Thursday, April 26, 2018

A 90-year-old postcard, a message to Elsie and a beheading

Today's vintage postcard is a dandy submission from Wendyvee of Wendyvee's Roadside Wonders, which is currently showcasing a two-part post about the bizarre and outrageous Gettysburg Dime Museum.

This postcard is at least 90 years old, because it was postmarked in 1928. It features the Elks Monument at historic Penn Park in York, Pennsylvania.

The park was gifted to the city by John Penn and John R. Coates on June 11, 1816, as a 20-acre public common (plus a potter's field), according an article on As for the mighty elk monument, its fate is similar — or perhaps even worse — than the Harrisburg rose garden that became a parking lot, which was discussed yesterday on Papergreat.

A 2011 article on quotes York County historian Mel Miller with this information about the Elks Monument:
"Shortly after the erection and dedication of the Solders and Sailors Monument June 15, 1898, the Order of Elks erected a rockery at a cost of $2,200. Vandals beheaded the elk in 1987, and, after receiving an estimate of $18,000 to repair it, the City of York decided to remove it."
So the monument survived 89 years, through most of the tumultuous 20th century, only to have its head chopped off in the year of Alysheba and Three Men and a Baby. By the way, that 1898 price tag of $2,200 for the monument would equate to more than $65,000 today, so it was both an impressive and costly.

Turning to the back, this postcard was mailed to Elsie Buhrman in Smithsburg, Maryland. The note states:
We arrived home safely about 5 P.M. Sure enjoyed my "Chicken Dinner." Also rest of us. We will come up again some day. Write and come down I'll take you to any picnic you want.
"Love" Helen
The two phrases in quotation marks are either insignificant or quite curious, depending on one's interpretation.

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