Saturday, November 14, 2015

From the readers: Vanished parks, Hookland & Garage Sale Finds

Continued thanks to everyone who reads Papergreat, as it barrels toward the five-year anniversary of its first post! Lots of great stuff from you to get to today...

Zita Spangler: From St. John's Reformed to Rolling Green Park: Deborah Hoover writes: "I remember being taken to the park every year for the Hoover family reunion, but I was too small and it was too long ago. I don't remember anything about the park itself other than it being there. I do remember that my cousin, who was three years older, got to ride the coaster. Not wanting to be left out I asked to be taken on as well. Only to be told I was too small. Maybe next year they said. Unfortunately there was no next year, the park was torn down that winter. Considering they parked 8,000 cars at Knoebels yesterday (from Dick Knoebel himself) they may have jumped the gun on tearing Rolling Green down."

Are your chickens ready for the autumn and winter? Etegami artist Dosankodebbie writes: "I love this post, and I had to send the link to my many happy chicken-raising friends. (They are happy people and their chickens are happy chickens.) Thanks!"

A label for Frostie Root Beer (a jailhouse-born beverage): Anonymous writes: "I haven't seen Frostie root beer in at least 40 years, thought it wasn't made any more, until today! Thanks to SHEETZ! Awesome root beer!"

And westgordon adds: "Frostie is available from Ingles supermarkets, based in Asheville, N.C., with over 200 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. is company site but it is extremely poor."

Old postcard featuring Markleton Sanatorium in Somerset County, Pa.: In the previous "From the Readers" roundup, an anonymous reader wrote: "The building is not there, I'm trying to find the coordinates so I can visit myself. I know I'm close, but I can't tell where the building was."

One month later, I received this anonymous comment — I'm assuming it's the same person: "The old road is grown in and you will have to walk on a logging road to get to the flat. It is .5 miles south of the bridge. I have hunted through the ruins of the building and only have [found] a few bricks and the foundation of the building. I live in the area and there is nothing to be found. Sorry for the bad news but I was interested when I walked across the building so I asked around and found information on this."

Advertisement for 1924 silent-movie version of Peter Pan: Mom writes: "Thurl Ravenscroft was also the original voice of Tony the Tiger ... and he was Grrrrrrrrreat!!!!"

Two more ghostly vintage titles from Scholastic: Regarding Arrow Book of Ghost Stories, Linda Chenoweth Harlow, who is one of our best fans on Facebook, writes: "I have this!!!! I got it in elementary school. ... I'm 64 now."

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: The memories keep pouring in! Bob Lunsford writes: "I am almost 69 and remember selling them for several years in my early and pre-teen years. I enjoyed selling them and enjoyed the money although I never sold 100 boxes in a year."

And John Everett writes: "I earned the money to buy my first bicycle this way. I think I had saved $19.50, the guy wanted $25 but my dad talked to his dad and I got it for $22.50 and my dad loaned me the $3. Schwinn Stingray, about 1971. It was a good experience, and I probably wouldn't have gotten a bike for Christmas as a neighbor kid had bonked his head on the pavement (no helmets then)."

Scholastic Fest: #11, Nine Witch Tales: Jane writes: "I had this book! I loved picking out books from Scholastic."

Hookland Q&A feedback

Papergreat drew many readers for "Questions, answers & mysteries with Hookland's David Southwell" last month [Part 1, Part 2]. Most of the comments and reactions came via Twitter. Here, for posterity, are a few of them:

Tom from Garage Sale Finds

On November 2, Tom from the awesome Garage Sale Finds website [] was kind enough to take the time to comment on numerous Papergreat posts.

My recommendation for your free time this weekend is to take a deep dive into his website, which he's been operating since 2010. It's full of fascinating and nostalgic posts, and well worth your time if you enjoy history, ephemera, collectibles and the forgotten bits of history that end in cardboard boxes marked "25¢." Some of the great posts I've worked my way through so far include Unsung, Easley Street and Mott Ramsey.

