Friday, February 25, 2011

Meet Milton Sepia Saturday 63 (Click here to Access Sepia Site)

I amused myself for several hours researching this photo and Milton this darling small boy from  Jerry's side. Milton has been a  mystery for awhile among photos from Jerry's mother, who as I mentioned before collected things from everyone.  I thought it a neat pose, reminiscent of the RCA Victor Label.  A little  guy with a dog, how precious.  The handwriting on the bottom is from Aunt Marie and merely identifies him as a cousin.  The last name Steager was unfamiliar but all the genealogy research and plugging I've done led me along to solve this mystery.  .

Here is the back side, another post card,  mailed in 1910 to Jerry's Grandmother, signed by Clara.  It must have been quite common in the late 1800's and early 1900's to have postcard photos taken.  Perhaps there were itinerant photographers who produced these at a reasonable fee; this is something I intend to research as I have become quite curious about why so many had photos on postcards.



Clara Behrndt Steger
About 1931
The last name Steager meant nothing and the name Milton was not ringing a bell, but as there is already quite an extensive ancestral tree on the Behrndts on my Ancestry.com pages, I looked for a Clara, who turns out to be another of Charlie Behrndt's sisters.  Aha, sure enough, Clara Behrndt, a grand aunt about whom we know little,  married Michael Steiger and they moved to Minneapolis. That is about 125 miles from the home area and in those days that distance wasn't easily traveled, so she likely was not a frequent visitor to home.   Michael was a laborer and farmer and at one point left the wife and kids to work on a farm in South Dakota.  Notice the spelling of that last name, it changed several times over the years....
  
The Steigers became Steager and then in the 1910 census the spelling changed to Steger which the entire family adopted and used, except for Michael who would end up with the spelling Stegar!  Whew, name changes were not confined to my Polish relatives; even the pioneer settler families experienced the same phenomena, to say nothing of those living in the "big cities" such as Minneapolis at the time! 

Milton was the third son of Michael and Clara , born in 1909 so the above would be a photo of him at one year.  There were two other boys, Ellis and Russell and a daughter, Lucille.  All are deceased and it appears that none married and left no survivors. Milton died in 1989. 

The 1920 census gave strange information as Ellis  is identified there as a daughter!  Think of it,  in 1920 he's  either the first in the family to have a sex change operation or the census worker really messed up!   Because this is the only time Ellis has been identified as female, we think it was another census mistake.  I did not notice this error  until I  began researching Milton; then I noticed two Ellis in the family a boy and a girl born the same time.  Wait a minute, no one would name twins the same!   So that error is now cleaned up on the tree. 

By 1930 something happened  to Michael who was no longer in the household.  We laugh that perhaps Clara learned Michael had reported a son as a daughter so she tossed him out on his ear!  (You see how one can speculate when we don't know the details!  An active imagination is so much fun!)  The 1930 census shows Clara as head of the household  and now a home worker; all four children ages  24 through 18 remain living with her.  Milton, "her rascal" has become a machinist, Ellis a laborer, and Russell an assembler in the iron works, while Lucille is a seamstress and dressmaker.  After more probing, I found Michael now spelling his last name Stegar, living  about two blocks away from the family in a boarding home and working as a paper hanger.  

This is my Sepia for this week, to see other interesting posts in this international community click on the title to this post to go to the host site. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sepia Saturday Week 62 1907 Postcard

Despite the genealogy research I've done on Jerry's side, I cannot identify these people as relatives  but  here they are in this  old 1907  photo/post card which Aunt Marie had saved.  They are from this MN area, and from the era when a postcard was mailed to stay in touch with family, rather than phoning or driving the miles.  So different from today where we'd pick up the phone, drive that distance without  any thought and/or use email. 

