Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Water-stained work of art III:
Mt. Washington Club, Maryland

The first two installments in the infrequent Water-stained Works of Art series featured the Hudson & Manhattan Subway Terminal and Princes Point on Orr's Island.1

This undated and damaged postcard is labeled "MT. WASHINGTON CLUB MD." On the reverse side, in the spot typically used for the publisher on vintage cards, is "H.R. Gwynn, 617 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md." The card was postmarked in 1909.

It appears that this crowd is watching a sporting event, and therefore my best guess it's a photograph of a lacrosse contest at the Mount Washington Athletic Club. The club traces its origins to 1876, according to its website and was officially founded and played its first game around 1904.2 The club has focused exclusively on lacrosse since 1906, and is one of the most successful organizations in the sport's history.

The fact that the photo shows a couple of young fans wearing Native American headdresses seems to add support to the idea that they're watching a lacrosse match. According to Wikipedia: "Lacrosse has its origins in a tribal game played by eastern Woodlands Native Americans and by some Plains Indians tribes in what is now Canada. The game was extensively modified by European immigrants to North America to create its current collegiate and professional form."

This card was mailed to Miss Georgia B. Klinefelter3 in York and was postmarked on December 4, 1909.

The message states:
Dear Cousin,
Mama received your letter this am [a.m.] and I will look your you Monday. Do you recognize our summer residence?
Tom Bee.

"Tom Bee" might well be Baltimore Sun cartoonist Thomas Pollard Barclay. Here's an excerpt from a piece titled "A century of Sun cartooning":
"The Sun's first political cartoonist was McKee Barclay, a Louisville, Ky., native whose editorial cartoons and caricatures began appearing in the paper in 1908. His work appeared on the front of the newspaper's second section, which would be the equivalent of today's Maryland section.

"His younger brother, Thomas Pollard Barclay, whose signed his cartoons 'Tom Bee,' began working for the newspaper the same day. The brothers' work alternated in the same space while McKee contributed a series of illustrated articles titled 'Thumbnail Sketches' to The Evening Sun, which had been founded in 1910.

"Tom Barclay died during World War I, and McKee left The Sun in 1920 to work in advertising. He died in 1947."
And here's a short biography of "Tom Bee," also from The Baltimore Sun.

1. Reprints of the Princes Point on Orr's Island postcard are available on Redbubble, if you're interested.
2. In addition to the club website, I used this Wikipedia page as a source.
3. This is at least the seventh Georgia Klinefelter card featured on Papergreat. I most recently documented her postcards in November 2014.

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