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Posts Tagged ‘Kalamazoo history’

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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In scanning this newest batch of antique and vintage photos, I ran across these two photos of Grandpa (Adrian Zuidweg, Jr.) as a baby! They are set in this handmade paper frame, and his name is written on the back, so there is no doubt as to who it is. Plus those blond curls are a big giveaway.

Grandpa was born in 1908 in Kalamazoo. How old do you think he looks here? These photos are clearly before the accident with the needle that blinded his one eye. That happened when he was three. But I don’t think he’s very far into “being two” either.

It might help to know what in the world he is “in” or standing with in the photo on the right. It appears to have rockers at the bottom. Any ideas?

Click once and then once again should make the image large.

I’ll repost the other photos I have where he is young so you can see the comparison. I think that by comparison with these others, that he is strictly a baby in the photos above. So less than two. But let me know if you disagree!

Cora and little Adrian circa 1910

Adrian Zuidweg 1908-2000

Adrian Zuidweg

I know I’m pretty lucky to have all these wonderful photos of Grandpa and many other relatives. The curse, though, is that I am responsible for scanning and organizing digital images, organizing actual photos, and then deciding and implementing how these photos will be passed on to future generations! I may have mentioned before ;): I need an assistant!

 

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While I haven’t done much genealogy research lately, I have scanned some antique photos. I am eager to get back to the research, but haven’t yet had the time. In the meantime, here is one of the “new” photos I’ve scanned.I love this photo for its moody quality with the reflection of the trees on the house and in the windows, how the closeup of the house almost looks gothic, and his little lace-up boots.

So who are these people and when was it taken? Did they just step outside for the photo? I don’t see warm coats or hats.

This is what the back of the photo says:

Alice Leeuwenhoek and her little cousin, my grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg.

Was somebody using this photo as scrap paper to do a little sum? 232 + 94 = 326

So 1914 or 1916? Grandpa was born 31 October 1908. Do you think this photo is 1914, 1915, or 1916?

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The horrific fires in California have been in the news over the past week. My heart breaks for the people who died, those who lost their homes, and the animals that perished as well. Fire has long been a blessing and a devastation for humankind. Today’s post is about a fire that burned down the home of my great-great-grandmother’s brother and his family.

The last three weeks I’ve shared articles published by Broad Street magazine. They are featuring a series showcasing what went into the making of six poems and flash prose pieces in my chapbook Kin Types. The idea is that you can see how you, too, can put together stories of your ancestors.

Today the fourth part of the series was published and can be found here: Family Laundry: “The Weight of Smoke” by Luanne Castle

The first feature article is “Family Laundry: “An Account of a Poor Oil Stove Bought off Dutch Pete,” by Luanne Castle

The second feature article is Family Laundry 2: “What Came Between A Woman and Her Duties” by Luanne Castle

The third feature articles is: Family Laundry: “More Burials” by Luanne Castle

An introduction to the series can be found here.  SERIES INTRODUCTION

 

 

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