Thursday, October 26, 2017

Vallamount Drive in Williamsport and a book agent's black shoes

Today's very old postcard was postmarked on September 2, 1908, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. During that same month, the first Model T left Henry Ford's factory in Detroit, author Richard Wright was born, and The Fred Merkle Incident had baseball fans in a tizzy.

The mansion pictured on the front of this postcard is located on Vallamount Drive in Williamsport. The Lycoming County city, thanks to the lumber industry, is said to have had, at one time, more millionaires than any other city in the United States. There is a historic area termed Millionaires' Row, featuring sprawling homes in all sorts of architectural styles. [See this walking-tour brochure.] I'm not sure if the house pictured is technically on Millionaires' Row, but it would certainly fit in with those types of homes. Sounds like I should take a field trip and see what this house looks like today, though I'll bet it's surrounded by now-huge trees and is harder to see from the road.

This postcard was mailed to Mrs. Julia Drick in Montoursville, which was a neighboring town but didn't yet have WiFi, thus making postcards the best way to communicate.

The note on the card is written in cursive and in pencil. It states:
My Dear Julia: I have taken up a new line of work which is know [sic] as Soliciting book buyers, or it is nearly the same as a book agent. would like to have you send my black shoes and glasses up on Sat with Mr. Harris Springman if you can. I will get them at his stand.
Mac: 512 Edwin St.
It looks like Julia's maiden name was Smithgall, she lived from 1884 to 1951, and she's buried in Montoursville.

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