Here's a roundup of the comments Tom left on Papergreat:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Old postcard: U.S. Veterans Hospital 88 in Memphis

This vintage linen E.C. Kropp Company postcard is labeled "U.S War Veterans' Hospital, Memphis, Tenn." on the front and has the following paragraph of information on the back:
"U.S. Veterans Hospital 88, located amid the trees at 1025 Lamar Boulevard, is caring for the World War veterans who paid, with their health and strength, the price of victory. The Hospital is modern in every detail and nothing is left undone that would add tot he comfort and happiness of its inmates."
The key pieces of information here are "Hospital 88" and "1025 Lamar Boulevard," because they helped with what has been a tricky building to research, in a city full of historic hospitals. Ultimately, this postcard must date, I believe, from the period of 1921 to 1940, which is when the facility was known and operated as U.S. Veterans Hospital 88.

The research breakthrough came via a fascinating 2003 Mary Cashiola article in the Memphis Flyer titled "The Mystery of the Old Hospital: Urban spelunkers turn up a mother lode of files at a former medical facility on Lamar."

Here's an excerpt in which Cashiola describes the building's tangled history:
"We have a tough time keeping people out," says Louis W. "Tripp" Thornton III, the current owner of the building. Thornton bought the approximately 9-acre property for $10 — the cost of the filing fee, he thinks — last fall. "Inside, it looks like a war zone," he adds. "It has probably been abandoned since 1997. Basically, it was the neighborhood crack house, for lack of a better word. There were a lot of homeless in there — there still are." ...

In 1890, wealthy Memphian W.B. Mallory built a stately home at the site. Twenty-four years later, the property was purchased for the Methodist Hospital of Memphis, a joint effort by groups in Memphis, north Mississippi, and north Arkansas. After construction was completed in the fall of 1921, the building was run as Methodist for only a scant six months before the national Veterans Administration bought it and dubbed it Veterans Hospital No. 88. The Mallory home, though later torn down, was used as the nurses' residence.

According to a November 1996 issue of the Baptist Hospital publication BaptiScope, V.A. No. 88 closed in 1940 and remained unoccupied for the next 19 years: "Baptist then purchased the facility and, after an extensive renovation, opened what was called the Lamar Unit in 1962 as a chronic-disease hospital." In the late 1960s, the hospital became geared toward rehabilitation.
That was written a dozen years ago. If anyone has more current information about what happened to this building, or any further details or memories of the hospital(s) to add, please share them in the Comments.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Farewell Mitts, Papergreat's #1 feline co-conspirator

Writing farewell posts for our cats is getting a little old. Yesterday (November 11), we said goodbye to Mitts, our approximately 13-year-old polydactyl fluffball. He was an extremely good boy whose hobbies included naps, laying in the sun, laying on the riding mower, naps, getting hugged ecstatically by every visitor to the house, food, napping on my stomach, and naps.

This is the third cat we've lost in 17 months, which is why I say it's getting old. Really old. We previously said farewell to Salem in June 2014 and Floyd on November 11, 2014. (Yes, we've lost cats on two consecutive Veterans Days, which is just odd, but obviously not statistically significant.)

Mitts, a very good boy, was the cat who was featured the most here on Papergreat. He leaves an excellent books and ephemera legacy. Here's a rundown of some of the cool posts he appears in or helped with.

Smallest book on my shelf:
Warren's Pocket History of Winchester

On deck: A Very Scholastic October

The books and papers of
Elbert Nostrand Carvel, Part 1

Pax Lectio: Some reading selections
to get through the latest snowstorm

Cute vintage Christmas postcard,
plus the famed Otto Christmas Cats

Connecting with the world
via postcards in 2013

Best copy of "The Boys' Life Book of Outer Space Stories"

Tonight's question: Why would you want a pristine, mint copy of 1964's The Boys' Life Book of Outer Space Stories on your bookshelf when, instead, you could have the coolest copy possible — an ex-school-library book that has been read again and again, jostled around in countless backpacks, scuffed and smudged by years of readers, and rebound with black tape, upon which the title and shelving information have been written in white down the spine. This is a book that has been enjoyed!

