Christmas, New Year

New Year Wishes

1910 New Year postard

A New Year’s postcard for 1910 sent to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON

As we open a new calendar for 2018, here’s a look back a New Year’s postcard sent in late December 1909 to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport marking the start of 1910. This lovely postcard hints at the festive season with its holly leaves and points to the year ahead with the 1910 half-year calendar pages.

Reverse of New Year postcard to Pearl Bracey, Bridgeport, ON

Reverse of New Year postcard to Pearl Bracey, Bridgeport, ON

The message reads “Wishing you all a very Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year. Oliver & Bertha”.

From all of us in the Grace Schmidt Room, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy 2018. We look forward to sharing the treasures of the GSR with you and hope that you’ll drop by to see us in the New Year.

Cheers, Karen


Merry Christmas from the GSR

1909 Christmas postcard

1909 Christmas postcard from Carrie Vollmar to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON

This lovely 1909 Christmas postcard was sent by Carrie Vollmar of Berlin, ON, to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON, on 22 December 1909. Pearl Bracey was born in Bloomingdale, ON, on 24 July 1887, to William Bracey and Louisa Snyder. She lived in Lexington and Bridgeport during her lifetime. She was a member of Trinity United Church, Kitchener and, at one time, served as the organist for Emmanuel United Church in Bridgeport. She died on 19 January 1977 in Kitchener, at the age of 89.

Carrie (Caroline Marie) Vollmar, the sender of the postcard, was born on 12 July 1884 in Berlin, ON, to Daniel and Catherine Vollmar. She married Henry O. Knechtel on 9 June 1917, at the age of 32, in Kitchener. She and Henry had one child, Esther Catherine Knechtel (married name Boyer). Caroline passed away on 25 December 1945, at the age of 61, in Kitchener.

1909 Christmas postcard - reverse side

Reverse of 1909 Christmas postcard from Carrie Vollmer to Pearl Bracey of Bridgeport, ON

The postcard features a colourized photograph of skiers enjoying a winter afternoon. It made me think of the many Christmas Days that I have spent walking, tobogganing and exploring with family and friends. From sledding with my daughter, walking with my Mom and grandmother, to a magical moonlit hike through silent fields with my uncle and cousins, Christmas Day has always been a special time to connect with family, friends and community.  I hope that everyone is able to enjoy the holidays and reconnect – with the things, people and activities that bring them joy.

From all of us in the Grace Schmidt Room, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays.

Cheers, Karen.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year postcard, 1910

Happy New Year postcard, postmarked 23 Dec 1910, to Miss Pearl Bracy of Bridgeport (2016-090 WHS)

I wanted to take this moment to wish everyone a Happy New Year from the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History! We’ve had a busy year and look forward to sharing our finds, discoveries and insights with you here on the blog.

Be sure to come check out our displays, book scanner and more in the GSR!

Have a safe, happy and healthy 2017!

Cheers, Karen

Christmas, People and places

Holiday wishes from the Jonas family

Jonas Christmas card, ca. 1920

Christmas Card from Henry and Elisa Jonas, ca. 1920 (2016-061 KPL)

They say great things arrive in small packages. Back in August, a padded envelope arrived via the regular mail. I was delighted to find a short note from a Grace Schmidt Room blog follower and a donation of a wedding invitation and two Christmas cards.

Intrigued by the donation, I dove into some research which I’d like to share with you.

The Christmas card, likely sent in the 1920s, was from Henry and Elisa Jonas of 112 Waterloo Street, Kitchener, ON. The simple elegance of this card, which is missing the bottom of the gold letter J in the lower half, harkens back to a quieter time and age.

Jonas Christmas message

Christmas message from Henry and Elisa Jonas, Kitchener, ON (2016-061 KPL)

I love the simplicity and cheerfulness of their holiday message – well wishes for happiness, friendship, and Christmas cheer – who could want more?

So who were the Jonases? Henry was born Hermann Heinrich Jonas on 23 June 1881 in Berlin to Hermann Jonas and Caroline (later recorded as Henrietta) Schultz. According to the 1901 Census of Canada, Henry was a machinist, living with his family in Berlin. Elisa Schwartz, according to the 1901 Census of Canada and her marriage registration, was born 15 December 1884, in Waterloo.  Her parents were August Bernard Schwartz and Catherine Berdux. By the age of 16, Elisa was working in a laundry, while living with her family.

This is the 23 April 1907 wedding invitation of  Henry and Elisa.

Wedding details - Henry Jonas and Elisa Schwartz

Wedding invitation – Henry Jonas and Elisa Schwartz, 23 April 1907, Berlin, ON

At the time of his marriage to Elisa (also known as Elizabeth), Henry was working as a machinist and lived at 114 Waterloo Street in Berlin.

By the time of the 1921 census, Henry was working at the Wunder Furniture Company. His home address was given as 112 Waterloo Street, Kitchener.

Henry and Elizabeth had several children: Irene (born 1909), Milton (born 1910), Gertrude (born 1911), Edward (born 1913, a twin to Edna who passed away at the age of 5 months), Harry (born 1915), and Robert (born 1918).

Henry passed away on 4 February 1936, as a result of a heart attack brought about by overexertion while shoveling snow. Elizabeth died on 17 June 1967 in Waterloo. They are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Kitchener.

A belated Merry Christmas to everyone from all of us in the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History!

And all the best for the New Year!

Cheers, Karen.