My grandmother recently shared with me a small group of pictures that came from her own grandmother. My Great-great grandmother lived from 1886 until 1977 so these are pretty old pictures and quite a treasure.
As I looked through them I flipped each one over to see if any names or identity clues had been left. Several of them were setup to be mailed as a post card. One had actually been used to write a letter, although no address is included so it was clearly mailed in an envelope. I found this little glimpse of turn-of-the-century communication to be so charming I just had to share it with you.
The note is written to Elbert and Euphemia Hixson from her sister Lizzie. I have inserted punctuation (neither period nor comma was used throughout her writing) as well as paragraph breaks in hopes it’s a little easier to read.
Dear Phemie & Elbert,
We have been looking for a letter from you ever so long, are still expecting you all up here this fall. I am thinking of visiting Tennessee next summer if I don’t change my mind.
I believe we’ve had the driest time I ever saw. My well gets low when I wash but soon fills up again. Sure have fine water and I have my winter stove wood already up too. That is a great relief.
There you have it. Less than 250 words written to a sister she had not heard from. In that she manages to share travel plans, weather report and winter preparations. She doesn’t explain the picture on the post card – maybe this was her usual writing stock and her sister would not have wondered about the image. With both greeting and salutation on the card, I wouldn’t expect there was anything else in the envelope.
Don’t you just wish you could ask her a whole bunch of questions after reading this? I sure do.