Thursday, May 12, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Vacations II

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement, finding many hidden treasures from Dad's family in the way of furniture, books, Bibles, photos, negatives, silver, china and documents. After months of airing-out I am trying to devote at least an hour every week to scanning and photographing these treasures and sharing them here on Treasure Chest Thursday.

Before I show you the next set of photos from this album, I have an update on my post from two weeks ago about my dad's red beanie. I can't believe I didn't think to ask my mother if she knew anything about it when I was writing that post, but I did think to ask her yesterday and she knew its origins and significance.

In 1938, about two month's before Dad's second birthday, my grandparents embarked on a four-month trip to the Near East. It was a working trip for my grandfather who was Executive Secretary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago at that time.

Aunt Isabel (Isabel M Weir) and Dad (Stephen D Matthews)

While my grandparents were away, Dad was left in the care of his maternal uncle, Elmer Anderson and his wife Isabel Weir. Aunt Isabel bought the beanie for my father to wear while he was playing in the wooded area behind their home, so that she could keep track of him from the house.

So now we skip ahead a number of years to about 1951 and another trip that Dad recorded in this album:

What an event it was, even in the 50s, to see people off to Europe. Not the been-there-done-that reaction that is so common today to embarking on a cruise.

"A trip to New York City to see the Camerons leave on a boat to Europe"

"The S.S. Exeter"

After watching their friends depart, Dad took some great photos of NYC and the harbor. I just love these photos.

"The S.S. Exeter sailing from Jersey City"

"Lower Manhattan from Jersey City"
"An American Export Line freighter going out of port."
"The same boat with an Erie tug in the foreground."
"That same boat"
"That boat again"

"Manhattan Island with a ferry boat on the river"

"Lower Manhattan"

"An Erie ferry"

"A New York Central ferry"

"Looking towards the mouth of the Hudson River,
with the Statue of Liberty in the background."

"The Erie ferry dock"
Next week, our last stop will be Concord, Massachusetts.


Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

I love knowing the significance of that beanie. What a clever aunt to give him something that he would like wearing and that would help her keep an eye on him at the same time.

I love that your dad kept a scrapbook and wish I had something like that from a parent or grandparent. It allows us to see things through their eyes. How old was he for this trip to NY?

Wendy said...

Smart aunt!

You need to find these skylines of Lower Manhattan today to compare.

Anna Matthews said...

He was about 16.

Anna Matthews said...

Now I'm thinking of a Circle Line cruise to take some pictures myself. Or a trip to Jersey City, but the boat ride sounds like more fun.