April 27, 2011

letters from home

A couple more vintage postcards from my collection. I don't remember where I got these; I most likely purchased them when I was visiting my parents; maybe last summer?? I just can't quite believe I would have scored vintage postcards featuring scenes from home here in Arizona... (fyi, I did intend for this post to be a short one, but I just can't help doing internet research to make sure I know what I'm talking about, and I keep finding more interesting things I want to write about!)
The Apple River is definitely "home," because the Apple River Canyon State Park is just a couple miles from the town of Warren, where I grew up. This part of the state is absolutely beautiful, and the park, especially so. The glaciers missed the northwest corner of Illinois, so it's not flat; there are rolling hills, limestone bluffs, and hilly ravines throughout the area. In the early 1800s, there was a town named Millville (named after its two sawmills) where the park is now; it was even a stop on the Chicago-Galena stagecoach route. The town was destroyed during a flood in 1892, and none of it remains today. I have many fond memories of the park which include birdwatching, looking for wildflowers, picnicking, and fishing for smallmouth bass in the river. This is the reverse side- it was sent in May, 1903, and it reads: "Dear Brother-- We are coming to your place Sun. if it does not rain and if you folks will be home if not phone and tell me. Your sister Bernice" I hope it didn't rain and that they had a nice visit! This postcard is of another wonderfully scenic piece of the Midwest, the beautiful area called the "Wisconsin Dells" along the Wisconsin River in the south-central part of Wisconsin. The town of Wisconsin Dells, WI is now known as the "Waterpark Capital of the World" and definitely lives up to its name! Tom's family lives a few miles outside of the town proper; we visit them every August. (we try to stay out of town, though, to avoid the tourists!) The town, along with its neighbor Lake Delton, is packed all summer long with visitors to waterparks and resorts such as the Kalihari Resort, Noah's Ark (the largest waterpark in the US, with 49 waterslides and 2 wave pools), Mt. Olympus Resort and Waterpark (this waterpark includes a Greek temple and a Trojan Horse!!), to name just a few. Wisconsin Dells has approximately 2500 year-round residents, but over 5 million visitors annually! Anyway-- "the Dells" itself is a gorgeous stretch of the Wisconsin River, also boasting beautiful river bluffs, ravines, and gorges.
The natural beauty of the river and surrounding bluffs can be seen from the water by taking a tour on the Wisconsin Ducks, which are amphibious vehicles from World War II-- it's pretty cool! This postcard was from a photograph copyrighted by the H.H. Bennett studios. H. H. Bennett revolutionized photography by taking the world's first "action shot;" he took a photograph of a man jumping from one of the bluffs to "Stand Rock" in the year 1866! (to be perfectly honest, I didn't know this until very recently when we watched an episode of the History channel show Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy; I will definitely be visiting the Bennett photography studio when we go back this August! Larry the Cable Guy's show is very good, by the way-- it showcases quirky and unique things, people, and events all across the country.) One other fact worth mentioning about this postcard; it is from the Curt Teich company, the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards. If you're interested in vintage postcards, esp. Curt Teich ones, then visit this website: the Lake County Discovery Museum website, or better yet, visit the museum itself in Wauconda, IL. In addition to being a very nice museum, it is known worldwide for housing the largest public collection of postcards and related materials, with over 365,00 postcards, and a large exhibit showing postcards and the postcard printing process through history. (And, I just figured out, using some of these links that this postcard was the first Colortone process postcard printed by the Teich company in the year 1949-- pretty amazing what some internet research can do for you!)

1 comment:

syeds said...

Its so nice, and peaceful to read this Letters