Some of the Celebrities Who Are Buried There.
(Special Correspondence)
     Paris, May 18. – The cemetery of Pere Lachaise is the largest and by far the most interesting in Paris. It differs so entirely from our American burial places that I think a description of it cannot fail to be interesting to those who have not visited it. It is situated on a hill in the northeastern part of the city and is a pleasant drive from our hotel. The ground that it occupies used to be the country seat of Lachaise (after whom it is named), the Jesuit confessor of Louis XIV.
     It covers about 100 acres and is the burial place of all inhabitants of the northeastern part of the city, and the strangest part of all is that after ten years the graves are redug unless what they call a “concession a perpetuiti” is purchased. The spaces are very small, being about twenty-two square feet only and cost $150, and each square miter additional cost $400.  For a “concession temporaire” one has to pay only $89, or half that for a child’s grave.
     The graves are dug very strangely, being several stories deep – six to eight usually – one coffin being placed directly over the other to within a few feet of the surface. These are the common graves, but the more wealthy people have little chapels with places on each side below the floor like shelves or berths in the steerage on our steamers. They are fitted up often very elaborately with an altar and candles in tall silver candlesticks and photographs of the deceased and huge, ugly glass bead wreaths of flowers.
     It seems strange that in this land of flowers, where huge bouquets can be purchased for a few centimes, so few real flowers are seen in the cemeteries. They are usually made of beads or china and the wreaths often measure two or three feet in diameter.
     We started, as visitors usually do, first to see the tomb of Abelard and Heloise. It is very hard to find, being back among others, and we were about to give it up when we stumbled upon it. It is built from the fragments of their original tomb brought from the convent in Paracht, which Abelard had founded.
     Their sad story seems to touch the hearts of the French people, for the tomb is usually decorated with fresh flowers and wreaths. The graves of many celebrated people may be found here, among others Raspail, Gambetta, Massena, M. Balzac, Chopin, Lafontaine, Moli√®re, Bellini, Rossini, Beausnarchais and Casimir Perier.
     Some few tombs are very beautiful especially those in memory of artists, with bronze and marble angels in attitudes of grief leaning over or about their graves.
     From the entrance the main avenue ascends to what is called the Grand Round, in the center of which is broken column created to the memory of the soldiers who fell in the late war between France and Prussia, heaped with huge wreaths. Here a very fine view of the city may be obtained.
     While we were wandering about among some of the old graves we met a funeral procession and followed it to the grave. The mourners were all on foot, following the coffin, which was carried in a very strange hearse drawn by four black horses.
     They were met at the tomb (it was one of the better class) by a priest and little altar boy carrying a crucifix. The prayers were read and then each of the family and friends made the sign of the cross over the casket with holy water. Then the family stood in a line, as we do at receptions, and each of the friends said something in sympathy to the mourners and quietly withdrew. After that the coffin was lowered, but not without great difficulty, as it proved too large for the sepulcher. Finally it was settled into the final resting place and one of the mourners, a middle aged man, stepped forward and dropped a few flowers into the open grave. After this the sad little procession moved sorrowfully away.
     Just back of the cemetery is a large crematory, where bodies are burned daily and the ashes placed in nitches in a high wall. On some of the tablets were very tender inscriptions, but a few were left blank. I suppose what could have been said was better left unsaid. One was marked only with “Regrets.”
     Besides Pere Lachaise there are twenty-two other burial grounds in Paris, the next two in importance being Mont Marte and Mont Parnasse.
     Our All Souls’ day or Jour des Morts, as they call it, these cemeteries are visited by great crowds of people who bring flowers and mourn and pray for the rest of their souls.   JANE GRAVES

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Ice Box Saloon

Published in May 1908 in the Grand Forks Daily Herald out of Grand Forks, ND

CHICAGO HAS THE
 SMALLEST SALOON
  Smallest Saloon In World Is Abandoned
 Ice Box and Is Doing a 
Rushing Business.