This card was mailed to Charles Behrndt, Jerry's Grandpa, from Lottie, who was Charlie's sister.  The mystery people are identified by the writing  along side of the card as Gib (or Gil) Dolan, Anna Noel, Lena Noel, and Mary Dolan.  It looks as though they were out for a hike through the woods and/or were clearing land. Their clothes do not appear to be what one would wear to do work on the land, at least not the women's.  I see no evidence of a picnic in process, just looks like they stopped, sat on the ground and had the photo taken.  It will be a mystery to solve and learn what link is this to Charlotte (Lottie)  who married Otto Ziemann, as I have previously shared here.  When Lottie sent this card she and Otto were likely  living in Preston  where the  1910 census shows them; Preston is  about 60 miles  south west of La Crescent, where Charlie was settled. For some reason she thought her brother  would be interested, but she did not write anything on the back side.  Otto was a meat wholesaler and traveled through northern MN and was also a  butcher, so I doubt this is land that the Ziemann's had cleared for a home.  They lived in what was the town at the time and  she taught school.   It seems unusual to me to see one man and three women if this was land to be cleared to farm or to build.  What do you think?

1907 from Lottie
 This is the back of the postcard showing it was mailed from Preston but in 1907 there were no  highways and so visits and trips were not routine.  I wonder  why Lottie sent this photo to her brother with no other information.  In the funeral books of Charles and his wife, Esther many years later, there are Noel's who  sign the guest book.  There must have been some connection.  It is also amusing that it could be addressed to Charlie in La Crescent which had a population of maybe a few hundred at the time among the hills and farms and that the card would easily reach the addressee.   


Jerry laughs and says he has not a clue and if I want to spend time trying to solve this well, then he  figures it keeps me from pestering him. 

As always click on the title to this post to go to the Sepia site and see what others in the community have shared this week. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Curtisville PA Sepia Saturday 61 (Click here to the Sepia site)

I browsed my  collection and could not find a single photo of a silo to match Alan's this week.  Today we see silos all over on farms in this area, but in the older photos from Jerry's family no one thought to capture a silo. 

However while looking, I found these two photos from 1910 and 1920 in Curtisville, PA as featured in the Valley News Dispatch in 1990's  which my Uncle Carl had kept.  Carl was born in Curtisville, one of the many  coal mining towns where the family lived; today all those towns are the area that is known as West Deer.

I hope this horse was  the trotting  type else the milk might have been warm on delivery routes.


On the same page was this photo of mail delivery, the Railroad sign, "Stop, Look and Listen" reflects the care given to crossing near the railroad lines.  And that looks like a big load of mail being delivered or sent out by the men.   

I have shared this photo before in writing about Uncle Carl, but here is a photo outside his  school in about 1929-30.  He will be 93 on March 18 and will be honored with a birthday  party in the assisted living center.

As always click on the title to this post to get to the Sepia Saturday site from where you can link to see what others are sharing this week and check out Alan's featured silo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

January Reads Three Books

Three books I read in January:

I grew up hearing about the great Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889  from family and school history classes; it was the most tragic event  anyone had ever encountered  or heard of in times reflective of industrial growth, a flood that destroyed a town and the area, a disaster that  was never to be forgotten. Somehow, despite my lifetime of reading many of the twice Pulitzer Prize winning author, David McCullough's books, I'd  missed this one, from 1968 so when I found it on the discount shelf at Barnes and Noble, into my purchase stack it went.  McCullough wrote this over 268 pages in a documentary style with the precision and  detail we expect from this wonderful social historian.  All those lost or killed in the flood are memorialized in the book.  It is a  portrait of life in  19th century America, the westward expansion of the country and in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, which  was a booming coal and steel town populated by hard working families, many of whom were immigrants. There is a fascinating description of the building of the railroads over the mountains and the use of levers.   It was the time of certain class division, the haves and the have nots; in contrast to the coal miners and steel workers were the tycoons, great contemporaries Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Mellon.  Johnstown  is in the Allegheny mountains about 60 miles south east of Pittsburgh; construction of Pennsylvania's historic canals, arrival of the Pennsylvania railroad in  the 1850's and the establishment of the Cambria Iron Company led to the boom of Johnstown which before had been a short stop on the way west.   By 1889 there were  nearly 30,000 people living in the boroughs of the  Johnstown valley.  (Today many of  PA areas are referred to as boroughs, I love that word. ) In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earthen  dam was rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort, the South Fork Fishing and  Hunting Club privately owned and  patronized by the tycoons from Pittsburgh.  Despite warnings and skepticism about the safety of the dam, nothing was done. People came to accept that the dam could burst and the town could go, they thought nothing of it.   Then came the storm  moving in from the west from Kansas, Nebraska,  Indiana, unceasing rain, run over rives and on May 31, 1889 when the dam burst and the wall of water thundered down the mountains smashing through Johnstown and killing more than 2000 people.  It was a tragedy that became a national scandal but which also provided the first domestic mobilization of the Red Cross under Clara Barton.  People living  through this really thought it was the end of the world and if the devastation of the  flood waters did not do them in, the  following devastation from fire and epidemics did. 

