Posts Tagged ‘Caledonia High School’

I’ve written several posts about my grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder (married name Zuidweg), who was born April 17, 1912, and her high school graduation scrapbook. She graduated from Caledonia High School (Michigan) in 1929.

In those posts, I mentioned that Grandma’s best friend Blanche was class valedictorian, Grandma’s older sister Dorothy was salutatorian, and Grandma–with the 3rd highest GPA–was class historian.

Visiting Mom, I recently found this photograph of Grandma and Dorothy. It’s a tinted photo, and it appears to be the right age to have been taken around the time they graduated high school. It shows the girls with movie star hairstyles.

You can see from the list below (from the scrapbook) who else graduated from CHS in 1929. Look at the proportion of girls to boys! Why was that? Were the boys working the farms and no longer attending school? If so, that’s a shame. What else could account for so few boys graduating? I trust the list because Grandma was, after all, class historian and quite meticulous about recording information.

Maybe this list will help out someone else researching their own family. Good luck!





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My grandmother, (Lucille) Edna Mulder Zuidweg, was born 105 years ago today. This is a page from her 1929 high school graduation scrapbook. There is a photo of Grandma–maybe her senior pic–and one of Grandma (the Class Historian), Blanche Stauffer (Valedictorian), and Grandma’s sister Dorothy Mulder Plott (Salutatorian). In the 3rd photo, five girls are in dresses decorated with ribbon or twine.

You can read more about the graduation of these young ladies in Who Put the Ring Stain on the Scrapbook? and in Scrapbook Treats.

What do you think about the dresses on those girls? I don’t know why this photo is on the same page with the others or the meaning of it. Any ideas?

I can’t let an April 17 go by without thinking a lot about Grandma. She was a wonderful grandmother and inspirational to me in many ways.

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I wrote about my great-grandfather, Charles Mulder, and his farm in Caledonia, Michigan here. That post also lists other links that pertain to Great Grandpa and the Mulders.

At the time I didn’t have a good photograph of the farm, but now I have discovered a good one of the farmhouse, just as I remember it. Facing this way, the apple tree the swing hung from was to the left. The fields were also to the left, the road to the right. Because of the porch, you can see that the front of the house is on the right side.

Look at that! Is it the same swing I swung on or a different one? This is Mom’s cousin Elaine playing at the farm.

Do you have any fond farm memories?

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As a high school student at Caledonia High School in Michigan in the 1920s, my grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder, was a good student. As I have written about before, she was Class Historian at graduation–and kept a beautiful graduation scrapbook.

She also kept a meticulous notebook for botany class. Here is a slideshow of the entire book. I will post a few still images below the slideshow.

Did you ever record precise information like this for a homework assignment? If so, do you think you learned from it?

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These dried flowers look like nature prints! I wish I had been required or encouraged to keep a notebook like this.

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I am digitizing some photographs for my mother, and I found this picture that I just love. It’s my mother’s mother (in the middle) with her two sisters. They are standing with their children–the ones who were born at this point. By the age of the children here, I would say that the picture was taken around 1939-40. What is a little confusing is that nobody looks pregnant and two of them should have been pregnant around that time, unless there are tiny babies asleep just outside the boundaries of the pic!

The photo would have been taken somewhere in southwestern Michigan. CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE!

From left to right: Vena with her two oldest daughters, then grandma (Lucille Edna Mulder Zuidweg) with my mom (Janet) and Uncle Don, then Dorothy with her two oldest. Each of them had another child after the first two.

I’ve written posts about my grandmother. Dorothy showed up a bit, too, because the girls graduated high school together. You can read about their graduation here and here and here. In this post, Grandma, Dorothy, and Vena are shown as children with their parents and one brother (again, the youngest had not yet been born).  Grandma’s teaching contract from 1931 can be found here.

If you never read my posts about Grandma’s high school scrapbook, check out the links. It’s a gorgeous scrapbook from her graduation in 1929. She was Class Historian and her older sister Dorothy was salutatorian.

