The Orphaned Images Project: Gertrude Kitchen and Olive May, revisited

Last week I received a comment on this post from Charles, a wedding and portrait photographer near Detroit, Michigan. Visit his website here.

“Wow, Gertrude is my wife’s Great Grandmother (Grandma Gerdy) and Leonard would be her son; Olive would be Leonard’s sister.”

We continued our correspondence and he shared some details on “Grandma Gerty” that I’d like to share as an update to this post:

It’s crazy that those photos made their way to VA. I’m in Michigan, about 25 miles north of Detroit. Gertrude lived here with my wife and mother in law in her later years, in this very house, in fact. I just found out yesterday that she also died here…..in this very house! Right in the next room! How did that fact get by me all these years?

My wife often talks about brushing her Grandma Gerty’s long silver hair for her when she couldn’t do it anymore (she was actually her Great Grandmother). She lived to be 97 years old. Gertrude also lived in Indiana with her sister Mildred, sadly, we don’t know much more than that. The Leonard that was mentioned in the postcard should be her son, but his last name was Duncan, I’m guessing there was a second marriage; I’m on the hunt for more information now.

I have done some research on my own family history but have never gotten very far with my wife’s; last night I typed in “Gertrude Kitchen” and your blog was fourth on the list— the really fun part was my wife’s reaction, I didn’t know who I was looking at—when I read that the postcard was sent to Indiana, I thought it could possibly be someone that my wife might know, but I was very doubtful. I mean, it was just a photo on a blog, out there on the internet. I would be shocked if it was actually someone that my wife knew…..well, I was shocked.

I called her into the office and she walked in behind me and said “that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!!, that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!” She read your post and then she was off to the old ceder chest in the living room (it belonged to Gertrude). She came back with a handful of photos, some of Gertrude, one or two of Olive as a toddler and also at age four, and some others of people that were obviously important to Gertrude, but we have no idea who they are.

I will certainly send you photos as soon as I can get them scanned, along with any info I can relate to them.

______________________________________________________

Originally posted on July 17, 2011
From the writing on the back of the top postcard, I’m surmising the lovely young woman is Gertrude Kitchen (or Kitchens). It is addressed to Miss Ethel Noland, a woman I wrote about in a previous posting on this blog. There was no address or cancelled stamp, so the postcard was never sent.

The second postcard is addressed to Mrs. Frank Wilson, Idaville, Ind., RR No. 19. It was sent June 27, 1913 at 8:00 a.m. from Lima, Ohio. (Postage was just a penny!) The card reads as follows:

Dear ??? and all: How is this for outdoors picture. Why don’t you write. How are you and (Maud?) and Leonard? — Gertrude

The baby is identified as Olive May, 14 mo. old.

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The Orphaned Images Project: Ladies who lunch

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The Orphaned Images Project: Bathing cuties

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The Orphaned Images Project: Gone fishin’

Written around the edges of this photo:

7:30 A.M. In a few minutes he is off with a “fishing only” on a gasoline launch.

Archivist note: Hmmm….

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The Orphaned Images Project: School children

Written on the back of this photo (I’m assuming the names go right to left in placement in the photo):

Loretta
Beverly
Clifford
Leighton
Harold
Junior

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The Orphaned Images Project: Olive and me

Written on the back of this photo:

They were taken one Sunday morning & we put on something to make us look foolish. Please notice our hats. Olive and I and they do look funny, don’t they?

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The Orphaned Images Project: The Altizer Family

The caption on the back of this photo reads, “The Altizer family, including Shep.” I can assume this branch of the Altizer family was from Virginia (since the photos were sold by a seller in Virginia). I did a quick search in Google for the family name and came up with lots of information, including a comprehensive genealogy website prepared by Jay Altizer. Perhaps Jay might know what generation of Altizers’ this family is! Click here to learn more about the Altizer family.

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The Orphaned Images Project: Home

The caption on the back reads, “Mar. 20, 1938 Home (at their home)

The guy second from left looks a little scary, doesn’t he?

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The Orphaned Images Project: Giant teacher, little desk

This photo was one of more than 600 b&w prints I purchased on eBay from a seller in Virginia. Many of the photos have captions (this one does not) and most are dated from the 30s to the 40s.

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The Orphaned Images Project: Fairmount Band

This postcard was sent to Miss Ethel Noland, Fowlerton, Ind. on September 18, 1907 at 12:30 p.m., from Fairmount, Indiana. You can learn more here about Fairmount, Indiana in an article written by Fairmount historian Ann Warr. I learned that the late actor James Dean, Garfield comic creator Jim Davis, and CBS correspondent Phil Jones are all Fairmount natives.

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