They don't make used books quite like these any more. A book like this, while still 100 percent readable, has a history and charm that cannot be replicated. It belonged to a certain place and generation (maybe a couple generations). How it was handled and marked and maintained are part of what make it a cultural artifact that transcends even its value as a book.

A book with a Monkey Astronaut on the cover, no less!

Here's a visual deep dive into the wonders of Outer Space Stories. The cover, in addition to the black tape along the spine, has been reinforced at the corners. Based on what we can still see, the title is now The Boys' Life Book O Uter Space Stories.1

The inside front cover has — and this is strange for a book with space themes — an endpapers illustration featuring sports figures that brands it as part of the Boys' Life Library. There's also a stamp for the book's former longtime home, Valley View Elementary School in the York Suburban School District.2

At the back of the volume is the slip of paper upon which the due dates were stamped. It shows a good amount of activity for Outer Space Stories between 1969 and 1981, with the last date being Sept. 28, 1981.

Here's the inside back cover, which still has the Valley View circulation-card pocket affixed, complete with circulation card inside.

And here's the front of the circulation card, forever showing that the book's readers included Michael, Nicky and others with various levels of penmanship.

Related posts

1. This was Sarah's first observation upon seeing the book.
2. Valley View was previously mentioned in an August 2012 post. Here's some history of the York County school, from its website:
"Valley View Elementary School was built in 1948 and operated as a Kindergarten through Grade Six school until 1983. At that time it was closed due to a drop in district enrollment. Valley View was reopened from 1989-2010 as an Early Childhood Center (grades K-T-1). The building closed for renovations during the 2010-2011 school year and reopened as a K-1-2 building for the 2011-2012 school year."

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Solving mystery of red label inside Sanders' Union Reader

I discovered a one-inch-wide red bookseller's label affixed to the inside front cover of 1862's Sanders' Union Reader Number Three. As you might imagine with a schoolbook that was used heavily in its time and is now a century and a half old, the label is dirty and difficult to read.

Here's a closer look at it.

At first, I thought the word across the top was SEDGERS or SEDGER'S. And I barely even realized there was a city name listed across the bottom.

But, after a period of fiddling with the brightness and contrast and doing some Google searches, I had my aha! moment and realized the name of the bookseller across the top is S. ROGERS.

And the full text is:

Paper Hangings &c.

Final confirmation came when an online search revealed this Flickr image of an identical (and much cleaner) bookseller label. Mystery solved!

So all the remains is some housekeeping notes:

1. There is very little additional information available about S. Rogers, other than some confirmations that the business indeed existed.

2. &c. is an abbreviation of et cetera that is no longer commonly used.

3. Lockport is a city in western New York, named for its Erie Canal. It had a population of about 10,000 in the 1860s.

4. Millions of copies of the Sanders' Union Readers, by Charles W. Sanders, were sold in the mid 19th century, according to 1961's Old textbooks: spelling, grammar, reading, arithmetic, geography, American history, civil government, physiology, penmanship, art, music, as taught in the common schools from colonial days to 1900, by John A. Nietz, the full text of which is available online. An excerpt:
"Charles W. Sanders (1805-1889). In the 1840's, and even later, the Sanders' School Readers were the most popular readers in the East. ... In addition to the School Readers he published a series of so-called Union Readers in the 1860's. ... In 1861 Sanders began publishing the Union Readers. In the preface of Number One he stated: 'The increasing demand for greater variety of exercises in reader, both in style and matter, has led to the preparation of the Sanders' Union Series.'"

5. Here's an interior illustration from Sanders' Union Reader Number Three

6. If you enjoy vintage bookseller labels, check out these previous posts: