Thursday, December 25, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 174

A very Merry Christmas to all . . .

Today’s card shows the American version of Santa’s house and workshop at North Pole, Alaska.  North Pole is a small city located southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska; however, a large area within the same postal zip code is referred to as the North Pole even though it is south of the actual geographic North Pole by about 1700 miles. 

The Santa Claus House, a gift shop, shown on the postcard is the biggest tourist attraction in the area.  Originally this was a trading post established in the early days of settlement here.  The world’s largest fiberglass statue of Santa Claus can be found outside the Santa Claus House.  More and more Santa Claus themed attractions have been added throughout the years.  Before Christmas the North Pole post office receives hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus and even more from people who want the town’s postmark on their outgoing Christmas cards.  There is a community program organized to respond to the letters addressed to Santa.  Streets lights are decorated to look like candy canes; streets have names such as, Kringle Drive, Santa Claus Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, and Snowman Lane.  Many local businesses have also adopted Christmas themed colors and decorations as have the local police with patrol cars in green and white, ambulances and fire trucks are all red.  One of the more prominent citizens, Con Miller, became known as Santa Claus because he frequently wore a Santa Claus suit during his early trading days in Alaska.  He served on the city council and was also mayor. 

On the reverse of the card is this message from the North Pole.

For more, see:,_Alaska

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 173

Christmas postcard, 1919

Last week’s postcard Thursday featured a card from 1913 with a Father Christmas set inside a decorative frame.  This week I have chosen two Christmas postcards with greetings from a few years later.  For a short history overview of Christmas cards please see last week’s card and/or check out this site:

The card above was sent to the Lees in 1919 and is a fairly typical example of a Christmas postcard of the era.  The designs like this one that have a window box showing a winter scene, a tree or other decoration at the front, outside the frame, and a message of the season at the bottom can be found on many cards from about 1915 and into the 1920s.  Another popular custom of the 1910s to 1920s was handmade cards that also had ribbon or foil decorations.  Those cards were generally delivered by hand rather than mailed due to their delicate construction. 

Snow scenes seem logical on Christmas cards in the northern hemisphere since it is winter here in December and Santa Claus is said to live at the North Pole where it is always snowy but the first winter scenes on cards appeared in England as a remembrance of a particularly hard winter in 1836. 

Norwegian Christmas postcard, 1939

This second card, sent to Petra Lee in 1939 by her friends, Inger, Kaisa and Jenny who lived in Bergen, Norway shows a girl in folk costume carrying a lantern in one hand and what looks like a pail in the other as she walks toward the brightly lit houses.  The artist, Nilly Heegaard, has signed the picture at the lower left.  I tried to see if there was any biographical information about Heegaard but was unable to find anything.  Perhaps some of the Norwegian cousins are familiar with her work and will let us know more about her. 


Norwegian 20 øre lion stamp

Instead of the usual post horn stamp this card has the royal lion on a red background.  The cost was 20 øre.  In addition to a thank you and greetings for Christmas the message also carries congratulations to my mother, Marjorie, who had gotten married in April 1939.

It is a little hard to believe that postcards took a one-cent stamp in the United States and were an inexpensive way to send a greeting while today stamps are nearing 50 cents and boxed cards can cost several dollars.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rattlesnake Lake

 Rattlesnake Lake

We did try another hike recently this time to Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend on the way to Snoqualmie Pass with hopes of hiking up to Rattlesnake Ledge but there was snow and ice on the ground, not much but enough to make a steep trail somewhat hazardous.  This close to the holidays we were cautious about incurring an accident and chose to just walk part way around the lake and not go all the way up to the ledge.  Instead of a 4 or 5 mile round trip hike this ended up more like a mile or a mile and a half level walk.  It was cold but beautiful.  We will probably come back when the snow and ice are gone and try it again.

The trail winds upward through the trees and has some large boulders along the way.

 Rattlesnake Lake is filled by a leak from the City of Seattle Cedar River reservoir so the level of the lake goes up and down.  The City cut the trees to make the lake and the result is this interesting stump forest in the water.

 View of the lake from near the picnic area.

 We saw a fisherman in a boat out in the middle of the lake.

