16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, April 4, 1911: Not very much for today. It still continues to be so chilly and so dreary. To increase these conditions it had to rain this afternoon. I have to write about the weather, when I have nothing else to write. I don’t believe Thursday is going to be the beautiful day I want it to be!
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma was hoping for nice weather on Thursday because it would be the last day of school. The commencement ceremony for her sister and other seniors at McEwensville High School will also take place that day.
Today I’d like to tell you about the best source of information about McEwensville and the surrounding area that I’ve found:
Watsontown, McEwensville, and Delaware Township: A Real Photo Postcard History by Robert Swope Jr. (2006; Publisher: Heritage Trails, PO Box 184, New Hope VA 24469; phone: 540-363-4537).
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words—and this book is a wonderful example of the power of photos. I keep my copy on a shelf next to the reclining chair in my den. Often I flop into the chair after a long day and find myself reaching for this book—even though I’ve previously looked at every page many times before. The photos pull me back to the simpler days a hundred years ago and I feel like I can almost sense what it was like in McEwensville when Grandma was writing this diary.
This book contains lots of post cards from the early 20th century and is absolutely the best resource that I’ve found on the McEwenville of Grandma’s day. There are descriptive captions for all of the post cards in the book, and it also contains an interesting and informative history of McEwensville.
In the early 1900s real picture post cards were very popular. Back then people were very interested in sharing the sites and activities of their towns with others.
This blog has given me the opportunity to meet via technology many wonderful people. One such person is Robert Swope Jr., the author of this book. I contacted Bob and he very generously allowed me to reproduce a few photos from the book. Most of them are on the Setting page. (I updated the page last night—so if you haven’t looked at it recently be sure to check it out.)
I would encourage anyone who is interested in what McEwensville was like in the early part of the 20th century to read this book. I purchased my copy at the Packwood Museum Gift Shop in Lewisburg. It is also available at other stores in central Pennsylvania.
The book can also be purchased by calling the phone number listed above or from Bob’s Ebay store. Just go to Ebay and search using the word “McEwensville”. The listing for the book will pop up.