Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Exciting Birth of a New Blog...

This album contains a priceless treasure...

A treasure that belongs to somebody.

Or somebodies.

These are pieces of history, all rescued from a dumpster.

Someone had moved granny out and had to get rid of some of her household and personal stuff and used a dumpster behind my husband's place of business.

He saw the household stuff and then looked a little closer and saw these beautiful cards and letters...blowing 'round in there, and he dove in and rescued them.  See why I love that man, so much?  He's an original "American Picker"!  Actually, we come from a long line of "pickers" and "savers"!

But I digress.

Back to the interesting project we now have to complete, somehow.

When I ran across these again this past Christmas while I was in the attic digging out Christmas boxes, I thought this might make a great way to solve the mysteries and you could help me...I hope so anyway!

(Did I mention I'm going to need HELP!?)  :0)

From what we've been able to piece together, these are all correspondences both to and from an immigrant to the United States...from her family in both Europe and England.   I recognize places from Switzerland, France and England, but there may be more that I don't know about, because I am not European.  I am not sure if the postcards are from travels made to those countries, or if the person sending the cards actually lived there.

Somehow, she saved both incoming and outgoing pieces of mail.  Relatives from overseas saved her correspondence and she saved it --and theirs--until she either died or was moved into a home.

There are postcards from all over the world, and there are many, many historical events talked about in the personal, handwritten letters contained in this box.

Holding these, and reading them, gave us a tremendous sense of sadness, knowing that a family could so easily toss them, without even realizing what they had.  I have nothing like this, my husband either, none of our families have a written history like this.

My husband was smart to rescue them, this happened around twenty years ago, and he got them before the rain did, and before the contents of the dumpster was taken away and these treasures blew around a landfill, unseen.  We put most of the postcards in a leather album, shown here.

So with the advent of blogs, and the ability of blog entries to be read worldwide, I am going to document these pieces we found on a new blog and hopefully it will provide some help interpreting the languages written on the postcards and in the handwritten letters, and also be able to identify some of the scenery and places in the pictures on the postcards...and I'd love to be able to type out each of the interpreted handwritten letters for you to read the history contained therein, too!

It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm willing to do it.

I'd be so pleased if I could find the people related to the one who meticulously saved all of these wonderful treasures.

If you recognize anything AT ALL in  the smattering of the collection I've shown today, I'd love to know what you can tell me---PLEASE do so in the comments section so that I can then label these postcards with the information...what country, what the personal messages say, this could be quite interesting!

I will set up a blog in the next week or so, and hope to gradually add to it, but first I must sort EVERYTHING in the box by the date.  That is not going to be easy but I'm going to attempt to do it, my family will probably be willing to help out.

See why I just cannot sell these on eBay?

These are someone's history...these beautiful pieces that come to me from before the turn of the 20th century.

From what I've seen so far, there is talk in the personal letters of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, of the Hindendburg exploding, wars, and much more.

All of it will be so fun for us to learn together, don't you think?

A poem, written out in beautiful handwriting, not sure if it's an original composition, or one from the literature of the day, but isn't this beautiful?

So, you, dear readers, can help me out in several ways....

1.)  Give me any help you can in the way of interpreting the languages on the documents.

2.)  Enlisting the help of anyone you know of that can help me with the locations shown on these beautiful places around the world.

3.)  Get the word out, by linking to my new blog ... the more readers I get, the easier the mystery of these documents can be solved.

4.)  Help me dream of a name for my new blog.  Mystery in History?  Letters from Home?  Blogging the Past?

I have to work on this one, and I'd love your help.  Maybe I'll even be able to combine two suggestions in names to make one name that will make sense for this big project.

5.)  If you have done any similar work with found documents, I'd love to hear what you did with your treasures.  This is a pretty good collection,  not just a couple things, and I think it should be treated in a respectful way, and an honor done to it.

I'd love it if you'd become a follower on this new adventure, too.
I will be making an announcement, here, several times so that you'll know where to look for the latest installment on this series of mysteries!



Lori said...

What a great project! I can't help you with information but marvel at the beautiful handwriting. We just don't see that anymore. Best of luck to you!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

So sad to think of these just being dumped! What a treasure and no one writes like that anymore or in such style! I'm anxious to follow along on this fun journey with you!

