Jo-Ann Boepple: Snapshots of the Edwardsburg area’s past

Published 9:34 am Friday, October 7, 2011

The Edwardsburg Museum postcard collection has provided the museum with scenes of early Edwardsburg. Many of the postcards are believed to have been produced by the Andrus family when they were the owners and publishers of the Argus.  Other companies came along and photographed various buildings and locations all over the area.
Placing the cards into categories have provided pictorial stories of the famous resorts of the town.  The cards are divided into French’s Resort  and Eagle Lake, Christiana Lake, Bull Lake, some of Pleasant Lake and a few scenes of the uptown area.
In addition there are cards of the churches, Methodist and Presbyterian and the main street area of the town (US 12) as of 1920. There are a few leather cards and some later chrome cards with generic scenes of towns.
Visitors who stayed at the resorts often sent cards with the pictures of the cottages or buildings they stayed in marking the windows where they stayed.
Looking at the postcards in the collections that I cited last week, here are some of the scenes on those postcards.
In the collection of Leona Wise most of the cards were scenes of South Bend, Niles, Chicago, Elkhart, Ann Arbor and Buchanan and Berrien Springs. Most were pictures of streets, buildings, bridges, parks, hotels, train stations and some cards for all of the major holidays.
Hattie Cook’s collection includes cards from Cassopolis and Diamond Lake, North Manchester, Kalamazoo, Decatur, Goshen and Goshen College, Penn, South Bend Watch Factory,  and Vandalia. Most of the cards were personal for birthdays, and holidays; Easter, Valentine, St. Patrick’s Day,Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Christmas, and even birth announcements. Many were mailed from Edwardsburg from 1908 to 1910.
Some fascinating scenes from Cassopolis included Friends Church in Vandalia, Forest Hall at Diamond Lake, Main Street in Cassopolis, Penn train depot, Hotel Goodwin in downtown Cassopolis. Many of the flowery cards in this collection were printed in Germany.
One of the most interesting finds in this album is a postcard with pictures of the candidates for President and Vice President William Howard Taft and James Schoolcraft Sherman. On the back someone named Paul wrote, “Hello Dan, How does this suit you. Things look good down here. I have bet about $15 on Taft and would like to bet some more.  Paul,” and another card with a street scene on the front and the message, “Yes Sir Dan. I was 21 on the 11th. and I’m going to vote for Bill, Nov. 8.”  Both cards were sent to Dan Cook in Cassopolis from Liberty Mills, Ind. postmarked 1908.
If this sparks your interest in postcard collecting, you would be called a deltiologist. Good luck.