Chicago, May 5 – “Hey,” said Adolph, the melancholy bartender, yesterday afternoon, “don’t sit in that corner of the saloon or she’ll tip over.”
The fat man moved nearer the center of the ice box, called a saloon by courtesy, which is located at West Lake and Halsted streets.
The “saloon” had teetered considerably when he was in the corner, but when he moved to the center it righted itself and everything was secure again.
Chicago’s unique saloon, an abandoned ice box, was doing a rushing business Adolph Block, the man who owns the “ice box,” the smallest saloon in the world, was not present. Adolph was down town trying to “square” the building department. However, his bartender, Adolph Bindar, was on duty and he was willing to tell his tale of woe.
“You see this saloon,” said Adolph, waving his hand in one grand sweep in such a manner that it swept over the bar, free lunch counter and beer keg, all of which stood in different corners of the room. “It is beholden to us,” said a Teutonic customer as he blowe the foam of his beer out the front window. “We made it out of an ice box and are staying here until they build a building on this corner,” resumed Adolph, ignoring the interruption. “The first day of June I bet we have a place where the free lunch won’t get in you hip pockets when you are standing at the bar.”
“It’s a good thing the sun ain’t shining. If it streamed in here there wouldn’t be room for all of us,” said the fat man.
Just then there was a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” shouted Adolph, the melancholy.
“A building inspector,” was the hoarse response.
“Wait until I put one of the customers out so you can come in,” said Adolph, an on a straw vote the fat man was forced to go out reluctantly into the rain.
However, after much maneuvering, the building inspector found that he could not get in unless he took off his star. Then he was able to get into the barroom.
“In 25 hours you have got to tear this thing down. It is a violation of the building laws,” said the building inspector. His voice filled the room and several men threw out the free lunch in order to give more breathing space.
This left some room for conversation.
“How’s business?” asked the building inspector, with an expansive smile which struck the bartender a glancing in the face.
“The license is about $3.50 a day and the receipts $2.50. The boss made an agreement that I could have half the profits I owe myself money,” said Adolph.
The inspector took another drink and the “ice box” became actually stuffy.
“Good-bye. You hear my warning,” he said.
Leaving no room for a reply, he departed.
Now it happens that Peter Batzen, former building commissioner of Chicago, is putting up the new building where the “ice box” will soon have roomy quarters. Mr. Bartzen told the bartender that the building was all right last night and that it should not be torn down.

At 7 o’clock Adolph closed up shop. He took his bottle of whiskey, bottle of gin, license and best box of cigars, and started for his home. There is no lock on the door of the little saloon and Adolph fears burglars more than the building department.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Genealogist vs Family Historians

     Isn't a family historian the same as a genealogist, with the biggest difference being that a family historian’s focus is with their own families’ ancestry line? While a genealogist focus of research is spread a little wider, not only focusing on their own family but also providing research services to others. This still continues to be a debate among most and with some it can be a touchy situation. I thought if I looked at the definitions it might clear some of the misconceptions up. 

Genealogist;
·         the study of family history
·         research the history of a particular family showing how different members of the family are related to each other
·         an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor  
·         attend regular society meetings while taking courses to advance their knowledge
·         the study of family pedigrees
·         an account of the origin and historical development of families

Family Historian;
·         study individuals of the past
·         rely mostly on written records for evidence to support their claims
·         their research might include looking as bibles, diaries and church records
·         they study, read and write about their families history
·         they collect documents, stories and pictures for their family history books

     I know there is so much more that I can add and more details about the multiple task that both genealogist and family historians do, but I think you get the idea.  The descriptions are so close that the only difference that sticks out is family historians focus only on their families. Then again there are some family historians that I know who also help others with their research.  I’ve heard some who believe the difference is in the check, payment for services that is. I can’t solely count the acceptance of money as the only difference, I’m sure there are some family historians who have accepted payment. You might notice that under genealogist there was the mention of attending meetings and taking courses to advance their knowledge. Funny thing about that is I’ve been to a few conferences and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some who refer to themselves as “family historians” so once again it's at a draw.

      Is it really necessary for lines to be drawn between the two?  What are your thoughts on this debate, does it really matter. I’m just happy to know that there are so many of us genealogist, family historians, archivist, librarians and researchers who care about our families past and what their lives were like.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Livescribe meets Evernote

   
     I know last week on Thursday I told you about one of the tools I use but this one is a must. The more I use it the more I fall in love with all that it has to offer. Some of you might already be aware of the Livescribe pen and others might not. For those of you who have never used one or seen it, let me just tell you it is so awesome.
     It’s a digital pen that you use with digital notebooks. Okay that’s the technical description I was told and left me with the deer in the headlights look. Most of us have a smartphone well this pen is just like a smartphone; just think of it as a smart pen with smart paper. Just like your phone the pen has many uses to help in your research and yes even staying “organized.” Oh and a bonus for those of you who use “Evernote” is works with it. I only say that because when I first saw it I had no idea they worked together.
     I have had mine now for a couple of years and was given the opportunity to use one while I was attending an Ancestry.com conference in Missouri. I loved that not only can I take notes with it but it’s a Wi-Fi pen that sends my notes directly to my Evernote account.   Now for those of us who interview our family members or clients we sometimes might miss something said. Another special tool, on this tool is you can record the conversation while you are taking notes and conducting the interview. How cool is that! Just in case you’re wondering yes that conversation along with the note taking is sent to your Evernote account. So when your return to your desk and start your research you can log into your account and not only see your notes but also hear the interview itself.  I have found that the recording is very useful because if I’ve missed an important piece of information I can refer back to the exact time I missed it in my notes.

     There are three types of Livescribe smartpens out there, Echo, Sky and the 3 SmartPen. I have the Sky and chose it because of its Wi-Fi capabilities.   There are so many pluses to having a Livescrbie that I could keep going on and on. If you have one or plan on getting one let me know what you think.   

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Treasure - My Wooden Treasure

Posted back in 2013...
My wooden treasure chest, so to speak. That would have to be the desk that I set at day in and day out blogging and doing all of my research. The desk that I comfortably set at once belonged to my grandparents, Fred H. and Martha C. Elfrank. This was the first piece of furniture they bought when they were married. I received it after the passing of my grandfather back in 2001 and it has traveled with us where ever we've gone. I couldn't think of a better place to sit and post my blogs, research, write, and run my business. This is a treasure that helps me to produce more treasures.


photo


This desk continues to be a wooden treasure chest, I no longer set at the desk but it is still in my office. I continue to enjoy the memories around the desk, I can still remember seeing grandpa's brown leather pen and pencil holder with gold trim setting on the corner.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Who Mourns for the Prisoners

Published in March of 1913 in the Trenton Evening Times out of Trenton, NJ

PRISON CEMETERY DISMAL PLACE WITH NONE TO MOURN FOR DEAD
     Graveyards as a rule are known to be dismal places with a sort of a spooky feeling in the atmosphere and are only frequented by relatives or friends of those interred who wish to place flowers on graves or to pray for the departed ones. The Prison graveyard, located on Cedar Lane, is the potters’ field for convicts. It is an unusually gloomy place.
     Enclosed by a high fence with a stout look to prevent curious people from entering the graveyard contains many dead convicts. Since the electric chair has been placed in the State Prison in 1907, there have been numerous graves added to this cemetery. There are several rows of markers of convicts graves in the rear of the cemetery and many have been decayed by the weather, but mound still remain.
     The graves are never touched. Unlike other cemeteries weeping relatives or friend cannot be seen standing over the graves. There are no tears or flowers for the convict dead.
     The cemetery was formerly located in the Prison yard. Just before the wall was erected around the prison, the cemetery was removed to its present location. All of the bodies interred there were reburied in the new cemetery. The majority of the bodies of convicts, who died at the prison, are claimed by relatives or friends. The officials of the prison do everything possible to locate friends or relative of the deceased prisoners.
     Among the bodies buried in the cemetery is that of Henry Jones of Mercer County, who died in 1906. It will be remembered that Jones, while serving a short term, murdered fellow prisoner and was sentenced to death. Later his sentence was commuted to life in prison. The electrocuted murders are buried in quick lime and within a few hours after interment their bodies are practically eaten away.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Man with the Iron Mask