Before the lake was formed this used to be a large meadow where the Native Americans gathered Camas bulbs, salmon berries and black berries, and other edibles.  They would burn the growth down to prevent the forest from building up in the meadowland and come back annually to gather the new bulbs and berries.  There is a plaque explaining about the meadow at the edge of the lake.

The beach was rocky and covered in brittle ice.  Every time we took a step we broke through.

The landscape looked so cold and wintry but it was very pretty.

On this particular day there was not enough snow to ski but too much for hiking  . . .

Thursday, December 11, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 172

Christmas postcards, 1913

I thought this Christmas postcard from 1913 was interesting because the Father Christmas figure really does look more like an eastern Saint Nicholas than a western Santa Claus.  The hat is different than the red cap with white pom-pom or tassel and the fur trim is brown rather than white.  The bag of toys includes a blond doll, a train, what looks like a ball, and a flag with light blue and light green bands.  Father Christmas is holding another doll or possibly a nutcracker with a Chinese motif.  

The first commercial Christmas cards appeared in England in 1843 the idea of Sir Henry Cole and his friend, John Horsley, an artist as a way to encourage more people to use the new postal service.  The card was a tri-fold and cost 1 shilling.  The two side panels showed people caring for the poor and folded over the center section with a picture of a family having a Christmas dinner forming the envelope and card all in one.  As new railways were built the “Penny Post” (public postal delivery service) that was established in 1840 could offer to deliver an unsealed envelope for one halfpenny or half the cost of a regular letter.  Approximately 1000 cards were printed and sold making any that have survived time very rare today. 

By the 1860s and 1870s printing methods had improved and Christmas cards gained popularity.  It also helped that the price of sending a postcard dropped to half a penny and meant even more people could afford to send them.  The custom of sending cards at Christmas began in the United States in the 1840s but was expensive.  It wasn’t until 1875 that a German born printer, Louis Prang, started mass-producing cards.  While early cards featured Nativity scenes, robins, and snow scenes, the new cards also featured flowers, plants and children.  By the early 1900s the custom had spread all over Europe too.  John C. Hall and two of his brothers created Hallmark Cards in 1915 and that company is still one of the largest greeting card companies today. 

Please see the following for more information:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 171

Klöntalersee, Glarus, Switzerland

My wonderful French friend who now lives in Italy sent this beautiful card of Klöntalersee, Switzerland where he had gone with a group to bicycle in the mountains.  Located in the Canton of Glarus, Klöntalersee is a natural lake that has been used as a reservoir for hydroelectric power since 1908.  A dam constructed for the power plant has substantially increased the volume of water in the lake.

As the picture on the card shows this is a deep valley between mountains.  Tödi is the highest peak in the Glarus Alps at 11,857 feet (3,614 meters).  Other peaks include Hausstock at 10,361 feet (3,158 meters) and Glärnisch at 9,550 feet (2,910 meters.  The Linth River runs through the valley.  The left tributary of the Linth, the Löntsch, drains the Klöntalersee.  

Legends say that the people of the Linth Valley were converted to Christianity in the 6th Century by efforts of an Irish monk, Saint Fridolin, who was the founder of Säckingen Abbey (ca 538) and his image can be found on the coat of arms for the Canton.  His image was also used to rally the people during battles particularly in the 1300s. 

German settlers came as early as the 8th century and a variety of the Alemannic German language is spoken here today.  Beginning in the 9th century the Abbey owned the area around Glarus with the town called Clarona.  The Habsburgs claimed all the abbey’s assets by 1288. 

Slate works were established in Glarus in the 17th century.  Later cotton and wool spinning became important industries.  Cotton printing and hydroelectric plants were added and still later metal and machinery factories and paper mills became part of the economy.   These industries did not replace the more traditional dairy farms or cattle breeding.  These are still important today and cattle can be seen grazing on the mountainside.  Another important industry in the canton is Forestry.  The view in the photo on the postcard shows mostly the trees, lake and mountains so it was somewhat a surprise to learn of all the industry in the area. 

For more information, please see:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 170

Německý Brod, Czech Republic, 1912

My daughter-in-law's parents who are serving a records preservation mission are currently living in the Czech Republic where they are filming and digitizing vital and census records.  Even though they are very busy working they did spy this postcard at a tourist information center and kindly sent it off to me.  What a delightful surprise to find it in the mailbox.  Thank you kind friends!

