Love Story from 1881

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I have a very special book on my shelf.

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A beautifully decorated copy of “Beauties of Shakespeare” by William Dodd.

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It was originally published in the 1750’s and has gone through many, many editions over the years. The one I have dates from the mid-19th century and has several special details inside.

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Little notes about Shakespeare’s writing…

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Notes about Shakespeare’s life…

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“Lulu”

Signatures from the students who used the book…

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“Ben, J.M. Boggess, Bradford, 1881”

With some of the most beautiful handwriting I’ve ever seen!

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“Maggie Clancy and Lulu Hensley 1880”
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“Doug and Herman” — “Tis sweet to be remembered”
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“Guy & Pearl”

But the sweetest thing of all comes from these two: Guy and Pearl.

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“Guy and Pearl. School of 81.”

They signed the book in multiple places.

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And left such endearing love-notes in the back of the book that my heart melts every time I think about it.

Dear Pearl;

Never forget the school days of 1881. Alas, perhaps our last. 

Yours lovingly,

Guy

And her response:

Guy;-

I never will.

Pearl

I picked up this book at a library book sale for 50 cents and, over the years, have dug as deep into the census records as I can to try to find anything I can about these people.

I triangulated most of the names in the book (ten in all) to a town in Illinois called Yates City. They were all born around the early 1860’s and one of them, Lulu, moved to Washington after her second marriage so I’m guessing that’s how the book got to Seattle.

The most frustrating thing, though, is that I can find nothing about Guy or Pearl. I’ve read the census records cover to cover for that town and nada. I’ve expanded my search to go beyond the state and still nothing! I’m still holding out hope, though, that someday I’ll find some tidbit about their lives. I’m dying to know!

If you’re curious, I’ll list some information about the students under the cut:

Continue reading “Love Story from 1881”

Little Finds | An Afternoon Shopping Trip


Before I moved, I used to live pretty close to an antique shop that I visited often and soon became my favorite. I don’t live as close anymore, but when I am in the area I make a point of stopping by to do some shopping. I had the chance to spend an hour there last week and I found some great things!

 
First up is this cookbook, New Delineator Recipes. It had been in the shop for a few months; I’d seen it on the self once before but ended up putting it back. This time I couldn’t pass it up.
 
 

It’s from 1930 and isn’t in the best shape, but I prefer to view it as obviously well-loved. The first page was ripped halfway up but it was patiently taped back together and there are a few childish scribbles in and on the front and back.

 
 

One of my favorite things about it is the menus they suggest. The recipes are great in and of themselves, but I like to see what they were meant to be paired with.

Page 95 is marked with an old label from a jar of Crisco. After a quick Google search, it looks like the label comes from the 50’s or the 60’s, so this book was used and loved for a long time.
 
There are a few recipes printed on the back of the Crisco label, so it’s too hard to tell whether it was saved for its own recipes or whether was saved to mark a recipe on the page. 

 

The next thing that I picked up was this embroidery kit. There were a few in a bin to choose from, but this design was my favorite.
I want to try it out on one of my many cardigans and, if it works out well, I may go back and purchase a couple others.
 
 
 
Lastly, I found three packets of sew-on snaps and some buttons that I can add to my stash.
 
So, in all, that trip was pretty successful. I had a fun afternoon and I’m really happy with what I found. Hopefully I’ll be in the area sometime in the near future so I can stop by again.