Published in June of 1902 in the Kalamazoo Gazette out of Kalamazoo, MI
IRON MASK MYSTERY
Great Historical Mystery May Be Solved Within a Few Days.
     Paris, June 28. – Within a few days a great historical mystery may be solved, and it is no less an one than that of the Iron mask. It is still supposed – and Voltaire was of this belief – that the mysterious man was a twin brother of Louis XIV and who bore such a perfect resemblance to the great monarch that, for fear of usurpation on his part, he was kept in a dungeon with an iron mask to keep his face hidden from the gaze of anybody. Some say that he was the son of Mazarin by Queen Anne of Austria, some the Duke of Monmouth, and other make other conjectures.
     The Man with the iron Mask was buried in a little cemetery over which is now a house bearing No. 17 in the Rue Beautrellis. Every landlord who has bought the house had to accept a clause in the sale contact by which he is forbidden to practice any digging in the garden or under the house.
     But now the house is going to be pulled down, searches are going to be made and it is possible that we may know at last who the mysterious Man with the Iron Mask was. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Handy Research Tool

   




     While interviewing a client or family member to collect research information there are a couple tools in my bag. It shouldn't shock you to know that you would find some pens, pencils, paper and even my tablet or laptop. But there are a few special tools that I consider must haves you might not know about. One of those would be my Flip Pal mobile scanner with a fresh set of batteries. One of the many nice things about having the Flip Pal with me is I can easily scan photos, maps and documents without having to take them with me.  If by chance I have a large item to scan, I’m able to scan in sections and stitch it together with the software on my laptop.

     The first time I had a chance to observe one of these in use was at the 2012 FGS conference in Alabama. I like some thought it was a great product but not really sure if it was something that I would ever use. I then had the opportunity to actually use one about a year later and realized it was a must in my research tool kit. I’m not the only one in my house who has used it even my kids have found a need for it a time or two. It’s very easy to use and there are so many different pieces of family history you can scan and save. Everything from photographs, maps, documents, quilts, pages out of a family bible and even that large aerial shot of the family farm.  


     I know there are many other types of scanners out there that are used and if you have one you favor or dislike for whatever reason please share. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed mine, if you have the chance to see one or even use one give it a try.   

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Treasure - Needlepoint Ducks




     Some of you might look at this and wonder how it can be a treasure with the beautiful stitching. Insert smile and a little giggle. I’ve shared a few items that were hand down to me from my grandma Elfrank well this one is one I created with her. Every summer my brothers and I would spend time with our grandparents, our parents needed a break I guess don’t know why we were such angels. While we would visit we would spend hours enjoying ourselves everything from playing cards, board games, going to the park, Shriner events and even learning new things. The year I made this slips my mind but I’m sure you can tell I was learning needlepoint.  Grandma had a few patterns to choose from and I liked the ducks for this tea towel. I also made two pillow cases one with a princes and one with a long eared puppy, I still have those but can’t remember where I packed them.  Looking at it I remember all of the times I got stuck in the finger with that needle, I’m surprised there aren't any blood stains, but I got through it and was so proud of these ducks. Minus the pain I look back at the time that I spent with my grandma and truly enjoy the memories, I miss her but I’m so lucky to have so many treasures around me to remind me of fun we had. 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Release: "Images of Modern America Clarksville"

   





    I’m so excited today is the release date of a book that I’ve been working on for over a year. So please allow me a moment in time to toot my own horn. Yeah! I wanted to share the book cover and a brief description of what you can find inside.


     The book is compiled of colored photographs taken by members of the Clarksville, TN community. There’s a wide variety of colored photos dating back to 1960 through 2014, showing many different areas of enjoyment, growth, destruction and rebuilt throughout the community. You might even catch a glimpse of someone you know, maybe even yourself.  I’ve been asked when and where the book can be purchased, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble and Amazon are just a few that I know of and they are available today.  I will post another blog a little later after I received some feedback on the book and the review the whole process. This is my first published book so I’m anxious to see what the final process is all about.  So please let me know what you think. 

