Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - School Uniforms 1940s

Circa early 1940s

I would love to know what these young women are doing dressed in overalls. Fourth from the top right is my aunt Beverly Shepard Agard. In 1940 her family lived in Ithaca, but during the war the family moved out to Dryden, NY where her father tried his hand at farming.  Are these young women in training to be the U.S. version of "Land Girls?" 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fredericksburg VA - A Gretna Green in 1959?

As we worked our way through the 191 marriage records issued in 1959 for the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia this morning we noted a large number of those marriage licenses were for couples that did not reside in Virginia. The couples came from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and some midwest states. These couples gave their current residence in those states, were not connected to the military, and applied, received and were married by court appointee on the same day.  Many, if not all couples had one or both divorced. This may be a clue? 

Gretna Green is a village in Scotland where in the early 1800s couples from England who desired a quick or runaway wedding could go there and get the deed done. This situation was abolished by act of Parliament in 1856.  Marriages in Scotland were deemed illegal unless one of the parties lived in Scotland for 21 days. But the name stuck and towns that allow couples to be married in haste, such as Fredericksburg, are called "Gretna Green."

We are curious as to why in 1959 so many out of state couples came to Fredericksburg to be married. Another mystery to solve. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Matie Dickens

Matie Dickens

Who is Matie Dickens and what is she doing in my box of family photos?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Amanuensis Monday – Politics at Asbury Park, NJ School - June 1941

I hope my great-aunt Addie Tucker doesn’t mind if I share a letter she received from one of her Asbury Park, New Jersey teaching colleagues in June 1941.  Reading the letter I couldn’t help think – the more things change, the more they stay the same – workplace politics.  If I didn’t know when this was written, I would guess it was recent, as school politics seem to remain pretty much the same.

I share this letter on the off chance someone has an ancestor listed.

Letter addressed to:
Miss Adalade C. Tucker
Trumansburg, NY

From: Louise D. Mehegan
1319 Fourth Avenue
Asbury Park, New Jersey

Posted June 15, 1941

“Dear Adalade: We were so glad to hear from you and had no idea of waiting so long to reply. There has been much excitement at school and I have waited day by day for two weeks to see how things came out before writing you. There is so much to tell you I hardly know where to start. Contracts were not given out until May 27th and at High School May 28th and then several were missing. I’ll try to remember them all.
Miss Wood, Jane McCarthy, Lil Monks, Emma Martin, Mr. King, Mr. Hemphill, Viola Osborne, Mr. Greer, Mrs. Gleason.

The two latter are young but the board decided not to give them under tenure and the others are 62 or more. They were within their rights in letting them out but it was the short notice that made everyone furious. The Mothers Clubs – Dr. Shaw. Mrs. Hurley and a lot of others went to the board meeting last Tuesday. The Teachers’ Ass’n had a “hot” meeting – Ella says the hottest one. The “big shot” was there and what they did to him was plenty.

The result was they are coming back next year. We will tell you all about it when we see you. We can fill a book on the subject. Really the school was demoralized for two weeks. You never saw such a rumpus. Well it is all over now and what a let-down.

We have heard today that Miss Grady’s mother, sister and niece were all killed in an auto accident yesterday. They were on their way to Asbury to spend the weekend with  Grady. Isn’t that terrible? It was a rainy day and perhaps that had something to do with it.

It is the first time we ever remember having a storm for the final school meeting. It poured. Irene started away after the meeting. She was going to Mary’s and start from there this morning.

The Hemphills went out to Wooster, O. for his reunion and then on to their camp in N.J. They expect Margaret and the children about July first to spend the summer with them at camp.

We do not know when Mr. Miller (?) along with the rest are moving but will let you know before I come. Does Robert know we are to get the Windsor chair from him to bring to you? If not, will you write him a card and tell him we will get it?

Don’t think of any other news just now so will just say hope to see you before long. Until then be good – as ever, Louise

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Clarissa Agard - She’s a Mystery

Clarissa Agard, born 15 August 1780 in Litchfield, Connecticut, was the first child of Noah and Lucina (Jones) Agard.  In 1814 she moved with her family to Catherine Township, in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Her father farmed the land and her brother, Samuel, ran a sawmill. 