This is a book for historians and sociologically  or geographically interested readers with bits of humor spicing up the data, photos, sketches and  presentations.   It is amazing to  see the poor quality of the photos from then and more amazing that there were any.  One photo in the book jogged my memory immediately as I recognized the familiar famous photo shown through the early 1960's in PA over the years of my youth, the tree spearing the house.  Here it is in the bottom photo of a page I scanned from the book.   Click on the photo to enlarge it and read about the scene.

I enjoyed this description of Dr. Robert Jackson's founding of a town before the Civil War on pg. 45...."The main attractions at Cresson, aside from the mountain air and scenery, were the iron springs, the best-known of which was the Ignatius Spring, named after the venerable huntsman, Ignatius Adams who first discovered its life- preserving powers and whose ghost was said still to haunt the place.....by  drinking this water, dwelling in the woods, and eating venison, Ignatius lived nearly to the good old age of 100 years...Jackson was against whiskey, slavery, and what he called the present tendency to agglomerate in swarms or accumulate in masses and mobs.  Those gregarious instincts which now impel this race to fix its hopes of earthly happiness on city life alone, would, he was convinced, be the undoing of the race.  Life in the country was the answer to practically every one of man's ills...."  I suspect  Dr Jackson would consider our modern mega cities proof of the decline of the human race! 

As I read I wondered about the liability of the tycoons and the resort owners for the failure of that dam; they were not the original builders but they did perform some adjustments.  I learned on pg. 259 that  the few lawsuits that were filed against the club were all futile.  Certainly not what would happen in today's litigious society and sympathetic courts.  McCullough raises this question too speculating that by today's standards, courts and awards to plaintiffs would have been immeasurable and would have changed the industrial growth of the United States.  

In  the concluding pages McCullough summarizes the Johnstown disaster (pg. 262) "while there is no question that an act of God  (the storm) brought on the disaster, there is also no question that it was in the last analysis, mortal man who was truly to blame. And if the men of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, as well as the men of responsibility in Johnstown, had in retrospect looked dispassionately to themselves, and not to their stars to find the fault, they would have seen that they had been party to two crucial mistakes.  In the first place they had tampered drastically with the natural order of things and had done so badly.  They had ravaged much of the mountain country's protective timber, which caused dangerous flash runoff following mountain storms; they obstructed and diminished the capacity of the rivers; and they had bungled the repair and maintenance of the dam.  Perhaps worst of all, they had failed--out of indifference mostly --to comprehend the possible  consequences of what they were doing....one New England newspaper wrote: the lesson of the flood is that the catastrophies of Nature have to be regarded in the structures of man as well as its ordinary laws....The point is that if man for any reason drastically alters the natural order, setting in motion whole series of chain reactions, then he had better know what he is doing.. What is more, the members of the club and most of Johnstown went along on the assumption that the people who were responsible for their safety were behaving responsibly.  And this was the second great mistake."    I added this bold face because it is a statement to caution us today, how do we know when people in positions of responsibility are  really behaving responsibly despite our  24/7 media?   The Johnstown Flood is another of those books that generates pondering as well as informing. 