    The book was published by Arcadia Publishing who has published many books on the history of towns throughout the United States. I want to make sure to thank the Montgomery County Historical Society and its members for their help and support.     

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Turkish Cemetery

Published in January during 1888 in the Biloxi Herald out of Biloxi, Mississippi

Turkish Cemeteries.
     According to the Koran, the deceased is the owner of his grave in perpetuity, and the objectionable system of sepulture in rotation his unknown to the Mussulmans; and in Constantinople, in Eyoub, and in Scutari, the room occupied by cemeteries is almost as extensive as that covered by dwellings. Within recent years it has been found necessary, in order to open roads that have been much needed, to the curtail and even suppress some of the cemeteries; but it required and express order form the Sultan, which made the “ulemas” utter the wail of bigots. The cypress is pre-eminedly the funeral tree. Each tomb has to have its own. And Turkish cemeteries become gloomy forests in time, which in part to certain Oriental landscapes an aspect singularly stiff and somber. It is upon the sea shore that these funeral forests are found in the greatest abundance. The trees, being nourished by the soil fertilized by human remains, reach a prodigious size and height. The largest and most celebrated of these cemeteries is that of Scutari, upon the Asiatic coast of the Bosphorus; it extends over an area more than six miles square. The tombstones are in the shape of an oval, wider at the top than at the bottom, and surmounted with a turban or fez, the form of which, varying greatly indicates the rank of the deceased. A gilt inscription in Turkish characters cut in relief on a blue background, gives the name and enxcrates the virtues of the deceased and implores divine mercy in his behalf. These stones are perpendicular, sometimes leaning very much. In the latter case a hole is dug at the base of the tomb, intended to catch rain for the little birds that come to quench their thirst. The dead are not buried very deep, and it is strange that the custom does not cause more sickness than it does. A large proportion of the epidemics of dysentery and typhoid fever that invade the low quarters of Constantinople can be traced to the custom. The proximity of the cadavers to the top of the ground produces, during the summer nights, particularly in swamy and damp cemeteries, a myriad of phosphorescent lights, which dance and flit around the tombs; and these myriad sparks of fire, while inspiring the poets, also frighten the children. 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Patron Saint

Published in March during 1896 in the New Mexican out of Santa Fe, NM

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY
Story of the Remarkable Man Who Spent His Youth as a Slave in Ireland and Afterwards Became Its Patron Saint.
     Throughout christendom St. Patrick is recognized as a patron saint of the Catholic children of the Emerald Isle, and the 17th day of March is generally set apart as the fitting day for commemorating his virtues and celebrating his services to the Irish people, but whether he was born or whether he died on that day no one certainly knows.
     The story of the life and death of Saint Patrick is brief and shrouded with much of the mysterious and romantic. In one of the incursions of the Scots and Picts upon the neighboring Roman provinces south of the walls of Severna, probably that of 411 A.D., the year after Honorius had refused aid to the Britons, a youth of about 15 was carried off with many others from the district in the neighborhood of the wall at the head of the Solway, and sold as a slave on the opposite coast of Ireland in the territory of the Irish Picts called Del Alade. This youth was the future apostle of the Irish. All the authorities agree that the youth was of noble birth. He was held in Ireland in hard slavery for six years, all the while being much given to prayer and meditation. Finally he made good his escape to Britain. After this he appears to have conceived the noble idea of devoting himself to the conversion of the Irish, and to have gone somewhere for a few years to prepare himself for the priesthood. During these years of study he was constantly urged on by vivid dreams and visions. It is supposed that he was about 22 years old when he escaped from slavery, that he studied eight years, that he began his missionary work in Ireland in 425 A. D., at the age of 80, that after laboring there fifteen years he was consecrated a bishop, and that his total reign in Ireland was about thirty-six years, during which time he converted the majority of the Irish people to the Catholic faith. Some authorities say he died in 469 and others place the event as late as 474, or 1,222 years ago.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Lincolns Grandfather

