Monday, December 28, 2009

Vintage New Year postcards

Friday, December 25, 2009




Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today's Mardi Gras parties.

From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.

Christmas wasn't a holiday in early America—in fact Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the country's first Christmas under the new constitution.

Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith's 1607 Jamestown settlement.

Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.

The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.

Rudolph, "the most famous reindeer of all," was the product of Robert L. May's imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.

Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things have changed so much in a week-

This time last week my father in law was rushed to the ER. He had a massive stroke and fell in his kitchen. He came to two hours later not able to speak or move his right side. He pushed his lifeline that he wears around his neck and help was on its way. In a weeks time he has been in two hospitals and seen many doctors. We now have him settled in at Newman for rehabilitation. Sorry about not being able to post this last week, and hopefully now that we are getting into a different schedule, there'll be time to do it again.
On Dec. 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.
On this date:
In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.
In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.
In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."
In 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946.
In 1963, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays.
In 1976, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74.
In 1978, former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Just wanted to let everyone know that we have had a family emergency and I will probably not be posting on here again until after Christmas. My father in law had a massive stroke on Saturday and is paralyzed on the right side. He is at Carle and we are just beginning to get to talk to the doctors and they are still running tests. When we finally get some answers we will have some major decisions to make and arrangements for him when they release him.
I am sure this is going to take all our time and energy in the next 2-3 weeks, so we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1897- New York Sun

Francis Parcellus Church
8 year old, Virginia, daughter of Dr. Philip O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor. Francis Pharcellus Church responded...and the rest is history.

Virginia O'Hanlon's full name is Laura Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas. She was born on July 20, 1889 in Manhattan, New York. Her marriage to Edward Douglas in the 1910s was brief, and ended with him deserting her shortly before their child, Laura, was born. Virginia was listed as divorced in the 1930 United States Census.[1]
Virginia received her Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College in 1910; a Master's degree in Education from Columbia University in 1912, and a doctorate from Fordham University. Virginia was a school teacher in the New York City School system. She started her career as an educator in 1912, became a junior principal in 1935, and retired in 1959.[3]
Virginia O’Hanlon received a steady stream of mail about her letter throughout her life. She would include a copy of the editorial in her replies.[4] In an interview later in life, she credited the editorial with shaping the direction of her life quite positively.[5]
Virginia died on May 13, 1971 in a nursing home in Valatie, New York.[6] She is buried at the Chatham Rural Cemetery in Chatham, New York.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"VIRGINIA O'HANLON."115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember when sledding was THE major winter fun?

after you carried in the wood and hauled water...fed and milked the cows...mucked the stalls and gathered the eggs before they froze...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vintage wrapping paper...remember when?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

There have been 8000 hits on the site!

Thanks for viewing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Past...

I will be posting until Christmas, images of Christmas Past...enjoy...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

I guess no one is interested in this blog...

I haven't gotten a single email on this and I thought this would be a fun idea. Well, I'm out of stuff to post, so this is it until something new pops up.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Looking for old Christmas photos...

This was taken on December 24th, 1962. Can you guess who it is?

I would like to post area vintage Christmas photos of families from the Oakland area. Just email them to me at and let me know who is in them and the year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I have been sick and busy:

I could use some help until I can get some more items scanned and into the computer.
Does anyone have any old photos they would like to share?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


On Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 PM Landmarks, Inc. is offering a free program on care and restoration of old barns or other timber frame structures. The speaker for this presentation will be Tim Narkiewicz from Trillium Dell Timberworks. Trillium Dell Timberworks is based in rural Knox County Illinois. They specialize in timber frame construction techniques both with new buildings and the repair of old buildings of various timber frame styles. They have repaired, rebuilt or restored many old structures throughout the US. Tim is in the area making an assessment of repairs needed on the 1869 Fairfield Church located north of Newman and an 1860s hand hewn timber frame barn near Newman. He will give a talk on the work of the company and have a slide presentation of some of their past accomplishments. More information about Trillium Dell Timberworks can be viewed at The program will be in the Landmarks' Meeting House on South Pike Street, across from the Rutherford House in Oakland. If you have questions about a structure bring photos for Tim. He will also be available to visit other area structures on Wednesday if there is interest.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vintage Halloween Images:

Just a few things you might remember.

Antioch Church- the first 100 years

to be continued...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Sign: