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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Monday
    Jul112011

    News from the Family Archive: "I can only say we are alive"

    Dear Sister

    I can ony say we are alive: words can not discribe what happened in a roof top all night with the children tied too me and Salt Spray beating our faces and my feet all swolen and cut. Been barefooted since we crawled into the roof of our cottage.

    We lost everything all all we had accumulated in15 years of hard work. 3 thousand dollars in Stock Farming impliments. Furniture. besides our home what cash we had was in the side board drawer. Everything is gone Louise, if you know where Uncle Charlie is and he still cares for me tell him to send us food and clothes. . .

     "copied from original written by Maude to me about Sept 1 1915, San Leon Texas via Galveston"

    It's an embarrassment of riches here these days. Almost too much to read, process, and analyze. I am still looking for clues to Aunt Mercy's employment as a Colorado schoolteacher about 1916, but also sorting old letters as I go.

    Complete letters are opened and placed flat into an archival paper folder, then the date of the letter, writer and addressee are written on the tab. This will help me isolate letters in specific years.

    The real problem, however, are the scores of loose pages. It looks like over the years, letters were removed from envelopes, read, and returned as loose sheets to the trunk where they were stored. Until this weekend, I was keeping all these loose sheets in one large archival box. Now, I am trying to sort these pages and match up handwriting, paper, and ink. Sort of a genealogy memory game. So far, I've managed to reassemble about twenty or thirty letters or partial letters. It's slow work, and obviously filled with distractions. . . How can you not read the entire tale when it begins like the letter above?

     

     

     

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    Reader Comments (4)

    Just that one letter alone is amazing. You are spoiled! I'm so glad you are finding the time to sort through it all.

    July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarian Pierre-Louis

    You got me hooked with that letter (not that I wasn't already, mind you).

    Thanks for the tip on how you are identifying your letters on the file folder tab. That is the next step I will need to take with the contents of the Archival Closet.

    July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Goodrum

    What a treasure trove. The opening letter was a real heart-wrencher! Thanks for sharing the photo too!

    July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky Jamison

    Even though matching them up will be a lot of work, it does sound like a lot of fun, too. Hope you are able to learn what happened to the family after the disaster.

    July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreta Koehl
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