Published in December of 1915 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
LINCOLN’S GRANDFATHER HERO OF REVOLUTION
Supposed Historical Discovery May Remove Family Mystery
Special to The Inquirer
     SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec. 25 – Was Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather a hero of the Revolutionary War?
Undoubted evidence tending to prove that such was true has been found. Its discovery may throw valuable light upon Lincoln’s ancestry, which has long been clouded in more or less of mystery.
     Mrs. E. S. Walker tells of records which apparently prove the authenticity of the war record of Lincoln’s paternal grandparent. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Treasures - Beary Special Bear

                               
     
     I guess you could say this is a three for one on the Tuesday Treasure postings. The quilted teddy bear sitting on the rocking chair was pieced together by my mom. My mom had some quilts that were made by my great-grandmother, Mary Caroline Estes who was married to Fred Herman Elfrank. She was a great seamstress who enjoyed making things for her family. My mom talks about all of the dresses and aprons, which I still have, that her grandmother would make. That’s when my mom stepped and pieced together the bears; this is just one of the five bears she made. Tied the arm of each bear there is a card saying;

“Once upon a time around the mid 1920’s I was known as a Flower Patch Quilt. I was hand pieced and quilted with love by Mary Caroline (Estes) Elfrank. 
November 11,1886 September 3, 1953
Debrah Sue (Elfrank) Langston, Mary’s granddaughter took the best parts of me and with lots of love I’m now a Beary Special Bear born April 1992.”

     We might not get to pull the quilt over us to keep warm but we have the warmth of a bear hug to remind us of the love from my great-grandmother and my own mom. The quilt behind the bear is my baby quilt made by my mom. In the center of each of the large white squares is a needlework piece from well-known nursery rhymes.   


     The black rocking chair that the bear is sitting on belonged to my great grandmother Elfrank, Mary Caroline Estes. My great grandmother would actually call it a bedroom rocker and it set in the corner of her bedroom.  If you have been following my postings on Tuesday Treasures you would remember reading that my grandmother had a thing about painting everything black. Well this is a perfect example. I decided that I wanted to find out the original color of the rocker, but she painted everything, so after taking with my mom she wasn't even sure the original color. She does however remember at one time it was white and we believe it to be at least 100 years old. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Cemetery Investigated

Published in December of 1890 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
CAMDEN’S BREEZY GOSSIP.
JOHNSON CEMETERY MYSTERY BEING THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED.
An Artist’s Suicide – An Elopement and an Angry Mother’s Protest Against Her Daughter’s Marriage.
     Coroner Jefferis and his deputy, Richard W. Kerswell, of Camden, worked all day yesterday on the mysterious Johnson Cemetery case. County Detectives Gallagher and Warner were also busy.
     During the investigation Detective Gallagher discovered a clue which may lead to the identification of the man. He found that about a year ago a colored man named Polk, who worked for Farmer William H. Vanvance, of Moorestown, mysteriously disappeared. At the time it was rumored that he had been murdered. The detectives will follow out this clue to day. The Coroner’s jury will visit the cemetery to-day.
     Gotlieb Berger, a German living over the salon of Daniel Hurley, at Seventh and Mt. Vernon Streets, committed suicide yesterday by hanging. His body was found by Mrs. Hurley. Coroner Jefferis was notified, and ordered the remains removed to the morgue. Berger was an artist, and about 55 years of age. He has no relatives living in the country.
     Minor Rogers, of No. 335 North Front street, is missing and his wife believes he has eloped with an actress named Morgan. Rogers was employed as shipping clerk at Wanamaker’s and in March last became acquainted with Mrs. Morgan. On Thursday evening last he bought the woman to his home and as a result there was a lively time. Mrs. Rogers will bring suit for divorce.
     Coroner Jefferies yesterday held Switchman Nople in bail to await the action of the Coroner’s jury in the case of the West Jersey Railroad accident of Friday, in which Conductor Leap lost his life.
     While Miss Lizzie McClay, of Upland, Pa., and John Bramford, of Chester, Pa., were being married by ‘Squire Schmitz yesterday, the mother of the bride rushed into the office and demanded that the marriage be stopped. Her objections were founded on religious scruples. She was ejected and the ceremony finished.
     The contract for building the tomb for Walt Whitman has been awarded and work will be begun as soon as the weather will permit. The walls will be constructed of granite, after the plan of King Solomon’s Temple. It will be very plain, according to the ideas of the poet, and will be located in Hartleigh Cemetery, in a plot selected by the poet.
     The suit of the Sea Isle City Bank against the defunct Merchants’ National Bank, of Atlantic City, was begun before Judge Reed, in Camden, yesterday. The suit is to recover checks given by the officers of the Merchants’ Bank to the plaintiff. No decision was rendered.
     Detective James Henry yesterday arrived from Chicago with Herman Trimmer, who is wanted in Camden for forgery.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Crazy Charlie

