Monday, November 28, 2016

Notes From My Grandmother | Potwin Lineage and Genealogy, Beulah's Letters

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

Yakima Aug 31 - '67

Dear Friend, 

So pleased to hear from you - will answer promptly - 

You spoke of moving but didn't say if you were going to Calif or staying in Chicago a while -

I was interested in the Oak Park pamphlet and puzzled too - I was in Chicago a great deal at my aunt's <around 1900 to 1907> she lived in Austin - the Loop (we called it the Elevated) in 1900 - ended at Austin - we knew there was an Oak Park but I never was there.

So they called Austin a frustrated entity - not so - Austin too had lovely wide streets - tree lined 3 story homes - setting back from the street. In 1900 the "L" ended at Austin so can Oak Park claim it as one of their lifelines?

And in 1903 Austin was a well established suburb where Oak Park Ave was still a long empty street - From 1900 to 1906 or 7 the year I was married, I spent in Austin that winter - and my uncle was sputtering about their townsmen calling it Cicero - but it happened.

As a girl - going into Chicago by train - often - we knew we were not allowed to get on a "service car" (street car) - one time I did as I had to take it to reach a friends home - took me on the South side of Chicago (the negro belt for sure), but haven't I heard they are infiltrating on the West side?

My relatives moved to Evanston later and are all gone now - a cousin moved to settle in Maquoketa Ia.

My son Don and I spent a week in Victoria B.C. - a lovely city - on Vancouver Island - had to take a ferry up thro the San Juans - groups of islands - large ones.

Victoria is not only Canadian but Socialistic too - in Canada - no freeways - no hurried crowds. Was really restful after the hullaballoo (?) in America - they string clotheslines in the air - front yards are beautifully landscaped - lots of flowers, but nothing in any back-yard. I looked as we drove about - It was all the same - not a thing in any backyard except a back fence and not much yard.

We've had a long hot summer - unusual - 98 all this week. Ordinarily, we get one hot week in July but not this year - all August was hot to 102 - 

I  have been plagued with some arthritis this past few months in my right ankle - I keep on exercising about the yard and it seems to help.

I expect my son and daughter from Seattle to be here for Labor Day weekend - otherwise like Thoreau (that old tramp) - I enjoy "companionable company in solitude"

I have a daughter living in Belmont Calif now and if I get that far next winter - we might get to meet - here's hoping - 

Keep well - 

Best wishes

Beulah E Potwin

113 N 27th Ave
Yakima Wn

to be continued .........

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved
©1965 Beulah E Potwin - Private Collection

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