Laura said...

It always amazes me that something that meant so much to one person can mean so little to another (usually member of the family). History lost...
I'm anxious to follow. If I can be of any help, let me know.
I have a friend who lives in Belgium and speaks Finnish and French if there's any connection there I will lead her to your new blog.

Debbie said...

This is a very exciting venture. I can neither help in history or foreign language. Ours was a family who kept no history; maybe a reason for that, I'm not sure! I admire your decision and interest in this and look forward to seeing the mystery unwrapped. Who knows; you might get a response from a blogger who sees something she is familiar with!People don't write or talk like that anymore and we've definitely lost something. I don't think people keep in touch like they used to. Good luck!

from my front porch... said...

Amazing, isn't it!
About twenty years ago I bought a HUGE old family bible at a flea mkt. This was about 1993. Just about the start of the internet age! I was able to track down the family through a church name written in the back. The bible went back to the 1800's!
The church had the bible on display in the 1950's and then it vanished! How it ended up in a flea mkt in Atlanta, where I bought it, from New York City-no one could figure out.
I did return it, the family was grateful, and I bet it took a lot of time to fill in all the blanks from the '50's to 1993!
I will follow, Joni! It will be fun!
xo, misha

~~Carol~~ said...

Well, I've always loved a good mystery, so I'll be following you on this one! I hate to think of all that just thrown out, but thank goodness it's now in the hands of someone who cares. I can't wait to see how this story turns out!

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

I was just checking on line, I thought the pics looked like they should be in Switzerland...The post card with the stamp, is from there and here is a link for the
hotel...http://www.hotel-meiringen.ch/...I am going to do some more checking, this is really interesting and it is a shame that someone threw it all away! Thanks for sharing this. :)

Bear Hugs~Karen

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

The one card with Kummer, Gpiez is in Austria....This is fun! I bet you could find out their family tree if you did some research....

Bear Hugs~Karen

Carol said...

Wow, Joni! These are irreplaceable! The handwriting is beautiful.
Great idea!

A Rural Journal said...

Amazing. There's a reason your husband found this treasure. Now you have a purpose. I'm excited for you and will be following whenever you start up the blog. :)

Mrs.B said...

This is SO awesome! How wonderful that you're going to do this!

peggy said...

Where did you find that husband?? You have taught him well.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, what a wonderful endeavor! As a history major, those are a wonderful find! I had a box of my grandfather's journals, but somehow over the years, they have been "misplaced". IF I ever find them, I'd love to go through them again.

~Christine~ said...

Wow! What a treasure trove you have found and rescued! What an honorable project you are undertaking! I will definitely follow your blog! Thanks so much for doing this!

Shirley said...

What a cool idea! Looking forward to following your journey!

Julie Hinds said...

I love to look at old pictures, can really get lost in them, wondering about every detail! I don't even have to know them to find them interesting! It will be a fun project, let me know if I can ever help, more time in the summer though. My Grandfather came from Denmark when he was 19, through Ellis Island, my relatives have kept good records of things and great old pictures, fun to look at. Our modern age has erased the written communicated word, at least in the form of something to keep and treasure, it is really a shame, my mom is worried about this and is good to write notes for this reason and saves everything. Wow, I can't believe someone just tossed it, what were they thinking!!

Brenda Evans said...

Wow how very interesting. How about "Treasures of the Heart" for a title. I can't wait to see what unfolds here. It is amazing that things one held so dear someone else just casually tossed. My mother always said that before she passed. "These things mean so much to me but when I'm gone they will just be tossed aside." Not so, because I saved everything. I love the vintage pics of the postcards and the writing is beautiful!

Raluca said...

So very interesting!
I love to find out how other people lived their lives before us. I'm in love with true stories! You have a treasure there!
I think the hardest part is to recognize handwriting :-)
What about "Once upon a time..."?
Waiting for the new blog!

Jamie B said...

The girl with the horseshoe post card says:

Je Porte Bonheur

Bonne Annee


I Carry Happiness

Happy New Year

Bring them with you when you come to visit and I will help you translate the french ones. I remember going thru those in high school and reading some of them to you. :)

If I remember right she corresponded a lot with a cousin of hers back in Europe.