Published in February of 1909 in the Tuscan Daily Citizen out of Tuscan, AZ
LONE WALKER KEEPS AT TASK
“Crazy Charlie” Refuses to Accept Home With a Brother.
SELFAPPOINTEDWATCH
Spends Most of His Time in Inspecting Southern Pacific Track
     Though a home and comforts of civilization have been offered him and many efforts have been made by a devoted brother to persuade him to quit his present mode of existence. James Dromgold, better known along the Southern Pacific railroad as “Crazy Charley,” prefers to continue weary marches across the sun-parched desert between Barstow and El Paso, Texas, in the belief that the safety of the Southern pacific trains depends on him.
     R. A. Dromgold of San Francisco has just returned to his home from El Paso from another fruitless effort to persuade his demented brother to return home. The brother a few days ago went to Indio and persuaded “Charley” to accompany him to a hotel. When he awoke next morning the old man had vanished and was away again for the long march to El Paso.
     Officer McCarrel from Mecca was sent in quest of Dromgold, riding an engine. Near Mortmere, a lonely desert station on the shore of the Salton sea, fifteen miles from Mecca, the old man was overtaken plodding along the track, examining every culvert and every rail to see that it was safe for travel.
     James Dromgold has a queer history. Apparently he is sane on every subject save the one pertaining to the Southern Pacific track. Many years ago he was a track walker for the road, but for some reason was discharged. His mind gave way, and he has followed this peculiar avocation ever since in the belief that he is still in the employ of the road. Hot or cold, armed with his roll of blankets, a few cooking utensils and a canteen of water, he has wandered long the track.
     One night while a heavily laden passenger train was speeding across the desert, a light flashed ahead. There was “Crazy Charley,” and around a curve a bridge was blazing brightly. Again when a cloudburst had swept a culvert from the road “Crazy Charley” discovered it in the nick of time and prevented another disastrous wreck.
     Though time and again conductors and engineers have offered to take the old man from the barren stretches of desert to some habitation the offers have been spurned and the solitary camp fire near the track at night has often been pointed out as a habitation of Dromgold.
     For years “Charley” walked the track form Los Angeles to El Paso. Hoping to wean his brother away from his long tramps, R. A. Dromgold, a few years ago erected “Charley” a house at Cabazon “Charley” stayed in the house one night and the next day quit it for a trip to El Paso.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery- Roman Catholic Cemetery Damage

Published in September of 1905 in the Plain Dealer out of Cleveland, OH
HAS A STRANGE MANIA.
Some One Takes Delight in Mutilating Monuments in Catholic Cemeteries.
     TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Sept. 21 – A News special from Escanaba, Mich., says another of the peculiar raids on monuments and crosses in Roman Catholic cemeteries in this district has been made, this time at Gladstone, Mich., where twenty-five crosses were broken and overturned last evening.
     A mysterious stranger who was arrested yesterday afternoon on suspicion in Gladstone, is believed to have been guilty of the vandalism. The man, about sixty years old, and dressed like a pedlar, with two heavy grips, was arrested in the afternoon and released about 6 o’clock. He started out of town along the cemetery road. When watchers went to the cemetery at 7 o’clock to guard it for fear of an attack during the night on the tombstones and crosses they found the damage done.
     Scores of people are searching the country about Gladstone for the stranger.