Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in the 'Teens

I went through more old photos today. The scrapbook I've never looked at too much is the one that covers the era before our house was built. Helen, who we knew for nearly a year prior to her passing away, was born in March 1911. Every Christmas after that her mother, Bess,  took her picture in front of the tree. Since Helen's father was a doctor they were relatively well off. For the first 7 years the pictures presumably are from their home in Waucoma, Iowa. In 1918 they were in El Paso, Texas, at Bess' sister's home. At that time Bess' husband, Walter was a captain in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Hood, Tx, prior to going overseas.  So here  is Helen from her first Christmas to her 8th:

 1911, 9 months
1912, almost 2
 1913 almost 3
 1914 almost 4
 1915 almost 5
 1916 almost 6
 1917 almost 7

1918 almost 8, taken in El Paso Texas, with a cousin?

A couple notes:
  • The morris chair to the left in the 1912 picture is currently in our library. 
  • The wicker rocker (1912, 1913) never seems to have been moved to Foxcroft, nor was the "death's head" tabouret table in the 1911 picture. 
  • "Bill" was the dog's name.
  • I think the number and type of presents indicates the relative wealth of the family. 
Looking at the pictures in full scan is wonderful for details, the wallpaper (1911-13) is phenomenal. I don't know if they moved the tree location or painted?

Also the rug in the 1917 picture is the same from the 1930 Christmas picture, the first one I can find  at Foxcroft, even though they moved in fall of 1928:

I wrote more about this picture here:

Christmas Then and Now December 13, 2005


StuccoHouse said...

Those rugs in the photos are very neat. Navajo? You can tell an old house fanatic because we are not only checking out the people in the photos, but all of the room's woodwork, decorations, lighting...

Mike said...

Hey Stucco,

I love poring over the old photos. Going back now, I notice so many things that I either missed, or didn't understand when I first looked at them 7 years ago.

I don't know enough about Southwest Indians to say about the rug, but I am fairly confident that it came from Walter and Bess' honeymoon in 1905. I know they went to the Southwest. Helen had stories about her parents visiting the Pueblos and other sights. Bess collected pieces while they were there. Besides the rug, at the Foxcroft sale was some old wooden bowl that went for $300 along with a book entitled "Moki Snake Dance." The person who bought it turned around and sold it on ebay a week later for $3.000. There were also old photos of two huge pottery bowls that were to have come from their honeymoon too, but they long disappeared before we came along.

StuccoHouse said...

What I would give to have more photos of my house. My neighbors have given me a few. I do have a few photo projects for my own family's photos and it is fascinating to go through them, so I can understand how fun it must be to sort through yours. Bess certainly was a fascinating person.

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Varsha said...

It feels so good to look at our old pics which reminds us of our old memorable days and here after seeing your collection of christmas pictures I am too looking forward to see my childhood Christmas pics..