Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Signs of Civilization

Sometimes I run across interesting items in the boxes of items my grandmother held onto throughout her life.  Not just throughout her life, but those before her and those after her, including me.  Today was no exception.

Monterey Argus 30 Jan 1880

Now this would have been an interesting exhibit to see!  Abe Gunzendorfer (my great grandfather) was just 17 years old in 1886 so this was probably a school project or something.  What’s really odd is that this article from the Monterey Argus is actually glued to a piece of paper that someone used as a scratch pad to do some math problems – they couldn’t rely on a calculator in those days.  Maybe someone was trying to figure out someone's age?

Scratch Paper

Abe left quite a few quirky items for me.  I know he spent quite a bit of time putting together a miniature railroad for his family's store, The White House – he even left pictures!

Station and Power Plant

Trestle Scene

Forest Scene

Looks like he was a pretty handy guy! 

Here’s another picture of the train, the A.B.G.R.R (A.B. Gunzendorfer Railroad)

Model Train

And a close of up of the first few cars.

Model Train Cropped

I sure wish I’d known him – it seems like he was an interesting guy!


  1. Debi, do you suppose the little log cabin in the miniature train display is the same one from the one he exhibited at the store? I suppose that's just wishful thinking since he would probably have had to save it for a few decades. Still, it's fun to imagine.

    1. I wondered the exact same thing, Nancy. Although like you, I thought it was just wishful thinking so I put it out of my mind. Sometimes we want it to be so badly we talk ourselves into it :-)

  2. I think Nancy is on to something -- that log cabin in the one photo could be the one from the article. What a fabulous window display.

  3. I love the train photos! How wonderful to have those photos.