A friend recommended the high paced, fiction, political intrigue/action books by Vince Flynn as something I might enjoy and I finally did pick up one which will not be the last, when I want to read action.  The paperback , "Transfer of Power" introduces Mitch Rapp, a new CIA operative in counter terrorism, someone who has been around the bend more than once. It reminded me of the TV series hero, Jack Bauer on "24".  In this thriller terrorists have taken possession of the White House, the president has been evacuated to the safe bunker and the vice president is in charge. Rapp is dispatched with an old timer to access entry unbeknown to the terrorists who are holding hostages and killing them.  I avidly turned all 549 pages and have added Vince Flynn to my Facebook likes. Having a career in  state government though not in espionage I laughed at and recognized this author's descriptions reflecting accurate perceptions.  Pg. 130, "After several minutes, Rapp conclude that no one in Baxter's  group knew their head from their ass, and in the process of coming to this conclusion, he also discovered a correlation between their opinions and the conviction with which they stated them.  It seemed that the less someone knew, the more forcefully he tried to state his case."   

My friend told me that the author has consulted with the government's  counter terrorism teams on request.   This is double the action of the old James Bond which I read so long ago.  I wonder why there have been no movies made of these Flynn novels, however they would not be near the delight held in the reading.   I found a lot of information about the author on the web/Wikipedia showed that he  lives  here in MN!  How have I missed this..."  best-selling American author of political thriller novels. He lives with his wife and three children in the Twin Cities. He is a frequent guest on the Glenn Beck news program on the Fox News Channel.  He also served as a story consultant for the fifth season of the 24 television series.  Flynn is a graduate of Saint Thomas Academy (1984) and the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) (1988). Post graduation, Flynn went to work for Kraft Foods as an account and sales marketing specialist. In 1990, he left Kraft to pursue a career as an aviator with the United States Marine Corps. One week before leaving for Officer Candidate School, he was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program.  In an effort to overcome the difficulties of dyslexia, Flynn forced himself into a daily writing and reading regimen. Quotes Flynn: "I started reading everything I could get my hands on, Hemingway, Ludlum, Clancy, Tolkien, Vidal. I read fiction, nonfiction, anything, but I especially loved espionage."  His newfound interest in such novels motivated him to begin work on a novel of his own. While employed as a bartender in the St. Paul area, he completed his first book, Term Limits, which he then self-published.  "   Well no wonder it reminded me of Jack Bauer!  I will be supporting this local author whom I learned of from a CA friend!

My third and last book completed in January is "The Sea" by John Banville; a book I picked up at a sale because the cover called to me, the synopsis of the story sounded good and  the writing appeared exceptional.  I knew nothing about the book nor the author. This book was one I read in segments, often leaving it sit for weeks, although it was only 195 pages, short enough, yet it is so lyrical in  choice of writing and almost difficult to read.  Maybe it's because the author is Irish and used many words with which I was not familiar, but  which so intrigued me that I held a dictionary nearby.  Often the words were not in the American dictionary sending me to the Oxford Annotated. Words like revenant, leporine, strangury, proscenium, recreant, marmoreal, integuement and more.... Now that is not usually the way I like to read, but this book kept calling me back.  The story overall is melancholy, about  Max Morden, a widower, middle aged Irishman who returns to a seaside town where he spent summers as a child to quell his grief.  He reminisces about the Graces a wealthy family he met as a boy and a family through which he experiences his first love and encounters death for the first time.  At times reading this, I wondered why he persistently switched back and forth between then and now, but I kept on and was more than rewarded with the outcome and the surprise ending. 

Just a few select quotes, to give a taste for the writing:  Pg. 164  "Memory dislikes motion preferring to hold things still."    Pg. 47, "Claire snuffled and delving in a pocket brought out a handkerchief and stentorously blew her nose...It depends I said mildly on what you mean by suffering. "  Pg. 48, "  What is it about such people that makes me remember them?  His look was unctuous yet in some way minatory.  Perhaps I had been expected to tip him also, as I say: this world."    It is a book that I would not recommend to anyone for light reading, but it is the most beautifully written mystical book I have read in years.  It was a trip into reading wonderful literature, for which this author is  known.  I'd never had read nor known of this book if I did not browse book sales wherever I find them.   

