Friday, July 10, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - A Trip To Trilby

The postcard chosen for today's Postcard Friendship Friday was written 100 years ago this week! It was made in Germany and is a photograph of Ft. Marion in St. Augustine Florida.
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The caption reads:

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St. Augustine, Florida. Courtyard and stairway, Fort Marion. A relic of the Spanish occupancy of Florida, old fort San Marco, now Fort Marion, finished in 1756. It is in the form of a trapezium and covers about four acres. Like most of the Spanish buildings it is constructed of coquina, a curious shelly conglomerate of coral origin which is easily quarried but becomes extremely hard on long exposure to the air.
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The fort was called Fort Marion until 1942 and is now called by the Spanish name, Castillo de San Marcos
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The card is postmarked Trilby, Florida, July 8, 1909.
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It reads:

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Dear Prof. I certainly was very sorry indeed to learn that we or perhaps "they" won't be bothered (?) with you at CC. I sure would love to be "bothered" with you if that is what you name it. Would lie to step in on you sometime and look at the "skies"
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Kindest and sweetest regards to "Big Four"

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As always, R.C.K.
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It appears there was a bit of an undercurrent of drama going on amongst the friends or students of Professor Davis. We can only imagine what that might have been. The common surname and initials made it impossible to find out anything about the sender or recipient.
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Rail Station at Trilby
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The sender was either living in or visiting Trilby, Florida in west central Florida. Trilby was named in 1896 after the heroine in George du Maurier's novel of the same name. It was incorporated as a town in the late 19th century and due to the loss of its railroad industry, has declined into a residential community for Dade City, and also for the Tampa Bay region. Legend has it that the wife of railroad magnate, Henry Plant, suggested the name because the previous name, Macon, was confused with Macon, Georgia. Mail addressed to Macon Florida often was routed to Georgia instead.

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Du Maurier's novel is the story of Trilby O'Ferrall, a Scotch-Irish *grisette adored by three British art students living and working in Paris. Nobly rethinking her engagement to one of them, she flees and falls into the hands of Svengali, the evil musician. Trilby turns into a great singer under Svengali's hypnotic influence, only to lose her voice when his death releases his grip on her. The combination of the sprightly Left Bank setting, then a surefire attraction, and a plot turning on the manipulation of a beautiful young woman by the usurpation of her will took the public by storm.
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* A grisette is defined as a young French working class woman or a young part time prostitute with another occupation
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Trilby residents
Arthur Fleece Crenshaw (1890-1922) and his wife Lessie.
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Arthur Crenshaw was an elected constable in the Dade City area and worked as a lamplighter, lighting lamps for switches at Trilby, for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Crenshaw and a U. S. prohibition agent were murdered in 1922. Photo courtesy of Mike Schreck.
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This TB sanitarium was built in Trilby in 1912. At the same time, the Trilby Ice and Power Company was incorporated and provided electrical power to Trilby.
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Did you know that many power companies - including Progress Energy of Florida began as ice houses that supplied an area with ice for refrigeration? The ice houses were generally the only buildings in town that had and used electricity. Nearby homes and businesses negotiated wiring a light bulb or two in their buildings and from these lowly beginnings, giant power companies were born.

12 comments:

Blogaire said...

So much interesting information packed in there - loved my visit. Happy PFF.

Debby said...

Great post and wonderful cards. Thanks for sharing.
debby

Sheila said...

Poor Lessie doesn't look very happy! You always find cards with the most interesting messages too.

LarryG said...

enchanting!

Margo said...

all your postcards could inspire whole books. Thanks for the glimpse.

Terry said...

Howdy Muse Swings :)
Happy Postcard Friendship Friday to you .
Oh my goodness you never fail to fascinate me with your postcards.
I had no idea about the early ice houses having electricity that was really intresting as was all the other information you gahterd today.
Thank you so very much for sharing with us today .
Have a fantastic weekend.
Happy Trails

Postcardy said...

Such neat handwriting on that postcard. Too bad all the messages on postcards aren't so easy to read.

Jeanne said...

I remember seeing the movie, "Svengali" as a child. And, on Saturday mornings, seeing Mighty Mouse and Oil Can Harry re-enact it.

You know, you just don't see cartoons with light opera these days....

Anna Lefler said...

Okay, that (the picture at the top) is exactly what my neighbor has been building in his backyard for the last eight months.

Now I understand all the friggin' cement trucks.

Happy weeekend...

:-D A.

Carole said...

Cool postcard, and great pictures and information. I love reading stuff like this.

Robin said...

I am real late getting out and about to everyone's blog this week. I've been out of town and have had little time to play. But I'm glad I stopped by today. I love these postcards and I love all your background information too.
And no, I didn't know that about the ice houses.

I hope you and yours had a beautiful weekend.

steviewren said...

Interesting tidbit about the relationship between ice houses and electric companies.

Happy belated PFF.