The picture is dated 1912 with buildings much older than that.   Following World War II the name of this town was changed in 1945 to Havlíčkův Brod.  The word “brod” means ford so it is not surprising that the town is located on the Sázava River in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands.   There have been people living in settlements here as long ago as the 12th century. 

When silver was discovered German miners were invited to move to the area.  Silver mining was most important during the 13th into the 14th century, declining toward the end.   Because the German-speaking people brought in to work the mines were living in Brod they became subjects of the Bohemian crown.  This town was involved in periodic wars including the Hussite or Bohemian Wars (1419 – 1434) and the later Bohemian War (1468-1478).   It was sacked in 1422 and resettled in 1429.  In the 16th and 17th centuries it experienced what is described as a cultural flowering.  By 1918 it was part of the Austrian monarchy.  Textiles and the railroad became important during the industrialization of the 19th century.   The main center of Brod was declared a national treasure in 1980. 

The Hussite Wars or the Hussite Revolution was also referred to as the Bohemian Wars and were fought between the Hussites who were followers of the Bohemian priest and reformer Jan Hus and monarchs who supported the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Hussites were a major military power that included most of the Czech population of the Kingdom of Bohemia.  These conflicts were notable for use of early hand-held firearms.  The fighting ended in 1434 with the Hussites agreeing to submit to the authority of the King and the Church if they were allowed to continue to practice their variant religion. 

For more information about the city, see:

For details about the Hussites and the tactics and weapons used during these wars, please see:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rattlesnake Mountain -- Stan's Overlook

Monday was going to be the best day of the week for a hike so plans were made to go to Stan’s Overlook on Rattlesnake Mountain near North Bend on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass.  It was cold with some breeze making it feel every bit of the 35 degrees F.  We were bundled up and after walking for a little while got comfortably warm.  This is a very popular destination so even though it was a weekday we did encounter several people on the trail and a few had dogs. This hike is classified as “moderate” not so much due to the length, the sign is misleading as it is actually more than 2 miles to the overlook and approximately 5 miles round trip, but because it gains 1100 feet of elevation.  The most I have attempted in the two years of resumed hiking activity. 

The trail is very nice, wide in most places, even surfaced without too many rocks or roots, and is a steady climb with switchbacks but not horribly steep.  We encountered a lot of frost heave, which I had never seen before.  Water under the trail had frozen and formed crystals that pushed the ground up.  In some places a hiker’s foot had broken through the thin layer of frozen ground and the crystals were exposed.  If it had been warmer the ice would have melted and made mud but as it was the trail remained dry with strange and rather pretty ice patches.

This trail is part of the “Greenway” and was in a logging area.  The land was purchased and set aside to become a natural forest again.  

There are plenty of big stumps left from the logging days to remind us how huge the trees were and how different the forest is today from what it was yesterday.

Many of the trees along the trail were alder and had already lost all their leaves as seen in the picture below. 

There are a few evergreen trees, mostly cedar, mixed in with the alders and I think the bark on some of the trunks is very pretty.

Most of the plants had shriveled in the cold and were already in their winter mode but we did see some interesting lichen, berries, and Oregon grape leaves turning purple.

When we reached the overlook we found a table and a couple of benches plus a lovely view of the surroundings.  It was a good place to have our lunch before returning to the trailhead.

There was also a small marker that unfortunately did not have the elevation noted but it was fun to find anyway.

The return trip was no less cold but it was all downhill with a more or less gentle grade lined with trees, ferns and this arch of mossy vine maple trunks that had been bent over, probably in a storm or heavy snow. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 169

From Uncle Blue's New Boat, published 1942

When Dick Thompson went to Norway in the 1950s he brought back little souvenirs for his grandchildren.  One of the things he brought back was this postcard with a picture from the book Uncle Blue’s New Boat by Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow.  She is sometimes called the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia.  N. W. Damm & Sons of Oslo published the postcard in Norway.  It has the number 1086 and the notation “Fra “Onkel Blås nye båt.”  Dick had written on the card “Children having a good time in Norway.”  Now we know it was having a good time in Sweden but a Grandpa can be forgiven such a mistake.

