This month, we are sharing some special Valentine’s and love themed items from our collection.
First, here is a sweet Valentine from Isabelle Colman to her mother, Ida May in 1921. Isabelle was away at Oberlin College and sent regular letters to her family in Fauntleroy.
We have a substantial collection of letters from the 1890s from Wilson Walter Sawyer to his fiance, Maude Hazard. Will moved to another state for work. They were separated for many months, and his affection and longing for Maude are clear in his letters.
For instance, this letter from February 25, 1898 reads,
My own darling,
“Yes she had come and gone”, but “she” was with me in thought if not in person until the ever small house where, tired and sleepy “I lay me down to sleep”. I must confess that I did not have the … last evening with as light a heart as I had entered it only two weeks before and silly boy that I was I could not suppress a tear that crept forward and stole its way down my cheek and for the first time in my life I felt “alone in the world”. The imprint of that last kiss alone stayed with me to cheer me up and long after I had left the station I could feel that soft sweet face pressed to mine.
The two were eventually reunited and married in 1899. They later moved to West Seattle and settled in Endolyne.
We have three wonderful collections volunteers that helped process these artifacts. Roberta carefully applied numbers and archivally housed them so they can be preserved for generations. Natalie scanned them to make them accessible, allowing us to view and study them without having to physically handle the originals. Gail transcribed the letters to make it easy for modern audiences to read, and allows us to perform key-word searches on the contents. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented team of volunteers, YOU are our Valentines!