According to the Agard Family Bible pages, Clarissa married Charles Everts of Connecticut on 27 December 1818.  In further researching Clarissa and Charles, I found Charles and Clarissa on the 1850 Federal Census living in the Town of Hector, Tompkins County, New York.  I found Charles and Clarissa buried in the Everts and Matthews Cemetery, Schuyler County, New York.

One problem: continued research into the lives of Clarissa and Charles indicates that Charles Everts of Connecticut married a Clarissa PECK. 

I thought possibly Clarissa married a Peck before she married Charles Everts, but at this point I find no evidence of that.

She’s still a mystery. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Surname Saturday – Cutter, Davenport and Butterfield Families of Elkhart, Indiana

My hubby just finished a monograph on the Cutter, Davenport and Butterfield families who lived in the Elkhart, Indiana area from the 1860s to the early 1900s.  Utilizing a variety of sources he documented the lines of this family as well as their occupations in running a livery stable, building Napanee Dutch Kitchenets, and running a company that developed Alka Seltzer. The appendix is seventeen pages of obituaries, wedding announcements and photos of tombstones.  Copies of this monograph will be sent to several historical societies and libraries in the Elkhart area. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - March of Dimes Ad 1951

Morse Chain, The Echo,  Nov-Dec 1951

A few weeks ago I posted a story about the quarantine of Ithaca, New York due to the 1916 infantile poliomyelitis epidemic. The disease became prevalent again in the late 1940s and early 1950s, leading to the inoculation of the Salk vaccine to millions of children. The March of Dimes campaign was very successful. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

1486 Taughannock Boulevard, Ithaca, New York - In her own words

"I always loved that house. I never dreamed that I would ever live there."
~ Carol Louise Agard Nunn ~

I thought it would be fun to post my mother's memories of moving into our home. She shares her dreams, captures a time of simple living and the issue of establishing credit.            
"I have no recollection of moving day from the Jacksonville Road house to Taughannock Boulevard. The furniture we had was minimal, but it must have been adequate, because we had all the basic things.  In fact the first purchase we made when we got married was a small refrigerator. That was the only thing we purchased. Everything else came out of somebody’s attic. I remember we paid six dollars a month to pay off this refrigerator, which ran for many, many years.

            Before Eddie and I were married, we had friends, Chuck and Jeanne Lueder, and they purchased the Taughannock Boulevard house. We went to visit them at that house, and I always loved that house. I never dreamed that I would ever live there. I just liked it very much. And, was astounded when I was finally living there.

            You came in the front door and the stairs went up. It had a large enough hall so you didn’t feel cramped. It went right straight back to what we made into the kitchen. The left hand side was a living room. I don’t know what was special about it; it just suited me. There wasn’t anything really that I disliked about the house. It just seemed like it took forever to do anything we wanted to get done, but that was just financial.

            I always wanted a swimming pool there. It would have been very impractical and it never came about. We just did little things. I was pretty happy with it just the way it was.  Eddie and his father did make a whole new kitchen, which was a large room and they worked weekends. Eddie worked all week at the Morse Chain Company. On Friday night he would go to 89 Lumber on Route 89 and purchase enough material to get he and his father through the weekend. One weekend he stopped to get supplies and for one reason or another he did not have enough money to pay cash for it. They wouldn’t give it to him, because we had “no credit.” Of course we had a mortgage that we were paying on. That made him livid. He was so honest, and we always paid bills on time. So on Monday morning he went to the bank and got credit started.

            I can remember the finish they put on the kitchen cabinet doors showed the gold from the grain of the wood. I thought that was so pretty.

            Later on when we were working at the Inn - we worked many hours over there - we had wanted to carpet the kitchen, and we went down and looked at carpeting, which were these little squares that you put down. A couple of weeks later, Eddie arranged for the carpet to be put in during a day – I spent most every day at Taughannock Farms - when he knew I wasn’t going to be home. I always went home at 4:30 in the afternoon and changed my clothes to go back for the night clientele. When I walked in, here is this kitchen all carpeted.  It was like, “Oh my gosh! How did he do this?”  The carpet was a dark green with flakes in it so it didn’t show the dirt.  Unfortunately, it was about the time we were getting ready to spend more time in Florida, so I never did really spend an awful lot of time on that carpeting."

Thanks, Mom, for sharing these great memories.