Archive for the ‘Images’ Category

Two weekends ago, I finally made it back to Spokane to visit my family. While there, we met with Rory Vinson and his wife, Victoria. Rory grew up in the house that once belonged to my great grandmother, and had previously sent photos of some of the items he had found in the house while growing up.

103_0352The house on Miles St.

During the visit, Rory brought quite a few items from the house, including a collection of old postcards, a couple of textbooks, an 1856 penny, a pocket Farmer’s Almanac, and a little coal oil lamp once used to light someone’s way to bed at night. Below is a gallery of a few of those items. Click any picture for a larger view.



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My Dearest Daddy,

I didn’t write last night it was 10:30 when Patricia and I got home from Seattle. We drove up instead of taking the bus. Dale was late getting home and we thought we could make better time to drive.

We had baked salmon for dinner last night and it sure was delicious.

Hazel and Berleigh got here yesterday (Mon.) morning about nine o’clock. They didn’t stay long, they had breakfast with us and looked around and took some pictures then they went on. They left about 12:30. They have a new Olds 88 red and ivory, it’s pretty if it was a different color. She said they left home Thurs. from here they were going to Oregon to spend a week then stop in Wyoming for a few days. Berleigh only has three weeks.

Honey how are you? Is everything all right? I didn’t get a letter yet this week, maybe to-morrow. I’ll be leaving Sun. so will soon be home. Yesterday it was really warm, 86. And to-day we have a fire in the fireplace.

Honey I put some thing in a box so my suit case won’t be so heavy. I’m going to take it to the post office as soon as Dale gets home.

I’m putting in a couple of rose petals, they will probably be dried and shriveled up some, but I thought you could get an idea of the size of them. They sure are beautiful.

It’s almost time for Dale to come so I better close and get ready to go to the post office. Be careful honey, take care of yourself and don’t try to do too much.

Lots and lots of love.

Always Your



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I’ve decided to try and get back into the swing of the letter writing, among other things, but first I’d like to share a collection of photos sent in by reader Nicole, who happened to be in the cemetery where the Aray family were buried and was kind enough to share:


She adds:

The text from the historical marker at the cemetery reads:
Washtenaw County PI-53 Historical Marker, Washtenaw County Historic District Commission

“Hardwood Cemetery
This peaceful parcel of land, named for the family who donated it, is the final resting place of a key figure in the founding of Ypsilanti as well as prominent participants in the Underground Railroad.
William Webb Harwood came to the area from Palmyra, New York with his wife, Sally and their children in 1824.  With Augustus Woodward and John Stewart, Harwood platted the village of Ypsilanti.  In 1829, he erected a dam and established a gristmill and, the following year, built Ypsilanti’s first schoolhouse.  Moving to Pittsfield Township in the mid-1830s, Harwood became a supporter of the abolitionist movement and offered sanctuary to escaping slaves.  In this endeavor, he was joined by Asher Aray, a man on mixed race whose family farmed east of the Harwoods on the Chicago Road (now US-12).  In 1853, Aray sheltered a group of 28 slaves whose flight to freedom was documented nationwide.
The Arays and their relatives, the Days, are both buried here in an unusual show of tolerance for the time.  Harwood Cemetery, once the central burial ground for Pittsfield Township, also contains the remains of Robert and William Geddes, two of the area’s original land patentees.”

Thank you, Nicole!

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Summer Photos

This collection of photos is, for the most part, from the summers of 1954 and 55. The pictures from 1954 didn’t get printed until 1955, hence the date stamp on many of them.



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My Dearest Daddy,

How are you tonight? Did it get cooler yet? It’s cool here, we had a fire in the fireplace this morning and have one tonight, and it would be really cold without it. It rained early this morning and was kinda cloudy all day.

Dale went back on afternoons to-day, so this morning we went to town. Had to wear our coats.

I had trout for my breakfast this morning and was it good. They had a fish fry here Sat. night, they had 17 fish. Potatoesalad, baked beans and lettuce salad and cookies. Coffee. It was hot here Sat. 85.

Patricia has some beautiful flowers in her yard. She has some of those beautiful lue hydrangeas, and a ig rose bush full of buds. One is opening, it’s a dark red.

Did Winni come out to-day? Honey are you getting along ll right?

To-day when we went out we went by the radar station, it’s only a little way from Patricia’s. Then they have a guided missile launching station near her too.

Well honey I don’t know any exciting news.

I had a seat partner on the bus for a while she and her boy came from Portland Maine. They were going to Spokane. In talking I told her we had a friend (an artist) who lived in Kenny Bunk Port, and I told her his name and she knew him. Wasn’t that funny, to run into a perfect stranger so far away who knew some one we knew.

I will write again tomorrow, so I’ll close for this time. Be careful honey and take care of yourself. Be sure and take your medicine.

Night Night honey and sweet dreams. Lots and lots of love Daddy. As always

Your Girlie


{Click on the picture for a larger view; it’s worth it. In fact, I may do a painting of it sometime…

This photo shows, from left to right, Lillian, Diane & Cindy on the swing, Elyce below it, and Pat at right. Their picnic table is set up on saw horses, in the public lot next to the house. The chairs are from Pat’s dining room set – she still had them when my family lived there with her. The swing in the background is the one that was missing a pole – you can see the wooden leg, it’s the second from the left.

Lillian, I’m told, always wore her hair that way – it was so long and thick it actually took three buns across the back of her head. I had heard that her her husband, my great-grandfather, was often an angry man; I don’t ever get that sense from reading these letters. Instead, I am quite touched by the tremendous love and care Lillian showed for him in these letters. – J}

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My Dearest Daddy, (to clarify, this is how she addressed her husband in letters – J.)

Well here I am with the kids. They are all fine and look the same. The bus was half hour late. Dale was right at the bus where I got off. Patricia and the children waited in the car.

I had a good trip. I couldn’t seem to stay awake long at a time, and there was so much to see. It rained off and on all day Fri. Did it storm and rain there?

The coat fits Patricia just right. Her house is nice and the dog is big.

I am kinda sleepy to-night and its nice and cool. We have the doors and windows closed. The bus was so cool I used my sweater, and at night I had to cover up with my coat. But when the bus stopped it sure was hot. And the stations were to. Had to wait an hr. in Minneapolis.

Patricia had a good dinner, roast beef and potatoe salad, iced tea and lemon pie.

Be careful honey. Are you taking your medicine and eat enough (of the right things.) Has Winnie been out?

Daddy be sure and water my plants? I meant to before I left and I forgot it.

Well I better close and go to bed. The children told me they get up early. Diane and Cindy set the table and wash and dry the dishes. I’ll write again tomorrow. Take care of yourself and go to bed. Did you have to call the TV man?

Night Night Daddy dear. Be careful and don’t try to do a lot if its still hot. It doesn’t seem possible it could have been so hot when its so nice and cool here.

Write soon Daddy and take care of yourself and I’ll soon be home again.

Lots and lots of love Daddy.

Always your



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More Treasures

Rory, the kind fellow who has been sharing artifacts from what was the Aray/Day family home in Ypsilanti, has sent along some new items:



“Dear Mama, I am having one more grand time. (??) Johnson is home this week so her mother took us to a chicken supper at the church.  She brought a girl from Ohio with her.  I am going over to Lilly’s this morning. Alice.”



This textbook belonged to Arinda, who died at the age of thirteen sometime in the mid-1800s (I’ll check on the details later, I just wanted to post these before my painting class)



I don’t know who the penny belonged to, but how cool!

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