Hi All – writing today about a mystery postcard I picked up somewhere and what I believe is its sister. I am calling them sisters because the dresses are amazing.
I’ve had an adventure attempting to figure out this postcard, which included writing to several friends, Arizona historians, and various museums around Arizona. I found and purchased two books on military uniforms of the time frame. I queried philatelic (postage stamp) experts about Whipple Station, which I realize is related to Fort Whipple. I have at least 10 books on Fred Harvey (more on that later), or published by the Fred Harvey company in my house and lots of on-line resources at my disposal.
At first glance, I was intrigued by these women in their full dress, thinking maybe these were officers’ wives, having lunch or tea with the men in what seem to be military dress. But, none of my books with military uniforms exactly match these guys. Some people suggested the women were “traveling companions” of what appear to be soldiers in uniform.
None of that seemed quite right to me. Then, there is the Whipple Station post mark, which I’ve yet to figure out. I’ve found an old post office at Fort Whipple and one more reference to Fort Whipple Station, which appears to have been a sub-station for people living further away from Prescott, where Fort Whipple is located. I suspect sub-station is a bit of an overstatement but nonetheless.
Onward – our recipient is Miss Carrie Miller of Danville, Kentucky. Searching papers of the time gives me numerous mentions of a Miss Carrie Miller. Of course, Miller is a common name and Carrie is not that unusual. However, in my endlessly romantic mind, I want to believe this is our Miss Miller. Miss Carrie Miller remains Miss Carrie Miller for many years, so I further wonder if she remained unmarried, perhaps waiting for this beau, who never returned from Arizona? Or perhaps she joined him later and married there. Or?
Interestingly Miss Miller’s local paper published a list of letters received at the post office for the week ending September 7th, with instructions to pick them up. Miss Miller is on said list. All of the other references to Miss Carrie Miller are about shopping trips, visits to friends and weddings she attended.
This letter is postmarked February 13, 1908 – perhaps a Valentine for her? Or maybe, from a female friend making her way in the great American West? I don’t know, but I am happy imagining stories for our Miss Miller.
Next post will explain how I came to a hypothesis about this card and what it means.
Onward to adventures through the time and place of Arizona!