Elsa was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1874 the daughter of businessman Bernt Maartman, whose family came from Bergen, Norway, and Augusta Fahlstedt.  She was the second of six children with one older brother and four younger sisters.  As a child she loved fairy tales and began making up her own stories to tell her siblings.  She also spent hours drawing trees and flowers acquiring knowledge about plants at the same time.  After her father died when she was 15 years old, the family moved in with her mother’s unmarried sisters and brother.   The aunts and uncle began a school with progressive views and focused learning through games and enjoyment.  It sounds a little like some forms of homeschooling used today. 

Bestow’s books reflect her life with extended family in her series of Aunt and Uncle books.  Her first book published in 1897, Tale of the Little, Little Old Woman, was inspired by nursery rhymes taught to her by her grandmother.  Before books she had drawings and writings published in the children’s magazine Jultomten (Father Christmas) in 1894.  She married Nathaniel Beskow in 1897.  They had six sons.  She began writing and illustrating books to help support the growing family and would comment “Every year another book, every other year a boy.”  In 1901 she published Peter in Blueberry Land and thereafter her books became hugely popular and were translated into several different languages including English. 

She wrote children’s picture books for over 50 years.  She died of cancer in 1953 at the age of 79. 

As I looked at selections of her illustrations I found them charming and delightful.  For more information about her life, books and illustrations, see these sites –

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rain, rain, go away . . .

A few weeks ago we had lots and lots of rain, 5 inches in a 24-hour period according to the rain gauge on the front porch.  The gutters had not been cleaned since last fall and they overflowed.  We immediately called for a gutter service to come out and clean them and will probably have this same service clean the gutters twice a year from now on.  Whenever the gutters overflow water comes into the basement.  Not a giant flood but enough to get the floor wet.  We have since discovered that excessive rainwater runs not down the hillside but toward the house because there is an old decommissioned oil heat tank buried in the front yard.  The water hits the tank and runs toward the house instead of flowing away from it.  Removing the old tank is out of the question as it would involve moving parts of a rockery and digging a huge hole on a steep hillside.  

There had been carpeting on the floor that got wet during the leak so we had to remove it before the situation could be assessed.  That room is going to be the library and it needs to be dry, warm and cozy.  The paneling had to come off so we could find the leak. We still could not find where it originated.  The bottom plate of the wall had to be removed before we found source of the problem.

The big worry was that there would be a giant crack in the wall but often water comes in where the wall and floor meet and that is not so big a problem.  What we did find was a surprise.  No cracks in the wall, that was good.  But a crack and holes at the bottom near the floor where roots from shrubs outside had worked their way through the concrete and behind the paneling.  What the photo does not show is two thick roots right at the bottom that had to be cut out with a razor blade.  These small delicate looking roots were growing up the wall behind the paneling and insulation.

There is a product that will seal and waterproof this type of crack in basements so we ordered some.  In the meantime the crack had to be cleaned out, roots removed, and the surface made ready.  Time to rent a Jack Hammer device.

It weighs 25 lbs and is, to quote, “about all a small, old man can handle.”  The use of said hammer required some protection too.

I did notice that the facemask is not covering the nose and the protective eye goggles are above the eyes.  It was hot work I was told and the goggles fogged up and the mask hampered breathing.  So much for trying to be safe . . .

 We plan to replace the old paneling with something brighter, paint the other walls, and install some carpeting as soon as the interior repairs have been completed.  Then the bookcases and books move in with a couple of chairs or a loveseat and a lamp or two.  It should be a warm, cozy library when it is all finished.  The Bride of Satan will have a little refuge when the kitchen remodeling begins in a few months.  Otherwise, she needs to put on her traveling furs and move to the north house for a while.  Not going to happen, if one listens to her.

A French Drain will also be necessary outside to prevent the water from flowing toward the house.  But that will have to wait until the weather is better.

This experience is reliving a part of Bob's life from youth and a part he would rather not remember.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 168

Horseshoe Bend, Missouri

The photograph on the postcard shows the Lake of the Ozarks a large reservoir created by the Bagnell Dam that provides hydroelectric power and is the second largest man-made lake in Missouri.   The Osage River and smaller tributaries join together and feed into the lake.  The lake extends more than 90 miles and has the nickname of The Magic Dragon due to its serpentine shape.  A power plant was envisioned here as early as 1912; however, it was not until 1929 that construction actually began with the dam completed in 1931.  Several names for the lake were proposed including naming it after a former senator but none of the names took and it continues to be referred to by the location in the Ozarks but the electric generating station is called the Osage Hydroelectric Plant.

The card is unused and has a short informational blurb on the reverse that reads: “Seven mile paved drive bordering the shores of the lake in Scenic Horseshoe Bend Drive built and maintained by Union Electric Land and Development Co. for the pleasure of lake visitors.”  It has become a popular tourist destination with over 5 million people visiting the lake each year.  Recreational facilities include three golf courses and the Lake of the Ozarks State Park on the Grand Glaize Arm of the lake as well as Ha Ha Tonka State Park located on the Niangua Arm of the lake.  Party Cove, found in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, is a rowdy gathering spot that attracts up to 3,000 boats during the Fourth of July weekend.  Today there are several communities along the lake and many lakefront homes.

Corwin News Agency of Jefferson City, Missouri distributed the Linen postcard that was produced using genuine Curteich-Chicago “C.T. American Art” dating it to the late 1930s or early 1940s.  This is another of the cards that I found at the Antique Mall in Marietta, Ohio.

For more information, see:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 167

Chimney Rock, Idaho

Tall enough to be seen from Priest Lake, Idaho, Chimney Rock is a 400-foot high granite slab landmark in the panhandle or northern part of Idaho.  It is located in the Selkirk Mountain range that spans the northern portion of Idaho and parts of eastern Washington and southeastern British Columbia, Canada.   The highest point in the Selkirk range is Mount Sir Sandford at 11,545 ft. (3,519 meters). Chimney Rock is classified as a technical climb requiring ropes and special climbing gear as well as experience in mountain and rock climbing.  

The used postcard above does not have a postmark or any other date on it but it appears to be from the late 1950s or 1960s.  The Ross Hall Studio of Sandpoint, Idaho published the card using “genuine natural color” made by Dexter Press, Inc. of West Nyack, New York.  The unsigned message on the reverse reads in part:

“[We] climbed this bugger while I was home.  N-- has climbed it several times before.  The route marked (see the inked lines on the card face) is the one we used.  It is the least precipitous of all the sides.  The trip down is just two long repels.  I was scared spitless when I started but after you get going it isn’t that bad.”

In 1857 gold was discovered in the Selkirks and there is also coal, copper, mercury, marble, silver and zinc.  These mountains were considered formidable obstacles to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway until a pass was discovered in 1881-1882.  The pass is named after A.B. Rogers who discovered it.  The heart of the Selkirks was among the first national parks created in Canada.  The only caribou (reindeer in Scandinavia) in the United States outside of Alaska can be found in this range.  Also found are deer, elk, black bears, cougars, bobcats, red fox, bald eagles, osprey, great blue heron, porcupine, badgers, coyote, martens, bighorn sheep, gray wolves and moose.  Rarely seen but known to roam through the area are grizzly bears.  The Selkirks were named after Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk.  

For an artist's rendition of the beauty of this area there is an 1886 painting by John A. Fraser entitled At Rogers Pass.  Fraser was a Canadian artist born in London, England in 1838 and died in the United States in 1898.  His paintings were praised for realism, the use of color and light. 

For additional information, please see:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 166

Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia

This week’s postcard is used and postmarked 1938.  It is a Linen card, popular during the 1930s and 1940s, produced using the C.T. American Art coloring method. B.S. Reynolds of Washington, D.C published the card.  The picture is of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia and is one of the churches where George Washington attended.  It is located 9 miles from his home at Mount Vernon.  Other notable people who also attended services here were the Lees and Lafayette. 

Originally built in 1773 it is one of the oldest churches in the United States.  Constructed of red brick, although it looks more rectangular it is actually a square.  The church and accompanying land measures one acre and includes a cemetery.  There have been additions to the campus but the core building is much the same as it was in the beginning and is still used as a church today.  None of the original architectural drawings exist; however, modern computer generated drawings have been produced from the building. 

The basic design for the doors and windows came from plans made by Batty Langley dating from 1739.  Batty Langley (1696 - 1751) was an English garden designer and an author of several books such as, Ancient Architecture Restored, Gothic Architecture, improved by Rules and Proportions, and The City and Country Builder’s and Workman’s Treasury of Designs.  He was known to have been a self-promoter.  His books were disdained by some in England;however, his “do it yourself” type books were very popular in the American colonies.  The books had engraved designs for structures and these designs were implemented in many colonial buildings.  Several of the old colonial churches in the United States have a similar design—five windows on one side, three windows on the other, and something Langley called “Rusticated Doors.”  Christ Church has just the one door while some of the others also have doors on the sides and more than one altar.  A church built at the same time in Falls Church, Virginia is almost identical to the one shown on the card.  The bell tower and steeple for the Alexandria church were added later.

For additional information and to view a video about the church architecture, please see:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Herbert Solwold

Herbert Solwold, 1987

On 17 July 1987 I had the great good fortune to meet with Agnes Allpress* at her home in Silverdale, Washington. Agnes had as her special guest, Herbert Solwold who had just celebrated his 95th birthday.  He certainly did not look his age when I saw him.   This photo was was taken earlier that year at his home in Swisshome, Oregon.  He was a perfect delight to visit.  At that time he lived with his stepson and step-daughter-in-law and had driven up to Washington to meet with a group of family members.  Sixty-five people gathered at a reunion in his honor, some coming from as far away as Illinois.

Jorgen (George) Ostinius Olsen Solwold, ca 1870

Uncle Herbert's father was Jorgen Ostinius Olsen Solwold who was born 30 October 1851 on the Kragføt farm in Ulefoss, Holla, Telemark, Norway.  George as he was called in the United States worked as a ship painter in Bergen, emigrating at age 18 or 19 from that city.  Herbert said that his father suffered from lead poisoning as a result of his ship painting.  He also recalled that when his father first came to Hood's Canal Captain Hood's head was on a post at Hood's Point--Captain Hood having angered the Indians had "made his last point."

George married Mary (her maiden name appears in places as either Thornsen or Sorensen), who was born in Norway 8 May 1860 and came to the United States at age 3.  Her family originally settled in Minnesota.  George and Mary were married 23 December 1879 in Winona County, Minnesota and left there traveling across the country to become homesteaders at Duckabush located on Hood's Canal in Jefferson County, Washington.  They settled there around 1884 to 1886 which was before Washington territory became a state (November 11, 1889).  George had two brothers, Gunnar and Olaf Solwold who may have also lived in the area.  

George and Mary lived in a log cabin which they built from timber on their land.  Their land was on the south of the mouth of the Duckabush River along the beach.  They were hardworking pioneers who loved the land on which they lived.  They had two sons, Herbert and Walter.  Walter passed away in 1969.  George was appointed Duckabush Postmaster in 1891. They would row seven miles to Seabeck for mail and supplies.  The post office at Duckabush was discontinued in 1926.  They also had a small general store for many years.  George died 5 May 1931, and Mary passed away 14 October 1953.  

While Herbert was growing up at Duckabush Sadie Stean was doing the same in Norway.  Sadie's story has already been told in the blog.  She was the granddaughter of Mikal Alfsen Roland Hornnes and Anna Gundersdatter.  Her mother was Raghnild Mikalsdatter and her father was Ola Johnson Stean.  Sadie was another of Lil Anna's nieces and cousin of Gunnie Swanson.  After Sadie came to the United States and moved to Seattle around 1909, she made friends with Ester and Line.  Ester married Jack Jarness, Line married Carl Carlson.  These three girls went camping on the land owned by Herbert's parents at Duckabush.  It was during one of the camping trips that Herbert and Sadie met and began to see each other.  They dated for a couple of years before World War I called Herbert to France.  They wrote during the war and when he returned home they were married at Gunnie (Gunie) and L.R. Swanson's home in Silverdale, Washington on 8 October 1919.  

Ester, Sadie, and Line on a camping trip, ca 1914

Herbert Solwold in his World War I uniform, taken in France 1917

The photo above of Herbert in his uniform was sent as a postcard to Axel and (Lil) Anna Hornnes Schroder as a Christmas greeting in 1917.  Herbert had stayed with them in 1916 before going into the army.   Altogether he was in the service for 17 months, going first to Camp Lewis, then Georgia, then to Camp New Jersey before being sent overseas.

