Sunday, August 21, 2016

Itty Bitty Envelope

Today’s installment of “what the heck is this” is an Itty Bitty Envelope that I found in my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy’s, things.


I’ve glanced at the envelope in the past, and maybe even looked inside briefly, but today I decided to look at everything carefully and see what I might learn.

Inside there were some photos and quite a few newspaper “clippings” folded up.

Envelope contents

Of course the first thing I saw was a few photos from New York Gallery, 25 Third St, S.F.  But, sadly, there is nothing identifying these mystery people.  More on that in a minute.

I slowly started opening up the clippings to see what was so important to keep in this itty bitty envelope. 

May 4, 1944

Okay, this makes sense.  My great grandfather, Abraham Gunzendorfer, died on May 4, 1944.  So, I wasn’t surprised to see stories about his death, most of which I have from other sources, in the envelope.

In case you’re interested, here are the others from San Francisco, or nearby cities, who died at that time.  Interesting to see that Mark Schwartz died on May 3.  My great grandmother’s (and Abe’s wife) maiden name was Schwartz and while I have never seen the name Mark associated with any of the family, is it just a coincidence?.


There was an article about the services to be held on Sunday, which would have been May 7, 1944.

Services Sunday

I must have really had a scotoma when I saw the article below.  I’ve looked at it in the past, looked at it today as I sorted through things, scanned it, opened it up, cropped it, and it wasn’t until I saved it onto my computer that I noticed something very peculiar.  Do you see it?

Abraham Gunzendorf

GUNZENDORF?  Where is the ER at the end???  Have I been missing something all these years or did the newspaper just make an error?  Of course, I immediately pulled out his death certificate to confirm – yep, GunzendorfER.  And he did not die on Wednesday night – he died at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, May 4, 1944.  I’m chalking it up to an error by the newspaper because I’ve been researching this family for a long time (and they are the reason I started this journey in the first place) and I have never, ever seen any of them referred to as Gunzendorf.  But that could have been their name, I guess, when they first immigrated to America.  I’m keeping that in the back of my mind to pull out again on a rainy day.

Here’s an interesting story.

Long Tenancy Ended

My mother, who I typically tried to prove wrong my entire life, told me when she was visiting for Christmas in 2010 that Bertha and Abe had rented their home in Monterey for over 40 years.  I didn’t want to forget that so I actually wrote it down and added it to my family tree.  And look at this, while my mom was off by a few years, she was right! 

How I wish I had the date of this article about four of the Civic Club Founders.

Monterey Civic Club

When the Monterey Civic club honored its founders and pioneer members with an informal program of reminiscences and a tea last Friday afternoon, the four ladies pictured above, who were present at the club’s first meeting 31 years ago, were the guests of honor.  They are, reading from left to right:  Mrs. Amy B. Hooke, Mrs. A.B. Gunzendorfer, Mrs. Vinnie B. Barber and Mrs. Mary Carmody.

After a quick google search, I learned that the first meeting of the Monterey Civic Club was held on March 15, 1906 so this article must have been published in about 1937.

Back to the photos I found in the itty bitty envelope.  I have to think that these photos were people who, in some way, were friends or family of the Gunzendorfers .  The New York Gallery at 25 Third Street, San Francisco operated from about 1869-1887.  The fashions seem to be from about that time but since there is nothing identifying any of them, all I can do is wonder who they are.

Unidentified Woman
Unidentified Baby

Unidentified Boys

While the last photo gave me some clues, it really doesn’t mean much to me.  I’m hoping one day I find some more clues about J.M. Lowe.

JM Lowe 8_5_17
JM Lowe Back

Stanley?  I have no idea who Stanley could be.  Did someone keep a photo that was meant for someone else?  If only photos could talk……


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hello Neighbor Excursion

I ran across another random photo today.

Interesting group photo – wonder who all these folks are?  Here’s my grandfather’s note on the back.

Hello Neighbor Excursion
Promoted by Fresno Republican
Sig Levy in charge
to create good relations with our valley cities
Away back about 1914
Fresno’s most prominent citizens aboard
So who would the most prominent citizens have been in 1914-1915?

There are some other notes on the back of the photo that lead me to think that this was used for some sort of “rememberance” because the date Jan 27, 1967 is stamped on the back.

I didn’t find too much information about it but I did find an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Oct 1915:

So my grandfather was a year or two off but it sounds like this is it.  And the photo shows Santa Fe, too!

Of course the first thing I did was scour the group looking for my grandfather – he’s not too difficult to pick out of a crowd since he was so short.  Here’s a close up – can you guess which one he is?

If you guessed the man 5th from the right, you win!  And no, I’m quite sure the other men were not standing on a step.