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Posts Tagged ‘Bronson Park’

I’ve traveled to California, Sedona, and Michigan in the past few weeks.  Needless to say, I am behind in my work even more than usual. I want to continue Theresa Pake’s story and to explore the Jennie DeKorn Culver photos more, but these projects take a good deal of time.

Instead, I decided to take a look at an old postcard postmarked 1911. The postcard is to Alice Leewenhoek, Richard DeKorn’s granddaughter through his daughter Jennie. Alice was an only child who lived with her mother Jennie and her father who Grandpa always called “Uncle Lou”–Lambertus Leewenhoek.

In the photo below, Alice is sitting with a friend, neighbor, or relative against the exterior wall of Richard DeKorn’s house. She holds a doll in her lap and is petting Tom or Carlo (if I had to guess, I would say it’s Tom).

 

Alice Leeuwenhoek with doll

On this postcard, Nellie Bradt is thanking Alice for her “postal.” Nellie’s address is marked as 1130 S. Burdick Street.  The photograph is Bronson Park, which is the beautiful “town square” of Kalamazoo.

Bronson park front postcard

 

After seeing that the mailing address is listed as Balch St. and doesn’t include Alice’s street number (not uncommon for that time period in Kalamazoo), I went to my family tree on Ancestry and discovered that I had never found the Leewenhoek family on the 1910 census.  So I tried something different and looked for the 1910 census on Family Search. Bingo.  Instead of Lambertus Leewenhoek, I found Lamburtos Leenwenhock, at 110 Balch Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Uncle Lou was living with his wife Jennie and his daughter Alice who was 13 years old in that year–and therefore around 14 at the time of the postcard in 1911. New info: According to Uncle Don, they lived in the wooden house just behind the Richard DeKorn brick house.

Can you read anything more on the postmark besides the city, state, and year?  Is it December 9? Or does it say something else?

Bronson park back postcard

 

Grandpa and Alice were first cousins, their mothers were sisters.

I haven’t been able to find Nellie Bradt in the 1910 census, but I did find her in an 1899 city directory. I then found her parents in a 1905 directory. I think I can find them more years, too. But I don’t understand how to read these entries. The 1899 entries are entirely different from the 1905, but neither one really gives me the address.

Here is the 1899 that lists Nellie with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Bradt. I understand they lived in the City of Kalamazoo. And I know “a” means acreage, but not how to interpret what any of this means or how it connects with an address.

Nellie Bradt 1899 city directory

 

Here is the 1905 directory entry. Nellie isn’t mentioned, but her parents are. What in the world does it mean?

Nellie Bradt's parents 1905 city directory

Is there a way to search for Nellie in the 1910 census using the 1130 S. Burdick Street address she gives? Can I search the census by address?

Note that many of my relatives lived in this Burdick/Balch neighborhood. When I look at the census records from late 19th and early 20th century, I see that almost everyone, if not everyone, who lived there was Dutch.

My grandfather’s gas station was at the corner of Burdick and Balch, across the street from the Richard DeKorn house. Grandpa lived in that house for part of his childhood, with his parents and grandfather, Richard. When he built his house down the block on Burdick, he was staying in the same general area his family had lived in for decades. He continued to work at his station and live in his house until he retired and moved to Portage.

I remember as a child meeting Mrs. Bradt Braat who lived next door to the gas station. The name is pronounced, by the way, like the sausages that go with beer. I wonder if she was related to the Nellie Bradt who wrote this postcard. Mom? Uncle Don? New info: no, she must not be as they were a Belgian family (see comments below).

Alice Leewenhoek was my grandfather’s cousin. Note that the postcard is stamped with the name and address of Grandpa’s father, A. Zuidweg. I wonder why?

One postcard. So many questions!

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I shared a couple of photographs of my artist mother-in-law the other day. They were from the 60s and early 70s and had turned yellow. I was very frustrated with the damage to the photos.

 

Paula Taylor saved the day by converting them to black and white photos. Here you can see the changes:

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And here:

 

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I’m really happy with them. Thanks, Paula!Enhanced by Zemanta

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In the past few months I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had time to work at genealogy the way I wish. I have a lot of wonderful material on the Paak family, which has been given to me by Professor Edgar Lawrence. I also have some interesting material to share from Elmhurst research about the Klein and Van Gessel families.

But am I sharing any of it in this post? No. I want to do a good job of pulling it together, and I can’t do that now, as overworked busy as I am. Instead, I thought I would share a photo from the Kalamazoo of my youth.  On the right side, you can see my mother-in-law, the artist Diana Dale Castle. I wrote about her in my post The Todd House.

She’s at Bronson Park, which is the town square of Kalamazoo. When I was growing up, the park was surrounded by the “First Churches” of Kalamazoo (First United Methodist, etc.) and City Hall. Its enormous oak trees had sheltered Abraham Lincoln when he gave a speech in Kalamazoo.  The park had the best Christmas decorations every year, and everything from political rallies to art fairs were held there.

My mother-in-law used to show her art at the art fairs.

Here is my MIL painting in her New York City apartment in the 1950s. Look at how horribly yellow the photograph has turned! Do you know if this can be fixed–and how to fix it?

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