Monday, March 12, 2012

Roseburg, Oregon - The Althaus Family

Herman and Eva Althaus moved their family across country from Illinois to settle in Roseburg, Oregon in about 1909. Herman had a plumbing shop.
Here's a photo labeled Louise Althaus, Roseburg Oregon. Every time I look at this picture and the cinched in waist, I feel like I need to take a deep breath.

The next card was sent to Mrs. Herman Althaus (Eva) in 1912. It's one of the most heavily textured cards I've ever encountered, although it's hard to tell on a digital scan.

The last card was also sent to Mrs. Eva Althaus from her niece in Illinois.

Here's the back of the last card, with a message expressing sadness that the family had moved to Oregon. Bertha talks about Herman and Minnie, Eva's son and daughter-in-law:

Belleville, Ills. December 29/09
Dear Aunt I received the pretty card, thank you very much for it. I am looking for a letter right along. I got one of Herman and Minnie's pictures for which I was very very glad, but also felt so sad when I seen them to think that we might never get to see each other any more. I thought sure  I would get a family picture from you before this time. Write soon from Bertha

Here's the back of the second card. These messages make you realize how much more difficult it was to make a cross-country trip in the early 20th century. This one reads:

Dear Sister
I wish you many happy returns of the day and am only sorry that we cannot be together + celebrate
Your Sister Louise S. _____

Last of all, the back of the first card.


  1. I especially enjoyed Bertha's note. I wonder why she won't being seeing them again? The lock box is a curious thing. Was it her box for receiving mail or for saving the postcard? Very rich postcards, and the first one quite a different style. All very nice.

  2. The framing of the image on the first car looks like it is breathing out in the middle to compensate for the cinched waist... You would think the textured cards would be damaged in the mail between IL and OR, but this one looks perfect- since there is no stamp or postmark I would assume it was likely in an envelope or package, although that makes it a bit odd to still put an address on the card. And I would guess that at the beginning of the 20th century it would be fairly typical for people to think they would never see friends/family again if they moved 2000 miles away, as the majority of folks probably never strayed more than 100 miles from their home for their entire lives, and long distance travel was expensive and arduous.

  3. The cinched in waist hurts and so does the cinched in design of the card. Although it does go nicely with the contours of her hat and the round window.
    When we moved from Chicago to San Diego in 1950 there were some relatives we never saw again. Even at that time it was difficult to make a trip half way across the country.

  4. C--you know she couldn't have lunch with us if she was wearing that belt!

  5. Pamela, you're absolutely right. She could come along though and then we could sit on either side of her and help her out.

  6. Karen,

    The lock box is just a fancy name for a P.O. box.

  7. That is sad if the sisters couldn't see each other again and were close. I imagine that their letters to one another were personal and detailed accounts of their lives apart. Trying to compensate somewhat the lack of physical proximity.

  8. As always, fine cards. And don't you just want to write the rest of the history of the people concerned after reading those three or four lines. Perhaps people will do the same thing with blog comments in years to come: the post is the picture side of the card, the comments are the message side.



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