When he returned Herbert worked for a time (1919/1920) at the fish hatchery in Brinnon, Washington near Duckabush.  He was called back to work as manager in 1921/22.  In 1922 he built a log house in Brinnon which he and Sadie kept until about 1933 when it was sold for $3,000.  The picture below is of Richard Solwold, the only son of Herbert and Sadie.  It was taken in the snowy woods on the north side of the Solwold house.

Richard Solwold

Herbert was married three times.  After Sadie passed away in 1941 he married Marian Taylor also called "Georgie" in 1943.  Georgie died in 1972 and that same year Herbert married Connie Danielson.   Connie lived until 1983.  Herb said that he had no plans to remarry again and was quite happy to live with Connie's son, Floyd, and wife, Helen Danielson, in Swisshome, Oregon.  "They are taking good care of me," he said when I talked with him in 1987. 

Herb passed away on 9 December 1989.  In a short history of his life written by Mrs. Bailey of Dosewallips, Washington he was described as the oldest living native son of the Brinnon area, Jefferson County, Washington.  Herb was still surf fishing in the Pacific Ocean in his 97th year but he got a blood clot in his leg and was hospitalized for a short time before he died.  When he was 95 he walked all around the Brinnon area telling stories of his parents pioneering days and "walked the legs off" people half his age.  He had 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  When I visited with him he did indeed fit the description "sharp as a tack" and full of fun.  I feel very privileged to have met and visited with him.



To help family members place the individuals I will try and connect them beginning with
* Agnes Allpress was the daughter of Gunnie Osmun Swanson and granddaughter of Osmund Baardsen Gåseflå who was the husband of (Store) Anna Mikalsdatter Hornnes.  Because she was so tiny when she was born Gunnie was nicknamed "Bitta" by her siblings. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 165

Hallstatt, shown on the postcard above, is a small picturesque town approximately a two-hour or less drive from Salzburg, Austria.  We were absolutely stunned by the beauty of this place with the lake, mountains, and traditional Austrian alpine buildings.  A scenic delight for the traveler.  This region was historically very wealthy because of the discovery of salt.  Salt was used as a preservative as well as a seasoning and a valuable commodity.  We did not do it but it is possible to tour the mine located above the main area of the city.   A pipeline to transport the salt brine to Ebensee was built 400 years ago from 13,000 hollowed out trees.  Salt production still plays an important part in the economy of the village, as does tourism. 

 Until 1890 it was only possible to reach Hallstatt by boat or narrow mountain trails.  There are two parking lots accessed by tunnel under the mountain behind the town.  The village itself has only narrow lanes for pedestrians and a few delivery vehicles and local residents. 

 There are still boat tours across the lake

We saw several swans in the lake and even boats like the one above that look like swans big enough for small groups of people but these are more for recreation than necessity. 

Notice the steep stairway on the left side of the photo above

The houses and buildings look like they are stacked one upon another and cling precariously to the mountainside using what seems like every available inch of land.  Many dwellings can only be reached by very steep stairways.  We climbed up and down the stairs to get better views of the lake, the village and the churches.   At one time there was a fire here that destroyed several buildings and in remembrance of the event, the lives and property lost the building where the fire started is always painted red.  Many of the other buildings are painted pastel colors or are natural wood.  Almost all had flower or window boxes.  One house had old hand tools hung on the outside walls.  And for those who have heard the song “Edelweiss” from the movie “The Sound of Music” and never seen the blossom we spotted a basket of them with an identifying sign in front of a small shop. 

Because of the topography there is limited burial space requiring bones to be exhumed every ten years or so and placed in an ossuary to make room for new burials.  Although we did not visit it, the ossuary is open for tours and has a collection of decorated skulls with names, professions, death dates on display.  

We planned to return to the hotel in Salzburg that evening so we chose to visit the museum and get an overview of the culture, growth, and history rather than do separate tours of the ossuary and the salt mine. Iron Age Hallstatt is a World Heritage Site for Cultural Heritage.

In the museum we saw displays depicting how the people lived and worked here from about 7,000 years ago until the present time.  There have been several mine disasters some that necessitated the closure of selected tunnels.  At one time a large mudslide came down the mountain and into the mine tunnels filling everything. Fortunately not many workers were in the mine at the time of the slide.   Artifacts have been recovered including shoes, tools, and even bodies that were preserved by the salt and mud.  The systematic method used in Hallstatt to recover items of archeological significance is now also employed elsewhere.


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