Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.
Here is a colorfully quirky postcard from 1947 of what appears to be a set of "His and Hers" outhouses. The front reads
You go here and I'll go there
We'll both be out of view
And while I sit in silent bliss
I'll think sweet thoughts of you!
The postcard is dated 8-18-1947. The markings on the back suggest that it was affixed in an album or scrapbook at some point. I can't make out who the sender was (can you?) but it is postmarked from Marion, Ohio. It is addressed to a Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Green at 310 1/2 N. Wood St. in Fostoria, Ohio, a city about 50 miles north of Marion.
The message says:
Dear Ones - Just wondering if you were lost or dead. Do you know this is Fair Week. Do you manage to keep cool. Did you get my card. Rec'd yours. All are O.K. here. Just wondering if you are come over.
I can't quite make out who signed it. It looks like there are initials, possibly an "H" and or an "M". I thought maybe it actually said "Mom" too. The postmark was stamped directly on that part of the card making it even more challenging.
The front of the care suggests the writer has a sense of humor. It also seems like she is prone to sarcasm ("Just wondering if you were lost or dead").
It is the height of summer (August 18, 1947) in Marion, Ohio. The "Fair" mentioned has to be the 97th Marion County Fair as indicated in this front page mention of it in The Marion Star for that same date.
The weather was hot and humid, with a high of 87 predicted for the day. It makes sense that the writer is wondering if Mr. and Mrs Wm. Green were able to "keep cool".
There are several possible William Greens in the area. There were no obvious ones (on the first couple of pages of an ancestry.com search) listed on a Wood St. Since the 1950 census is not yet available it is quite possible that the Greens did not live on Wood St. in 1940 (the most recent available census).
The next step would be to try a combination of Google Maps and The Official 1940 Census Website. When I tried it the interface was clunky and census images were not loading properly. BUT, in theory you should be able to search the census for any county specifically by street and cross street names.
Who was living at 310 1/2 N. Wood street in 1940? If it is a Williams this case is 99% solved. If not, it is back to the drawing board.
Solving these genealogical puzzles is great fun! The practical reality is, however, that there just isn't the time or energy to find all the answers.
So, I will leave you with a few questions to consider should this mystery be of interest to you.
The Genealogist wants to know:
- Who lived at N 310 1/2 N. Wood Street in 1940 and 1950?
- What do the census records tell us?
- How about city directories?
The Psychologist wants to know:
- The writer seems upset. Is she? (possibly "he", but that certainly looks like a woman's handwriting to me if I had to guess)
- If yes, is she using humor and sarcasm to mask her upset?
- Does she miss Mr. and Mrs. Williams?
- What is the relationship like between the the writer and the recipients.
- Is there any hidden, perhaps unintended message conveyed by the quirky subject and poem on the front of the card?
I would love to hear if you had thoughts on any of these questions or questions of your own. Please let me know what you think in the comments below or in an email.
Do you have an old photograph or a genealogical story that you would like to share? I am happy to consider guest submissions for possible Pic of the Week or other blog posts in the future. Send an email to email@example.com for more information.
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