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pen Pals Sepia Saturday 60 (Click here to get to the Sepia Saturday host site)

Last week's Sunday St. Paul Pioneer Press had a fascinating article that caught my eye, "Best friends for five decades--all through letters."   The article about 67 year old Maureen Keppy from Forest Lake, MN who has seen her best friend face-to-face just twice in 50 years.  She and Chihoko Nakamura of Japan have been pen pals over more than 50 years, starting when Maureen was in fourth grade in Iowa and Chihoko a couple years older.  They met once for 10 minutes at an airport and then in 2008 when Maureen and her hubby visited Japan for 10 days to spend time with Chihoko. This photo shows the two who have been corresponding monthly, in English, longhand,  really yes, old school,  pen to paper, using snail mail all those years,  a heart warming story. Maureen has all their letters, wouldn't that be a great thing to have.  I wonder if school children  get pen pals these days or would they even know what that is? It occurs to me that we could consider our blogger friends like pen pals but with a faster way to communicate.  Did you ever have a pen pal?   

August 1960 vacation, Ramino with his two
sisters somewhere in Columbia;
 the writing, "yo" is his, Spanish for me, I, myself.
I remembered that I had a pen pal in high school, a boy from Columbia South America.  I have not thought of him  forever and have never been to Columbia.  It was an exchange arranged by our high school Spanish teacher; I recall we wrote in Spanish to each other as he knew no English.  Digging through one small scrapbook that has survived my journeys, I found a small photo of Ramino, that was his first name and  the writing on the back o fthis photo has faded but it looks like his last name was Rosaria.  I recall little about him other than he lived in Columbia and we corresponded  for part of the 1959-60 school year and  part of a summer,  then I heard no more, I don't know if he  ceased writing or I did.   

I do recall my mother being very  suspicious of this activity; Mom was suspicious of any boy, but that is another long story, which caused lots of heart ache. She could not understand what we were writing because it was Spanish and this really annoyed her as she snooped, without the  slightest regard for my privacy. I asked my teacher to intervene, to call my mother to assure her I would not be abducted and sold into "white slavery" in some foreign land, as Mom feared. I didn't even know what white slavery was but Mom mentioned it and I knew it was upsetting.  How neat it would have  been to keep that friendship over the years as the women did.  I wonder whatever became of him now.


Sanctuary of the Lady of the Lajas
Although I have none of the letters, I have two postcards from Ramino,  one of the Sanctuary of the Lady of las Lajas in Narino, Columbia.  I found  a website with more  photos of this Columbian church which evidently it is quite famous, you can see for yourself   http://www.ipitimes.com/llscac.htm  According to the website, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas in Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia is " seven kilometers from Ipiales,  on a bridge which spans a spectacular gorge of the Guáitara River..Legend has it that an image of the Virgin Mary appeared in the mid-18th century on an enormous rock above the river. Interestingly, the church has been constructed in such a way that the rock (and image) is its high altar. Pilgrims from all over Colombia and Ecuador journey here and, unsurprisingly, reports of miracles at the site are not uncommon. Accommodation is suitably ascetic, being provided in a small but cheery convent up the road from the church."  Interesting to see that it attracts folks today.  Raimuno"s card says only "to my friend" in Spanish. I think I  know more about this church now than I did at the time, pre computers and all...

The  other post card is Holtel, Nutibara in Medellin, Columbia which is  still standing and today looks much the same.  I shuddered a bit when I saw Medellin, because I believe  that is a well known drug cartel center.  Never the less, here is the 1959  postcard and from the website I found it may need updating but is still functional.
Hotel Nutibara, Medellin

This is my Sepia Saturday contribution, to see others' in  the international blogosphere, click on the title to this post.  It really will be worth your while to click to the host site to see the magnificent auto dug up from Archives for us this week.... 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tea pots, cozies, and orange rinds...

My first tea pots
Recently QMM, a fellowess (I continue to make my own words) blogger showed a hand crocheted teapot cosy on her blog.  This made me think about my own tea cozies and then led to the thought to share some of my teapots.  There is just nothing like a nice cup of tea in mug and well, in cup and saucer for finer moments.  Nowadays so many only  make a cup of tea using a bag, but there is more enjoyment brewing tea in a pot.

I learned to drink tea "properly" holding my cup of fine china with little finger posed up from the Grand Mrs.Jessie Irwin, my uncle John's mother. I've written about her before on this blog.  Jessie hosted Sunday high teas which I did not particularly enjoy because I had to sit still, upright, not fidget and remain charmed by the conversation. As a yongster I was not charmed, I assure you.   Still, Mrs. Irwin educated me in the proper way to brew tea, including warming the pot first, and discarding the water, a practice  I never understood but find myself doing from time to time today. When I graduated from high school, Mrs. Irwin "presented" me with my first two teapots, the two blues above, which I still own today, a small Blue Lustreware individual pot by Hall China and a fine china pot, made in Japan. 

My Queen tea cozy from England,
Isn't she stunning?
Wikipedia says, "A tea cosy (American English tea cozy) is a cover for a teapot, traditionally made of cloth or wool, which is used to insulate the tea, keeping it warm while it brews. Cloth tea cosies often have padded inserts, which can be removed and washed separately.   Although the history of the tea cosy may begin when tea was introduced to Britain in the 1660s, the first documented use of a tea cosy in Britain was in 1867. It is probably the Duchess of Bedford who, by establishing the activity of afternoon tea in 1840, would have brought the popularity of the tea cosy. Afternoon tea was the time for networking and keeping up to date with aristocracy gossip and topical news. With all the chatter at teatime the teapot would get cold, which would have at times cut short some tea parties. And so, the tea cosy came about. Tea cosies then flourished during the late 19th century, where they appeared in many households across Britain, motivated by the obsession of decorating and covering objects characteristic of the Victorian era.  

Tea cosies started to be used in North America in the same period. Newspapers of the time reveal that tea cosies enjoyed "a sudden and unexpected rise in public favor" among women who hosted tea parties. Newspapers of the time included advice columns on how to make one: "Some very handsome ones are made of remnants of heavy brocade, but linen is generally used, embroidered or not, according to taste, as these covers are washable. Make the covering large enough for your teapot and provide a ring at the top to lift it off with."

Many years ago in CA  I converted to tea drinking, a necessity, because of my long commute time to work, coffee seemed to stir up the bladder and made it difficult to last an hour or longer..until I could arrive at the office.  That could have been a problem indeed.  Tea did not have the same effect on me.  While I still like a good  strong French roast cup of coffee now and again, I prefer my tea.  Two aunts were tea drinkers as long as I can remember and made almost a ritual of brewing their teas but then handy Lipton tea bags became their preference.  Another reason I switched to tea in career days was it was easy for me to drink cold tea if I had to leave it interrupted, not so with cold coffee.  And I could always take along a tea bag to a meeting and find hot water to brew my drink.  Green tea became my preference for morning brew many years ago but at night I prefer a cup of herbal.  Another of my preferences but only in the cold weather is Japanese  Genmaicha, a  blend of traditional green tea and roasted brown rice which amuses me with it's sometimes popped rice kernels resembling tiny popped corn.  I can't explain why I like that tea only in winter but I do. 

Blue green plaid tea cozy
While tea cozies are intriguing, I only have  two, both gifts.  I seldom use these because I consume my tea quickly and do not need to protect it to keep it warm but if I have a friend over to drink tea it is a good idea, to keep the warmth in while we talk, as mentioned in the history.  This blue green plaid  cozy was  a gift in CA from the proprietress of a tea room in our area.  I took many friends there just for the experience and one friend and I had standing monthly meetings at the establishment. She carried wonderful teas, my favorite being Earl Grey White tip. Tea rooms became popular for a time in CA and I believe that there is still one in Newcastle where we lived.  Being a tea drinker, I welcomed these shops, I thought our time had come at last.  While a teabag cannot be beat for convenience there is something  much nicer in brewing a pot of loose leaf tea.    

