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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan history’

A hundred years ago it seems to have been commonplace to have postcards made from personal photos. I found this example of an “occasional postcard,” meaning it was made on the occasion of Harold Remine sitting on the moon.

The two men with Harold must be his brother-in-law Frank Tazelaar on the left and his father Richard Remine on the right (the taller man).

Here is what it says on the back:

The postcard is addressed to Harold’s sister, Therese Remine or Jennie Remine Cohn or Genevieve Remine Tazelaar. He was the youngest of four children, the only boy, and Therese was the youngest girl–six years older than Harold. I think it might have been Therese. Apparently, at this young age, Harold didn’t believe in basic punctuation, such as periods and commas–or know how to spell “rode”–(and you thought only kids today are lazy), although he went on to graduate from the University of Michigan and become (most likely) the Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission.

Well sister how do you like the picture we got this taken on Burdick Street after leaving you at the train papas broke one plate so we had to pose twice before we could get a good one we told ma we had road out to Otsego and back on the moon isn’t that a _____ for you life ___ me. YHE Harold Remine

Can you read that last line? I can’t quite make it out. Also, what does YHE mean? I tried Googling it, but came up empty-handed. I assume the Y means Your or Yours. What do you think?

When he refers to Papa breaking a plate, he means a glass plate or negative of the image.

Do you think Harold is about 14 or 15 here? If so, that would make this photo from about 1911-1912. Genevieve and Frank Tazelaar were married in 1906, so the timing on that is correct, as well. For the record, Jennie married Harry Cohn in 1903. Harold seems big, but he could even be a bit younger, I suppose.

I am now wondering if a photo I posted awhile back could be Genevieve and Jennie as young girls. They were born in 1880 and 1881. I suspect this might be them. If these girls are in the 9-11 year old range, Therese would have not quite been born yet–and Harold wouldn’t have been born for years.

Another question I have about Harold’s sisters is this: was Jennie or Genevieve the one called “Jane”?!

Harold Henry Remine

1897–1975

BIRTH 7 SEPTEMBER 1897 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

DEATH DECEMBER 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1st cousin 3x removed

 

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Harold Henry Remine

1897–1975

BIRTH 7 SEPTEMBER 1897 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

DEATH DECEMBER 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1st cousin 3x removed

In his engineering career, Harold Remine attained at least the title of Assistant Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission. I have not yet found information for after 1947.

Now if I was willing to be extorted, I would expand my Ancestry account from U.S. to “international” and be able to do more Canadian searches. Alas, it has gotten so expensive!

Anybody else irritated about that price?

 

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My grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, had an album of photos which included those from a parade in 1931. It seems most likely that the parade took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan–probably down Burdick Street. But I need help identifying the buildings to know for sure. Many of the business names that are readable seem pretty “generic.” These names include Montgomery Ward, Ross Carrier, Kroger Stores, and Grand Hotel.

I know the date because of this float, but I don’t understand the significance of the “centennial” aspect of the design.

The Light float is the last photograph in the album. Here are the others in order of placement. If you can find any signs that this is Kalamazoo–or elsewhere–please let me know.

 

It seems odd that there aren’t any clues in these photos that indicate the “local” setting of the parade. There are quite a few ladies of the court. Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, but I don’t see any references to the schools, so maybe a check of 1930-31 and a 1931-32 yearbooks would rule out the colleges as participants in the parade.

A clue that I can’t interpret: Benton Harbor Exchange. This does seem to indicate that the parade was in Michigan, but was it in Benton Harbor or St. Joseph or Kalamazoo? And what exactly was the Benton Harbor Exchange?

Another possible clue: see that tall building in the background of the “downtown” photos? If that building can be identified it might help to lock in the city.

Just before the parade photos is one photo of Grandpa with Grandma when they were boyfriend and girlfriend–before they got married in 1932. Sorry about the watermark in the wrong place. I added watermarks en masse for these photos.

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OK, we’re going to try this again. You might have seen my post last week about this–which I subsequently deleted when it became obvious I’d missed a clue.

My great-great-grandfather’s sister Jennie DeKorn Culver (divorced) and her two adult daughters moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle at some point. All three women died there. Only Lela seems to have married–at the age of 63.

Two weeks ago, I posted the photo that gives the exact date the Culvers moved to Seattle. Here it is again with the date of August 20, 1918 written on it. One of the Culver daughters is in this photo.

 

I also posted a photo of all three Culver women–Aunt Jennie DeKorn Culver and her daughter Rhea and Lela–with some identified travelers or perhaps people seeing them off on their travels.

After much searching I did find one newspaper “jotting” that mentions the move. It was posted in the Kalamazoo Gazette on August 13, 1918.

 

Of COURSE, the mystery deepens. Why does it mention only Rhea and not her mother or sister? I can’t believe they wouldn’t be mentioned if they did, in fact, move at the same time.Maybe Rhea went with the other people in the photo? If so, when did Jennie and Lela move?

I will say that Jennie does look as if she is dressed for travel (she is the 3rd from the left). Do you agree with me? The other daughter, the one in the striped silk could be dressed for travel–or not.

In 1918, Rhea (born 1890) was 28 years old. She was single and a grown woman. I wonder if she went with any of the Culver family or she went with a religious group. Lela was also single and 30 that year. Jennie was 61. I will be 61 this summer. I can’t imagine making that move with my two daughters if I didn’t know anybody else in Seattle.

Also, this new information sheds light on that photo of the young Culver woman with the older woman (above). Maybe that is Rhea and she IS going with that woman to Seattle.

This is where it gets even more confusing.

In the 1920 census, Rhea, stenographer, is living in Kalamazoo with a cousin and the cousin’s husband, Charles Pierce, and daughter! The cousin is Cora DeSmit Pierce, the daughter of Jennie’s sister Mary. WHAT? So Rhea left for Seattle on her own and came back to Kalamazoo? Homesick?

Cora DeSmit Pierce

But wait.

Also in the 1920 census, Jennie and Lela (teacher) were living in Seattle! So Rhea moved to Seattle, according to the paper. It doesn’t say she joined her family there. It sounds as if she is the first Culver to move to Seattle. But how did the others end up in Seattle and Rhea NOT by 1920?

Can this get any more confusing? I will have to study the photo album more to see if I can find any other clues in there. I would like to examine yearly city directories in both Seattle and Kalamazoo, but even if I could, it still might not divulge what happened.

What do you think? Did Rhea move first and the rest of her family come later? Any ideas on where to research next?

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I’ve written before about my great-great-grandmother’s sister, Carrie Paak Waruf, and her husband Henry Waruf: Who Was Hank Waruf, Kalamazoo Gunsmith, Tennyson’s Words for Henry Waruf’s Funeral, and All the Peek Girls (note that Paak can be spelled Peek, Paake, etc.). And when they traveled to Cuba.

But I’d like you to look at some photos I have that Grandpa had me mark Aunt Carrie.

The first one is a favorite. Carrie and Henry Waruf were well-off merchants. They had no children. And Aunt Carrie did like to spend money on her outfits. Is that a fur piece or a feather boa around her neck here? And what about this hat? On what planet was this popular? I assume it was expensive. That almost looks like a Minnie Pearl price tag on it. Is that a ribbon? Overall the hat mystifies me. I’d place her at around 40 in this photo. What do you think? By the way, she was born in 1862, so that would make the year of this photo around 1902.

Photo #1

Here is another photo of Aunt Carrie.

Photo #2

These are obviously the same woman, although the 2nd photo seems to be a much younger photo. This brings up the mystery of her age that arose in the post What Can the Photographer Tell Me When He’s No longer Here. The evidence on the 2nd photo about the photographer made it seem as if this photo was also around 1900. So now I am more confused than before. But it makes me wonder if that successor craziness went on more than once. I still think she looks under 35 in the 2nd photo, maybe even much younger than that.  Look at the differences in wrinkles with the first photo.

Now, if anybody has an idea on the date of that peculiar hat, it would help assign dates to these photos!

I’m very satisfied with the identity of the woman in photos one and two because I have another photo or two of her with her husband. There is no doubt.

Here is the bigger mystery. Grandpa also told me that this next photo was Aunt Carrie. I don’t see how that is possible. What do you think?

