Sunday, July 8, 2012

My grandmother was a packrat!

It's official - my dad followed in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents and was a card-carrying packrat.  While that has given me and my siblings a lot of angst, there are moments when I'm really, really happy I come from a long line of packrats.  Today is one of those days!

Here's my grandmother's scrap book which she started on April 25, 1914 before she even graduated from high school.  The book isn't in great shape but it is going to provide me with so many fun facts about my grandmother's life as she entered adulthood.

I wonder what this Pullman thing was that she took from the train?  I hope she wasn't a thief!

Looks like Grandma went to Sacramento for the wedding of her uncle, Colman Schwartz, to Selma Lavenson. 

Included in the scrap book is a long article about the wedding which says:

The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Claire Lavenson, as maid of honor.  Miss Eleanor Beard and the Misses Henrietta Schwarstz and Loraine Gunzendorfer, cousins of the groom, as bridesmaids, little Josephine Schwartz as flower girl, and two little attendants, Rosetta Kahn and Fred Kahn, cousins of the bride. 

(Henrietta, Josephine, and Loraine were actually nieces of the groom).

Selma Rose Lavenson

The article also says that Loraine traveled to Sacramento for the wedding with her father, Abe Gunzendorfer - no mention of Bertha traveling with them.  Wonder why she didn't go?

Looks like they stayed at the Hotel Sacramento. It's hard to read it but in the top right hand corner it says "Absolutely fireproof". How could a hotel be fireproof? Reminds me of the unsinkable Titanic.

Pretty cool place cards they put on the table. 

Can you believe this flower has survived almost 100 years?

And then a little newspaper clipping stating that she was home from her visit.  Imagine newspapers today writing about people coming and going from visits!

Stay tuned as I follow along on the journey of my grandmother's life.


  1. Great find! Congratulations!

    The cover art of the scrapbook is gorgeous. And that placecard is so elegant.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a wonderful array of items she has left behind to bring this event back to life. Doesn't get much better than that!

  3. Sacramento? Why that is just around the corner from me. I'd love to read more about any Northern California research that you have done or are doing!

    1. Sheri, my family was in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, Vallejo, Oakland, Fresno.....and a few in Sacramento. Where are you?

  4. I can only imagine the fun you are having with the scrapbook! Unfortunately my family did not get the packrat gene. But my grandmother did leave a scrapbook. It's fun to try to figure out what all the little mementos were and why they were significant. Enjoy your explorations!

  5. Debi,

    I'm a little behind on my reading. Just read your article and photos. How fun. I can't believe that flower lasted all this time. Where did you find this scrapbook? Have you had it for awhile? You know us genealogists ... curious, curious, curious.

    1. Teresa, this scrapbook, along with a treasure trove of other stuff, has been in a storage unit for 30+ years, just thrown in a cardboard box. Before that it was somewhere in my grandmother's house - I'm guessing the basement. We cleaned out the storage unit a few months ago and now I'm sorting through all of this stuff. While some of it isn't in great shape, some of it looks almost pristine. Really amazing.