If anybody in the family wants me to post the names of the children here, I will add them to the post. Just let me know.

Isn’t my mom, the tallest one here, a cutie in her double-breasted coat?

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My grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder (Zuidweg), was born April 17, 1912. If she hadn’t passed away in 2000, she would be 102 today. I miss her every day.

Grandma holding me

Grandma holding me 1955

Last year I posted about Grandma’s high school graduation scrapbook. Here is the link. There are a lot of photos in that book; in most of them Grandma is hanging out with her friends and classmates.

Below, Grandma is in all but the lower right photo. One of the girls is her best friend, Blanche Stauffer. Grandma and Blanche are in the upper right photo together–that’s Grandma in front. Blanche has the straight dark bangs. In the lower left Grandma is with another friend.


The scrapbook has an autograph page, and the words from Blanche are front and center:

Grandma and I have a lot in common. One thing is that a best friend was very important to us growing up. I looked up Blanche on Ancestry, and I was amazed to learn that she, like my grandmother, was the second child in the family. Blanche’s older sister was one year older. That was the same with Grandma: her older sister Dorothy was one year older.

Blanche was class valedictorian, Dorothy was salutatorian, and Grandma–with the 3rd highest GPA–was class historian. I read a list of Grandma’s classmates, and Blanche’s older sister was not in their class. At least Blanche didn’t have the sisterly competition that Grandma had to put up with ;).

Writing is another commonality between Grandma and me. When she was elderly and had just gotten sprung from a very negative experience with a rehabilitation nursing center, she made me promise I would never give up writing. I promised her, and I have kept my word. I remember Grandma submitting funny stories and occasionally getting them published when I was very young.

Recently, my mother told me an anecdote that made me realize that Grandma and I share another interest. When I was little and my mother worked full-time, Grandma babysat me. We sang Ethel Merman songs like “Anything You Can Do.”  I could always manage to sing louder and higher than Grandma.

Any note you can reach
I can go higher.
I can sing anything
Higher than you.
No, you can’t. (High)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can’t. (Higher)
Yes, I CAN! (Highest)

What I didn’t realize is that when my mother and her siblings were little, my grandmother (who was always with my grandfather, to my memory) went to New York City with her sister Dorothy. They saw Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun.  She actually saw this song performed live by Merman. My mother says it was one of the highlights of her life, and I believe it because I remember this music around Grandma often when it was “just us.”  I still love musicals and so does my daughter, who performs in professional productions.

Grandma and I shared other songs, too. She used to hold me on her lap while we sang “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” and “This Old Man (Knick Knack Paddy Whack).” My memories of my grandmother are treasured heirlooms.

Happy birthday, Grandma.

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My maternal grandmother, Lucille Edna Mulder (Zuidweg), who was born in 1912 at the time of the Titanic disaster, was raised on a farm in Caledonia, Michigan.  If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I have a beautiful scrapbook which she made to commemorate her high school graduation in 1929.

You’ve met her parents, Charles and Clara (née Waldeck) Mulder.

Charles and Clara (Waldeck) Mulder Marion Studio pic

I’ve shared with you the book collection and gavel which belonged to my great-grandfather Charles.  I have not said much about my great-grandmother Clara.

What I know about her is that she raised five children on a farm in Caledonia.

Clara’s parents and older siblings were born in Germany (and perhaps at least one sibling in Kentucky, but don’t quote me on that).  She was born August 31, 1884, in Michigan.  She died September 6, 1953, of uterine cancer.  I was born less than two years later.

I have an Eastern Star ring which belonged to her, so I know she belonged to that organization. I had a sapphire bracelet, which I lost at my first job and was heartsick over, and a couple of other small items.

Here is Clara’s calling card, which my grandmother placed in her scrapbook along with the graduation cards of her classmates:

Clara's calling cardI wish I knew more about Clara and her life.  I think if I keep researching I will find more and maybe I will be able to put some pieces together.