Photo #3

Is this Aunt Carrie? Or is it one of her sisters? There were Alice, Anna, Mary, and Carrie. This is not my great-great-grandmother Alice. But could it be Mary or Anna?

Here is Mary:

Photo #4

Mary Paak Remine

Mary Paak Remine

Here is Anna:

Photo #5

Annie Paak

Annie Paak

And here is Alice:

Photo #6

Alice Paak DeKorn

Can you hear me screaming? She almost looks like a sister. She looks enough like them that Grandpa called her Carrie. But who is she?

 

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Last week I was given the most wonderful identification of the church that I thought was in Seattle circa 1918. It turned out to be First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1917!!!

The young lady in plaid is a Culver, I’m sure. I don’t know who the other lady is. All dressed up for travel. What does the caption say? STARTING FOR SEATTLE AUG. 20, 1918. Hah, you can’t ask for anything better than that in genealogy and family history research. The actual answer–to the day–complete with new outfits and a Gladstone bag in the hand of the older woman. Look it up. It was named after Prime Minister Gladstone, and it’s a very specific and stylish type of luggage. I know this because . . . ta dum . . . I used to own a luggage store. Look at how crisp their clothing was. These poor orphanage girls, daughters of a woman who had to figure out how to make a living for her family of divorce, looks like they are doing pretty well. No idea why . . . .

Here are other photos. Tell me: what does it look like. Are these other people traveling with the Culver women? If so, why are they going to Seattle? Are they all planning to settle there? They seem to be “of a group” because the man is carrying a bag. But what if he’s holding the lady’s Gladstone for her? Maybe they aren’t all going.  I’m confusing myself. What I do believe is that that is Jennie to our right (and their left) of her plaid-skirted daughter. And I think the boldly decorated young lady on plaid’s right (to us she is farthest left) is the other Culver girl. 

 

Remember that this date is before the end of WWI, which ended in November.

While I have solved the mystery of when the Culver women left for Seattle, I still do not know WHY or WITH WHOM.

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Last year I posted a photo that I believed was taken in Seattle. It was in the Culver-DeKorn photo album that was so kindly sent to me by a “caretaker” of the photos for decades. I wondered what the uniform was that the man was wearing and what the building was that is shown behind him. My assumptions have been shaken to the core. The old post is in quote marks, and below that is what I discovered!

First let me tell you a little more about Jennie DeKorn Culver, my 3rd great-aunt. She is a very sympathetic character to me. She went through a divorce when very few people did so, and she lost her daughters to the orphanage for a little while because of that. She was an artist when that was not approved of for a woman, especially from her background.

Jennie’s parents and two siblings were all born in the Netherlands, but Jennie was born in 1857 in Ottawa, Michigan.

When Jennie was 7, her mother died. When she was 16, her father died. The year before her father died, her oldest sibling, Richard DeKorn, married Alice Paak  on May 10, 1872. Her sister Mary married John DeSmit on October 4, 1872. So when their father passed away, that left Jennie alone. Jennie didn’t marry John Culver until she was 25. What did she do from age 16 to 25 and where did she live?

Here is the old post:

(The Culver-DeKorn family: my great-great grandfather’s sister, Jenny DeKorn Culver, and her daughters, Lela and Rhea, who moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle 100 years ago.)

In the scrapbook which I received from a blog reader I found this photograph. Any ideas on the type of uniform? Since this would have been around the time of the end of WWI, does the uniform have to do with the war?

I don’t know who the man is. Most of the Culver photos are of women.

But the clues would leave me to believe the photo was taken in Seattle in or around 1918. But did Seattle have old elegant buildings like this at that time?

###

Well, my goodness! I had a surprise yesterday when a blog reader posted a comment that upset my whole way of looking at the photo album in general:

That building is the old First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo. It burned down in 1925. There is a colorized view of the building halfway down this page.

http://www.kpl.gov/local-history/religion/first-congregational.aspx

 

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I can’t find a Carl Sadler in Kalamazoo who would be born around 1915 or 1916. Since these photos were taken in 1917, I am estimating that he was born around that time.

Another thing to consider: how many other photos in the album are from Kalamazoo?!

But stay tuned for the next installment of Aunt Jennie. Because I have some more new info about her!

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