My Rose teapot
So the other day I took some photos of some  of my teapots, we will start with this my rose pot, the one I use every day.  I bought this at an estate sale, in CA, at least 20 years ago; I loved it for the roses including the bud on top and the handle like a gnarled stem.  On the other side of the pot is a rosebud, but this side has a gorgeous rose which is raised up along with leaves and buds, resembling a carving. This pot is made in the Philippines, so indicated on the bottom. It has served many pots of tea to me over the years.  I had this teapot in my office my last two years of work which many of my staff found curious. 

A gift from one of my staff was this ceramic tea bag holder, I had never seen anything like it and actually think it is quite the unnecessary, though attractive piece; I am content to keep my tea bags in their original boxes or a tin.  It is a heavy piece of ceramic made at a ceramic shop  in Folsom, CA, "Clouds" where some folks made and sold different sorts of ceramic things.  I have  never seen anything else like this and so have kept it.  There is a slot on the other side at the bottom  from which you can pull a tea bag.  The top lid lifts off to load the tea bags.  Cute, but well.....a CA idea perhaps. 

Japanese Lustreware Pot
Unmatched lid
I used this lustre ware teapot for a long time and could not give up even when I broke the lid.  I found an unmatched lid at a rummage sale long ago and it does fit so the pot is just fine with it.  But it is smaller than my rose pot, so this pot does not get daily use any longer.  I bought this from an elderly lady in Auburn, CA in about 1985; she was selling off things while downsizing.  I paid only 25 cents for it and could not quit bragging about my wonderful find!  Years ago my sister-in-law was visiting and asked where I got this pot, she said it reminded her of an old neighbor, as they lived in southern CA and we lived in northern, we knew it was  not the same woman but I suppose there were many like this around in their day. 


Longaberger tea pot

 I realized as I began to write that I really only have one teapot that is rather new,  my large Longaberger, which still is at least 15 years old now.  I especially like it if there are a couple tea drinkers around because it holds a generous amount.  My Queen cozy fits nicely over it.   This Longaberger is pottery,  made in the USA, in Ohio,  a little over 6 inches tall, but 11 inches from snout to handle and a little over 7 inches wide.  That's right, I said "snout."  When I sang that childhood I'm a little  tea pot song, I would sing, "here is my handle here is my snout"  Despite numerous corrective attempts by my Mom, Grandma and aunts, I insisted it was a tea snout and so I have continued to call it today.  It was not a Malaprop, but my deliberate choice of word, I knew what I was doing, I just preferred having my own names for things commonly called something else.   

Staffordshire England Pot

I use this pot often in the evenings when I want only a cup or two of tea.  It's my  pot of choice for  nighttime herbals  mint or chamomile which I enjoy while in my bedroom chair reading.   It is  quite grazed, showing its age.  It was given to me in CA by the daughters of  Mrs. Marion Wilson, a dear older lady who befriended my mother in law and lived in the mobile home park and attended our church.  I never understood why her daughters would not keep it as Marion drank tea from this daily; she was proud of it and had bought it on one of her trips to England years back.  They knew I was a tea drinker and when they asked if I would like to have it as a remembrance, I accepted it gratefully.   It too has lasted many years.


Found at my Aunt's home in PA. 
This belonged to Mrs. Jessie Irwin of Freeport, PA
 and was used frequently.  
Another English piece with lovely design all around;
 a  teapot that has made transatlantic voyages.
Whimsical musical teapot that plays
"Tea for Two"  Purchased at an auction
Fun to use to surprise people

These are my most unusual teapots made from orange rinds, carefully sculpted
and decorated by an Israeli man who lived in Los Angeles. 
 I have never seen any others like these.  
 He sold them in Newcastle once a year at the Mandarin Festival. 
 I have never put tea in them although he assured me they are useable. 
They have retained a wonderful orange odor even though I have had them for  over 10 years.

Last, a small box made by the same gentleman from Los Angeles
from the rind of an orange.  He began to use grapefruit rinds too for larger boxes,
 but then he did not return to Newcastle, CA so I never
saw these again.  Gorgeous work and  a most unusual craft don't you think?
So there you have it, some of my teapots and their stories.  There are a few others on other shelves and boxes.   I look for unusual tea pots now and then but have not found anything
tempting for some time.  Now it is time for a cup of chamomile, I think.