Maybe my mother and her siblings and cousins remember their grandmother and can add to my paltry information!  Hint hint.

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I just found a photo which goes with one I posted last week.  Last week was the anniversary of my grandmother’s birthday and I posted a page from her high school graduation scrapbook.  Then I posted a photo my father had taken in the eighties of her with her four siblings and all their spouses–the whole Mulder family.

Here is a beautiful image of the four oldest Mulder children (Dorothy, Edna, Vena, and Pete) with their parents, my great-grandparents, Charles and Clara Mulder.

This photo would be before 1917 as Charles wasn’t yet born. Notice how Dorothy and Edna have matching plaid dresses on.  Although they were a year apart in age, they graduated high school at the same time.  It looks like they were almost treated as twins.  Vena (Alvena), the youngest daughter, is wearing an outfit which matches the older girls’ dresses, but appears to be a skirt with straps.  How do you like those “Dutch boy” hair cuts from almost 100 years ago?!

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Today would be the birthday of (Lucille) Edna Mulder Zuidweg, my wonderful grandmother, born April 17, 1912. We lost her on September 21, 2000.

In honor of Grandma, I’ll share more from her high school graduation scrapbook, which has quite a few goodies in it.  I wrote about it before in the post Who Put the Ring Stain on the ScrapbookToday I’d like to share one page of the scrapbook.

This page is my favorite because I learn more about my grandmother here.  In the upper left is a photo of my grandparents, which means that they were dating by the point she glued that photo in the book.  Aren’t they cute?  When and where did they meet?

In the upper middle is a photo of Grandma’s best friend Blanche Stauffer, Class Valedictorian.  Grandma was Class Historian and her older sister Dorothy was Salutatorian.  The newspaper clipping on the upper right explains all that.

The congratulations note by Elsa looks treasured.  At the bottom left is a newspaper clipping which is from April 1920:

Miss Edna Mulder celebrated her eighth birthday anniversary with a party Saturday.  Twenty little people were present.

In the bottom right corner is another clipping.  This one is also from 1920:

The first of the spring flowers again comes to our desk through the thoughtful kindness of little Edna Mulder.  Flowers while we live to enjoy them are far sweeter than those at death for does not some one tell us that “Flowers on the casket can cast no fragrance backward over life’s rugged way.”

One more scrapbook treat is the “entertainment” for Grandma’s 8th grade graduation, which took place  in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 12, 1925:

Happy birthday, Grandma.  I miss you! xo

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00000001This is the scrapbook which my parents gave to me.  In it my grandmother (Lucille) Edna Mulder (later Edna Zuidweg) recorded the events of her high school graduation from Caledonia High School (Michigan), as well as a few clippings from her first year at Western Normal School in Kalamazoo.

In 1929, my grandmother graduated a year early, at age seventeen, along with her older sister Dorothy Mulder (later Dorothy Plott).  Grandma earned the 3rd highest GPA at 93.85% and thus was honored with the title “class historian.” Her sister was salutatorian. Grandma’s best friend Blanche Stauffer was valedictorian. Clearly, grades were not inflated in those days at Caledonia High School.

Grandma was the 2nd oldest girl in her family of three girls and two boys. When I was young and reading my mother’s copy of Little Women, Grandma told me she always thought that she was just like Jo, the 2nd oldest and the writer of the family.  Her sister Dorothy was Meg, and her younger sister Alvena (called Vena, later Vena Stimson) was Amy.  It makes sense to me that “Jo” would have been placed a year ahead so she could go to school with “Meg,” and that she would earn class historian to her sister’s salutatorian.


Dorothy Mulder’s Salutatory (beginning portion)

Edna Mulder’s high school transcript

Edna Mulder’s class history (beginning portion)

The scrapbook contains wonderful photos of Grandma, her friends, classmates, and teachers, but it doesn’t solve the mystery of who put that drinking glass ring on the cover.

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