Wednesday, June 25, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 148

 Lake Chelan, Washington, ca 1906

Here is another postcard that was printed about the time of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition held in Seattle.  The copyright year is given as 1906 but the card does have the official logo of the Fair.  The message on the reverse is dated by a cancelation mark 30 June 1909.  The picture is of Lake Chelan in eastern Washington.   Like last week’s card this card was also produced by the Hopf Bros. Co., Importers, Seattle and printed in Germany. 


Stamp and date

Lake Chelan is a 55-mile long, narrow lake fed by streams from the Cascade Range of mountains and the Stehekin River.  The maximum depth is approximately 1,480 feet or 453 meters.  The original Salish name was “Tsi-Laan” meaning deep water.  It is the largest natural lake in the state and a popular summer vacation destination.  The north end of the lake is protected by Lake Chelan National Recreation Area while at the south end is Lake Chelan State Park.  Access to parts of the lake is limited to boat, plane or hiking.  In 2011 Emily von Jentzen was the first person to swim the length of the lake.  It took her 36 hours.  The swim was to raise money for a young girl, Katelyn Roke, with cancer and was chronicled in Jentzen’s blog “A Lakke for Katelyn.”

For a little more about the lake see:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 147

Old Renton Trolley Line along the shore of Lake Washington, ca 1909

The postcard featured has the official logo of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition that was held in Seattle and it shows part of the trolley line that ran from Renton south of Seattle to the city along the shore of Lake Washington.  It was a scenic ride that was often used by tourists.  The card is somewhat damaged as evidenced by the tear at the lower center.  An identifying number of 529 can be found on the back with the publisher listed as Hopf Bros. Co., Importers, Seattle, Washington and printed in Germany.  It has a divided back and a short information statement about the picture.

In the late 1800s Seattle promoted the development of streetcar lines and by 1891 the Seattle Renton & Southern Railway had built this first true interurban.  It ran from the largely agricultural Rainier Valley to Seattle.  In 1912 the company declared bankruptcy, was reorganized and the name was changed to the Seattle & Rainier Valley Railway (S&RV). 

Initially the company refused to let the city pave the space between the tracks and created what locals labeled a “thoroughfare of death” as people tried to cross the central rails.  The City Council refused to renew the franchise in 1934 and two years later ordered the S&RV to rip up the lines.  The rails were eventually removed and paved over when Rainier Avenue South was resurfaced and widened for automobiles.  Unfortunately the line also had safety and financial problems due mostly to poor management that contributed to the revoking of the franchise. 

A couple of trivia notes about the rail/streetcar line includes the statement that one the worst accidents occurred in 1909 or about the time this postcard was issued.   Not too much later when zoned fares were suggested there was a passenger riot.  In 1911 voters reluctantly approved a bond to purchase the line and put it under City management.  The owners then raised the asking price so the City refused to pay.  The bond funds were used in 1914 to create a city-owned streetcar line to Ballard instead.  There were numerous independent streetcar lines by that time and Seattle took over operations from all the remaining companies.  The last run of the Renton line was on the morning of January 1, 1937.  Doesn’t look like “light rail” has changed much in 100 years, does it?

For additional information see:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 146

Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, ca 1909


In June of 1909 I.C. Lee traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the funeral services of his brother, A.C.  This postcard was in the Lee collection of cards and I suspect I.C. purchased it on that trip.  It is unused with the divided back that introduced in 1908, and the domestic postage required is given as one cent.   The card is identified as a C.T. Photograph published by Souvenir Novelty Co., of Salt Lake City, Utah and made in the United States.  The company made several different items that were sold as souvenir/collectibles including postcards, booklets and plates with photo designs on them.  At the upper left on the reverse of the card is a beehive, the symbol of the state of Utah, with the words “Busy all the time, Souvenir Novelty” and “Quality Series.”

The picture on the card shows a mixture of automobiles, two wheel scooters or bicycles, and horse drawn buggies on the wide street.  Today there still are horse drawn carriages in Salt Lake City but they are for tourist or novelty transportation in the city.  In the beginning the streets were planned on a directional grid system with the width enough to let ox teams pulling wagons turn easily.  In recent years the extra wide streets have been narrowed some as inner city shopping malls and wide sidewalks have been built to allow more foot traffic.  However, the streets are still broader than many found in other cities. 

Temple Square is in the center of the city with all the streets numbered and labeled East, West, South and North from the Square.  The famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearses and records from the Tabernacle located in Temple Square.  The choir rehearsals are open to the public and a demonstration of the acoustics is provided to show that a pin dropped in the front can heard without difficulty in the very back rows and in the balcony.  Amazing for a building constructed between 1864 and 1867.

