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Archive for the ‘Kalamazoo history’ Category

My maternal grandmother, (Lucille) Edna Mulder Zuidweg, was born in 1912 on this day.  This is one of my favorite photographs of Grandma and me.

I’m about five and wearing my favorite violet striped dress. This was a time in my life that I was spending a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house because I went to kindergarten across the street at McKinley school and stayed the rest of the day at their house while my parents were working. In this photo, it is dark outside, and I think this photograph was taken at night when others were in the living room. I associate this photo with eating ice cream that particular night . . . .

Happy birthday, Grandma. You are very missed.

Last week I posted two old photos and didn’t have a lot of information about them. With the help of some people on a Facebook group, especially intrepid FindaGrave photographer Jeff Phillips, the two little kids have been identified as Alice Leeuwenhoek and Harold Remine. I’ve written about both of them many times.  My mother reminded me that yesterday was Alice’s birthday (1897).

The house in the other photograph has probably been identified as well.

Here it is at the address 110 Balch Street.

That is it with the fresh coat of gray paint. Now look to our right and you just can just the dark brown brick corner house between the trees. That is the Richard DeKorn house I’ve written about so much. This gray house is next door to that house.

Guess who lived in that house (where the four boys are standing) in those days? Take a look:

 

 

Yes, the Leeuwenhoeks lived there, right next to Alice’s maternal grandparents Richard and Alice, and possibly her aunt (my great-grandmother Cora and her husband Adrian who lived with Cora’s parents). It appears that sometime between 1900 and 1910 Cora and Adrian moved from a home on the other side of Balch to her parents’ house. It’s possible that Richard owned that home at 121 Balch, but I have not investigated land records.

Any ideas on how to go about doing so?

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These two old photographs are in poor condition and not labelled. I don’t know who the boys are. The girl could be Alice Leewenhoek, born 1897.

It is likely that the photographs were taken in the Burdick-Balch neighborhood in Kalamazoo.

These boys do not look too happy to be at work. Although the pitchfork made me think gardening, there seems to be a building material stacked behind them. What do you think is going on?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Make it a good week!

UPDATE: Jose challenged me to check out the book the little girl is holding. It looks like Cinderella illustrations to me. Cinderella or Ashenputtel or Cendrillon on our left and the stepsisters on the right. See what you think. I made a Pinterest board with illustrations of Cinderella with her broom: Cinderella with Broom

 

 

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My paternal Grandmother, Maria Anna Elisabetha Klein, was born 127 years ago today in Budesheim, Germany. 3 April 1892. She immigrated as a toddler with her family to Illinois and grew up in Elmhurst. Eventually she raised her own family in Chicago.

The next image is with her mother and her first child, Margaretha (Marge). This photo would be approximately 1925. The photo above would be sometime before that–perhaps before 1920.

The third photo is Grandma with Marge as well.

Notice how my grandmother’s foot seems swollen. I inherited the condition of primary lymphedema from her. Eventually her legs and feet swelled to much larger than this. She had to cut little Vs out of her shoe vamps. I wear compression stockings and have access to a pump that relieves some of the overflow fluid. She not only didn’t have the same treatments, but she didn’t even have the proper diagnosis.

Quite sometime ago I published a photo of my grandmother and her siblings as children. It is the only known photo of Grandma as a little girl. There are different opinions about which of the two shorter girls is Grandma.

Grandma moved to Kalamazoo during the 1960s and died there on 25 APRIL 1974.

Happy birthday, Grandma. RIP XO.

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Here are two photos of my mother, Janet, and her brother, Donald. Take a look at the similarities and differences.

The one with Mom holding her doll shows a glimpse of their front porch on Burdick Street. Don is wearing short pants and long striped socks. They both have cute little hats on. The back of the photo is labelled April 1938. My mother was born in 1934 and Don in 1936.

Then this one:

In this photo they seem to be wearing the same outfits, although Don’s snowpants are now on and Janet has a scarf around her neck. There is melting snow in the yard.

So were they taken on the same day or is the second photo earlier than April? What do you think? Notice that little “trike” or whatever it is is in the same spot in both photos.

Another thing of note in the second photo is the phenomenal neighborhood view. This is the best neighborhood view down Burdick Street I can remember seeing. In fact, you see that brick house in the distance to the left of the tree? That is the Richard DeKorn house where Grandpa himself grew up. There are a couple of houses in between, then the service station Grandpa owned, and then Balch Street. The house is across Balch from the station. Grandma and Grandpa’s house where Mom and Uncle Don grew up was at the corner of Burdick and Emerson.

 

 

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Today’s photo is completely unidentified except that it was in a pile of family photos. Most likely, it was taken in Kalamazoo, but without knowing anyone in the photo, I can’t even be sure of that. I hope someone can identify one or more of these young ladies in their fancy outfits a la Pollyanna.

The three girls in the center have the giant hair bows. The girl on our left wears a very frilly hat. And the girl on our right: is she wearing a big snood to hold her hair?

I saw a cute meme about hair bows the other days.

Welcome to Women’s History Month (as of March 1)! Kin Types is a good addition to Women’s History Month.

“Kin Types exhumes the women who have died long ago to give life to them, if only for a few moments. Through genealogical and historical research, Luanne Castle has re-discovered the women who came before her. Using an imaginative lens, she allows them to tell their stories through lyric poems, prose poems, and flash nonfiction.”

Kin Types makes a good gift for Women’s History Month!

 

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I’ve been spending time with Mom this week, so I thought I’d post a photo of her as a little girl. Here she is wearing a cute hat and with her little sister Alice and her best friend Marion Van Dam.

And, yes, Mom and Marion are still good friends.

Kalamazoo history

I am guessing that this photo was taken in Kalamazoo around 1942 because Aunt Alice was born in 1941. What kind of car is that behind them? Is that a tiny purse in Mom’s hand?

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When I scan old family photos I always think it’s particularly cool when photos include other people in Kalamazoo (or elsewhere) because if I post them online, there is a chance the descendants of these people can find their relatives’ photos. This has happened before, and I hope it continues to happen.

The photo for today is of a Sunday School class of young “men” at Bethany Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. If you click on the next photo you can be taken to the church history on the church’s website.

The church began as a tiny chapel near the corner of Burdick and Maple in 1905. By 1907, the building above was built to house the rapidly growing congregation. By 1910 there were 69 member families, all of the Reformed denomination (and presumably Dutch or of Dutch ancestry).

As you can see by the back of my photo, it was taken around 1918 (so imagine the church growth by then).

The sticker was put on in the 80s, I imagine, by my grandparents.

Here is the front:

Let’s look at it a little closer:

The church was probably right by houses, but I don’t know whether the photo was taken outside the church (with a house behind the boys) or if it was taken in someone’s yard. They do look dressed for church here.

Do you think my grandfather was one of these boys? He would have been about ten in 1918.

Mom? Uncle Don? Anybody? There is only one boy here who I think looks at all like Grandpa.

About the church: although it was the Great Depression, the new building that still stands today was dedicated in 1932. It continued to be added on to for many years. In the 1960s, I attended Vacation Bible School for one summer. My grandmother was babysitting while my mother was working, so it was easy for me to go to Bible School across the street, although our church was out in Portage. Unfortunately, in 1972, vandals set fire to the sanctuary, which was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt within a year.

I took a screenshot of the church as it looks today on Google Maps. Same building where I went to class 55 years ago.

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