Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 90-92
First up, another card from Indiana without a message. This one differs from last week in three key respects (apart from image): recipient, place sent from, and information about sender. It went to Katheryn (aka “Kittie”) at her place of work, came from Franklin, and we actually have something about the sender. Not much, a matter of initials or a nickname left open to interpretation for those of us, unlike Kittie, not in the know. Car or CAR or CaR? It may not be much, but it’s something.
The image portrays a school in Franklin, the same place as the postmark. The school reminds me of the old high school in northern Ohio where I grew up. I didn’t attend school there–the building in my home town had been turned over to other civic purposes by then (I think it’s now been converted to condos), but it stood right at the heart of town–small wonder buildings such as this were popular for civic-oriented postcards.
The second card for today portrays one of two hotels. In this case, the image certainly incorporates marketing elements. No way to miss the location or name! The front of the card notes the annex opened in 1900 and the back of the card is reminiscent of those from before 1907 (undivided and only for address), so this was likely designed and printed somewhere in that window. Fred sent this card to Katheryn, and not by chance. As the brief note indicates, he stayed there and “found everything splendid.”
The message also contains references to his business. We know that later in the year he’s selling stationery but we don’t know what he’s selling while on his journey west. He’s selling something, given the reference to taking orders. Large or small? Not clear, but he appears to be joking about there being room enough on trains to ship whatever it is.
Lastly, a photo of another hotel — the Antlers — although this postcard isn’t marketing the hotel. The only reason we know it’s there is that Fred referenced it on the reverse. The Antlers still exists as a hotel (part of a chain) per a quick internet search, but it’s evidently been renovated quite a bit over the years. The result is that I’m not sure if the hotel is the closer building to the left or in the distance. Perhaps someone familiar with Colorado Springs would know, but I’ve spent relatively little time there.
The card itself is one of a series which Estes Park photographer F.C. Clatworthy took of Colorado Springs; Fred picked up and sent others by him during his trip as we’ve seen in earlier posts. The view evidently impressed him, and he sent this as an attempt to share it with Katheryn.
Elsewise this has a few other items of interest about it.
Based on references in other cards, Fred was using these as a means to keep Katheryn abreast of his travels — not unsurprising in an era with travel delays and prohibitively expensive phone calls (and no cell phones!). He mentions at the start having just enough “time for another card to you” and ends noting that there’s been a wreck and the train will be late. Such are the vicissitudes of early 20th century train travel.
Note the date of the card, by the way: dated and postmarked 14 February 1908. We know he sent Katheryn the album for Valentine’s Day. It’s dated inside the front cover and the gift card is dated that same day. This card affirms that he sent it to her for receipt on or before the 14th. After all, what else could he mean by the query as to whether or not she’d “received something by U.S. Express”? He already asked whether or not she liked it (remember, a few days later he sent her a postcard with a very simple follow-up “Well?”)
And that’s all for today. Tune in next post for an instance where Fred sent Katheryn the same card twice (roughly one month apart).
“The Kenyon, the Antlers, and the Second Ward School,” copyright 2021, A.R. Henle.