Tabernacle organ

Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 shortly after arrival of the first Mormon pioneers by Brigham Young, Isaac Morely, George Washington Bradley and several other church members.  The arid valley was irrigated and cultivated extensively.  Originally the city was named Great Salt Lake City after the nearby Great Salt Lake but by 1868 the word great had been dropped and it became simply Salt Lake City.

For more information see:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gone Fishing . . .

Although I am not really going fishing I am going away for a while on a vacation so the blog will go into rest mode for a few weeks.  I do have several postcards in the “hopper” however and if there is a Wi-Fi connection where we are staying the Thursday postcards can still be shared.  See you again in July.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 145

Here is a little snapshot of history on postcards.  President Theodore Roosevelt is quite recognizable, unfortunately, his companion is obscured.

President Theodore Roosevelt arrives in Krisitania

In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his work mediating the Russo-Japanese dispute.  This was known as the Treaty of Portsmouth.  The award came with a medal and prize money.  At the time President Roosevelt was not able to travel in person to pick up the award but he did send a letter of thanks and appreciation which was read by the United States ambassador.  It was not until 5 May 1910 that Roosevelt came to Norway to give a lecture and accept the award.  He gave heartfelt thanks saying that he would always treasure the medal and pass it down to his children and grandchildren.  As President he did not think it right to accept the prize money for himself indicating that he would prefer to establish a charity organization to promote peace in industry.  When this failed to come about and he was no longer in office, Roosevelt asked Congress in 1918 to return the money to him so that he could donate it to already established charities such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA and others.  In 1918 the prize money was worth approximately $45,000, today it would be about ten times that amount.  A very generous gift indeed.

On 19 May 1910 Hans Østerholt, a Norwegian journalist and editor of Hvespen, sent at least two postcards commemorating the event to his brother, I.C. Lee, who was living in Seattle, Washington.  He penned a short note on the back of one of the cards which says something like “Together with Rollef I sit down on the sidelines and write this note.  It is terrifying drudgery but must be done.  Now the driver is in the way.  Isn’t it funny how three brothers communicate?  Here are hats off and a salute amid the bustle.  With brotherly greetings, H.Østerholt.” 

Perhaps there are no people alive today who were living at the time this event took place but these pictures provide a glimpse into history as it was happening.

For more information about the life of Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt please see:

The postcards were published by Eneberettiget in 1910 and have a divided back.  One card is used the other must have been included with a letter in an envelope as it does not have a message written nor a stamp/cancellation mark.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Double Bluff, Whidbey Island

 Looking down the beach

Double Bluff beach entrance

We wanted to get in one more hike before our big vacation trip but I did not want it to end in a broken leg episode as it did before the cancelled trip last year; therefore, the terrain was to be level this time.  No falls allowed, especially falls that might end in broken bones.  We chose to do a beach hike at Double Bluff on Whidbey Island.  It was sunny, warm (almost too warm) with beautiful views of the Sound.   

Driftwood lean-to on the beach

There were several lean-to type shelters that had been built of driftwood on the beach some of them were fairly large like the one shown above.  A few of the structures had decorative things attached like shells, flip-flops and fishing gear anything that might have washed up on the beach.

 Eagle on tree top

Great Blue Heron

The picture above shows two herons, one with outstretched wings.  We were quite a distance away so they look small but in reality they are huge birds with an incredible wingspand of about 6 feet.

Highlights of the day included the spotting of two little rabbits running alongside the road, eagles soaring in the bright sky above the bluffs, and three Great Blue Herons wading in the water.  The herons would fish for a while then fly to a different spot.  They went back and forth along the shoreline putting on a show for us as we sat on driftwood eating our picnic lunch.   Probably the oddest thing we encountered were the hundreds of caterpillars crawling all over the logs and sand.  The only vegetation was on the bluff, there were no leaves or much other greenery on the beach itself except seaweed and the vast stretch of sand led nowhere except to the water so these fuzzy creepers were like lemmings on a way to a certain demise.  

 Looking for things in the tide pools and lagoons

The tide was still going out and people were looking in the pools for sea life.  We saw some folks with nets but did not discover what they hoped to catch.  This beach has an off leash area for dogs and we did see several dogs.  Off leash dogs are suppose to obey voice commands but not all of them complied.  One small dog had gone a distance out in the water, was ignoring the owner's repeated calls for it to return and the owner had to enlist the aid of some girls to chase it back to the shore.  

 Looking up at one of the bluffs from the beach

 Closer view of bluff

I think this may be Yarrow



Pink "Beach" Daisy

There were a few flowers blooming on the bluffs but not as many or as varied as we had hoped.  A stop at the Greenbank Farm for some specialty cheese and a ferry ride back to mainland completed the day.