Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Puzzles,  Social,  Travel

Now am to blame for being stuck on the West

Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 123-125

Fred evidently had a very good meal at Hotel Tacoma. How do we know? He wrote Katheryn about it in pretty as much detail as one can squeeze on a postcard.

Mermaid Room, Hotel Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington
Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 8 June 1908

The color came through quite nicely on this in reality. There are places of misalignment, but the contrast between the green, gold/yellow, and brown shoes up a lot better in person than in the photo.

I’m not sure where the “Uncle Dud” came from. Probably an inside joke or family joke between the two. Any other suggestions are welcome.

On the reverse, Fred detailed a feast. How many courses? How many of them with fish or meat? Sheesh!

Series 3 will continue in my next Hon:- Just finished dinner and had to drop you a farwell[?] line to tell you what the bill-of-fare consisted of we first had an apitizer of broiled sardines on toast then Olympia Oyster cock-tail-soup broiled Columbia River Salmon, cold fried spring chicken + crab-flake a la newberg conjugation[?] salad + fruit salad with coffee cheese-crackers + Camembert cheese besides as I should have mentoned ice cream+ cake Dear it is almost 7 and the others have gone down to the dock So you know now just how I fared this Sunday Now am to blame for being stuck on the West. Drop me a few cards yours

Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 8 June 1908

What interests me in particular is actually the “Series 3” part. Although I transcribed it at the top, it’s actually written slightly slantwards between the place/day and Katheryn’s address. I haven’t seen this on the other cards, so when I do the chronological assessment (later this month) hopefully I’ll remember (if not then, then another time) to check and see if other cards sent the same day from Tacoma are in the loop and place them together.

On the Tacoma card above, Fred expressed a general admiration for the West. A few months earlier, he’d focused more particularly on Portland.

"General View Showing Old English Court Effect" The Hazelwood Cream Store 388-90 Washington St., Portland, Oregon
Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 27 February 1908

As you see, I moved the card slightly when photographing it so that the label didn’t obscure Fred’s endorsement of “Portland for mine“. This one has about as many colors as the Hotel Tacoma card, but the effect is much more subdued in photo and in hand. The cards were produced for two different firms — Hotel Tacoma came from W.G. MacFarlane, published for The Central News Co. of Tacoma, while the Portland one came from the Portland Post Card Co.

Fred sent this card in February at the end of his weeks-long trip from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. Although it shows a Portland scene and he endorsed Portland, he actually wrote and mailed it in Seattle–after a long and tedious trip. According to him:

Dear Girlie:- arrived here 11.50P.M. Train was due at 9.50-2 hours late. Trip was slow + very tedious consequently am “all in” + too tired to write letter until tomorrow night Drop me a card or two now + then but address to Genl. Delly. Portland Or. as I left instructions to forward. Will explain more definitely why in letter Was so glad to hear from you With love

Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 27 February 1908

Unfortunately, I don’t have his letter explaining why he’s in Seattle (where we know he basically stays for most of the next months) but still has her direct letters and cards to Portland. Perhaps at the time he thought he’d return to Portland, or wasn’t sure just where in Seattle he’d stay, or was simply too tired to think the matter through. Your guess is as good as mine.

Last, something a bit different. No message on this card, which was sent to “Miss McMahon” (probably Anna) at the 1800 State Street address in Chicago. The postmark is Liverpool, England, 29 May 1908. And I have no clue what the card is about. Any suggestions?

Something Ladies Like! What is it? Rose tittered, Jane giggled, Annie laughed, Mary turned Purple, Lissie blushed, Maud covered her face up, Matilda said, we like ____"
[Unknown] to Miss McMahon, 29 May 1908

“Now am I to blame for being stuck on the West,” copyright 2021, A.R. Henle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *