Friday, October 2, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday in the Great Northwest!

Posted with kind permission of
It's hard to believe this beautiful Art Nouveau style postcard is nearly 100 years old! It's rhythmic leaf pattern and subtle colors are a prime example of the artistic style of "new art" that broke away from the stuffy and cluttered Victorian works. The Art Nouveau movement swept world-wide and was popular for about 15 years in the late 1800's and very early 1900's.

The verse reads: On this Halloween may your most wished for wish come true. Kind of an odd greeting for Halloween, I think. That would be the last day of the year we should make wishes. We might hiccup in the middle of asking and wind up with a zombie on our doorstep.


The card is postmarked October, 28 1911 and was mailed from Hazel, Washington to Warden Washington. Hazel lies on the banks of the Stillaguamish (Stilly) River, about 75 miles NE of Seattle (which is NOT the capital of Washington, by the way) and is 295 feet above sea level. The Stilly river flows down from the Cascade mountains into Puget Sound.

The Stilly River in July


(all right, all right! January)

The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes. The two most recent were Lassen Peak in 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have also occurred since, most recently in 2006.


I'm just sayin'.

Mt. Rainier, Washington State

The postcard was mailed to Miss Lydia Daell in Warden Washington which is in the center of the state. Warden was settled in the late 1800s by immigrants of Russian-German ancestry who homesteaded in the area and farmed dryland wheat. The Milwaukee Railroad arrived in the early 1900s and attracted additional settlers, including Doc Harris who established a drug and sundries store with physician services in Warden about 1905. The town was named after his son Ward. The Town of Warden was officially incorporated June 28, 1910. By 1917 the population of Warden reached 300. Electricity arrived in 1939, but the town's population declined through World War II.

The card, written in pre Starbucks days, reads:

Hazel Wash. October 22, 1911

Dear Lydia,

I had a postal from Miss Jessie McDonald, and she said your school had not started. What is the trouble? I suppose you will soon have a teacher.

Your friend, Louise Vinsonhale

Does Louise sound just a little terse? Is she suffering at the thought of her friend being free from the restraints of school and homework so late in the fall? I'd be falling over dead from the thought I if had to go to school and my friends were on an extended vacation! Perhaps Louise's most wished for wish is that a teacher will show up at Lydia's school -and F-A-S-T!


What was going on in late 1911?


Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, setting a new world record that stood for 10 years.

Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera was published.


Suffragettes stormed Parliament in London. All were arrested and all chose prison terms. You go girls!


The Titanic 's hull was completed.


Ragtime was the popular music of the day, and Alexander's Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin was just one of a very long list of popular songs for 1911. Mahalia Jackson was born this year.


David Guterson wrote a wonderful and finely told novel that takes place in Washington. Snow Falling on Cedars is loosely based on real events that took place in Washington during the 1940's and 50's. The story was heavily influenced by Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and is a must read. The movie by the same name is well done and keeps true to the story. Read, watch - or better yet, do both books and both movies! I'll be watching To Kill A Mockingbird this weekend thanks to Netflix and their timely delivery. Aaahh an evening with our favorite Mr. Peck. Peck n' popcorn. Who could ask for more?


Enjoy more PFF posts hosted by our friend Marie of Voila! Vintage Postcards!


Lanny said...

I live in a beautiful state don't I! Right in a ring of fire. I like that. You used a couple of nice shots. The whole June joke, not all that funny in June when my plants are whining at me and we haven't seen the sun for weeks. But it doesn't get as bad as all that, we just think it does. Thanks for pointing out that Seattle isn't the center of the universe or the capitol of the state although the rest of us know that they, King County residences, actually run things, too bad they don't eat enough fat and protein to nourish their brains. Just sayin.

Sheila said...

I find myself surprised that anyone would send a Halloween greeting card, at least as long ago as 100 years. Less unexpected recently with all the commercialisation of these events. Beautiful card though.

I loved Snow Falling on Cedars, but it's years since I read it. I either forgot, or never realised, it was set in Washington.

Aimee said...

That really is a weird thing for a Halloween card to say...sounds more like a birthday wish! Great card though, I like the Art Nouveau style.

MrCachet said...

Great cards, and thanks for the history lesson as well! And here I thought that Seattle was the Navel of the Universe...

lailani said...

How interesting!?! I saw the movie years ago - I should check out the book!

viridian said...

Great post as usual! I love Peck's performance in to kill a mockingbird - the whole film really.
Ring of fire - absolutely. the young-uns don't remember the big Mt. St. Helens eruption of 1980. Not that long ago!

Christine Heycke said...

Wow, thanks for all the history...and that is an absolutely beautiful card. It is funny that people sent out Halloween cards. They don't really do that anymore...or Easter for that matter.

Snap said...

Wonderful post. I love the old greeting postcards and this one was very unusual. I've never seen a Halloween Card like it. Enjoyed the trip around Washington and a little 1911 history. Thanks.

steviewren said...

So much information is packed into this PFF. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird...both the movie and the book...I wasn't as crazy about Snow Falling on Cedars.

maryt/theteach said...

Thanks for such an interesting PFF post! Snow Falling on Cedars is a wonderful book about the internment of the Japanese during World War II. I loved it! :)