Treasures from my Aunt's Basement.
My Great Aunts Margaret and Romelia lived in the old family home up until they were moved out to a nursing facility in the 1970s and early 80s, and up until this time they were considered to be the family packrats. While the house itself stood immaculately clean, numerous old papers and other family records sat in the attic waiting, waiting for something to happen.
My Aunt Margaret was the last of the family to live in the house, and I remember when the decision was made to move her to a nursing home in the mid 80s. The family documents were packed up and moved to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Eleanor's home, and stored in their basement where once again, they waited for something to happen. There would be nearly a 35 year wait.
My Uncle Jim passed away and after a couple of years my Aunt Eleanor decided to sell the house. It didn't seem to take long for the house to sell, and she called me to say that the items that I had wanted, which included old family photo albums, and those family documents from the old house, needed to be picked up. I got in the car and made the three hour trip to Dayton.
At first, we tried to read each paper before putting them in a box for me to bring home, but that was becoming to time consuming and after a while we just boxed up the papers and put them in my car. The drive home was probably one of the worst 3 hours I can remember mostly because I wanted to get to knowing all those people riding in the back seat and trunk. I couldn't wait to get home and start reading everything.
Another box is specifically for the NIBs and the Bulletins which were newsletters for the Dayton Building Owners and Managers Association. While that may sound like one of the most boring topics, the contents in these is really quite informative and very interesting, and the humor involved is fantastic. Another box contains more odds and ends. Things like old Sunday School lessons prepared by my great grandfather, an envelope from Barney and Smith Car Works that was sent to D.M. Rowe, Journals and diaries dating 1903, 1917, 1923, 1929, and a couple from the 1940s, as well as a scrapbook kept by D.M. Rowe with clippings concerning the Ohio National Guard through the 1890s, and several other things including family Bibles. Below are some photographs (and scans) of some of the various items that were in that basement (as is usual with this site, click on the picture for a larger view, or on link in text for actual transcribed text.).
When I did finally get everything home I discovered that I needed to go out and purchase folders, and boxes to store everything. They required six Sterilite boxes 11"W x 36"L x 9"D. I divided up some of the things according to function and/or author. For example, one box is entitled "Family Files." It contains nearly 20 different folders ranging from an autobiography of D.M. Rowe, love letters of Great Aunt Dorothy, sympathy cards, poetry, Barney family stuff, Miller family stuff, and much much more.
Early Reminiscences. by Harriet Barney Stevens, b. 1818 Jefferson County, NY, and written in 1900.
Ohio National Guard scrapbook kept by David M. Rowe, particularly covering the early 1890s, but some later stuff.
Sunday School Lessons, Scrapbook of ONG clippings, Diaries, etc.
Journals and Diaries dating 1903, 1923, two 1940s, 1917, and 1929.
Photograph of the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Frederick and Barbara Olt Schantz, 1870-1920.
Both Frederick and Barbara were born in Odenwald, Germany.
Wedding invitation according to envelope sent to Emma MacClement, my 2nd great grandaunt I didn't know prior to this find.
This envelope from Rowe Brothers Grocery, Rowe Brothers was started by my 2nd great grandfather and his brother.
More good stuff yet to come!