Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vintage autumn postcard: Portuguese Point in Missouri

Autumn-themed postcards are just plain cool. Here's another one I dug out...

This postcard was never mailed. The caption on the back states: "Portuguese Point, near Waynesville, Missouri, an awe-inspiring view of the Gasconade River."

According to The State Historical Society of Missouri website: "Portuguese Point is a cape on the Gasconade River northeast of Waynesville, Missouri. It is northwest of Hooker and Devil's Elbow. Hooker is two and a half miles away and Devils Elbow is three and a half miles away as the crow flies. It is very near Low Gap and is across the river from it. Named for Portuguese settlers in the area."

Hooker, by the way, is a ghost town. According to Wikipedia, it was "in Pulaski County, Missouri, United States, along the former U.S. Route 66 (now Missouri Supplemental Route Z). Built on a new alignment of US 66 (which bypassed the town of Devils Elbow), nothing remains of the town."

Pulaski County sounds like it's a fabulous place to just drive around, get lost and find cool remnants of the past. Not exactly a day trip for this Pennsylvanian, though.

Getting back to the postcard, it features "Kodachrome photography by Gerald Massie." It is a Tetricolor card published by J.E. Tetirick of Kansas City, Missouri.

Massie wasn't just any old photographer taking pictures of women in red jackets atop Portuguese Point. Here's an excerpt from the an article by Carolyn Collings and Lynn Morrow in the Fall 1992 issue of the White River Valley Historical Quarterly:
"Gerald R. Massie (1911-1989) was Missouri’s first official state photographer, holding that position from 1945 to 1974. His interest in photography developed early in life as a youth in his native Clinton, Missouri, when, at the age often, he won a July Fourth bicycle race around the courthouse and as a prize, his first camera, a $1.98 Brownie."
Massie served as an aerial photographer during World War II, documenting bombing missions. Returning home after the war, he became his state's first official photogapher, producing about 1,500 images per year for various promotional publications. His favorite and most famous photo was “The Missouri Dragon,” a black-and-white image of Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks from 10,000 feet up. You can see that photograph and others by Massie on his Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame webpage.

In 1991, Massie’s widow donated 3,500 photographs and negatives to the Missouri State Archives.

I had less luck finding anything about J.E. Tetirick and his Tetricolor postcards. If anyone knows anything about that company and when it operated, please pass the information along in the comments section.

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