In our second Messages post, we examine a card depicting a winter scene on Michigan Avenue, known to modern-day Escanabans as Lake Shore Drive. The view is fitting, as Escanaba and the surrounding area currently struggle through a particularly cold and snowy January.
But this is a Messages post, so let's flip the card over and see what it has to say:
Right away, we notice a few things:
So the next time you're sitting around the campfire at Fuller Park, take a moment to remember O. B. Fuller and his old buddy Harold.
This card is located in our Other City Streets exhibit. Do you know more about O. B. Fuller or the mysterious Harold? If so, let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
The obverse (front) of a postcard is arguably its most important side. The image takes us back to an earlier time in Escanaba, and is almost always the first thing we look at when picking up a new card. Image type is also how we categorize cards into exhibits. In fact, the image on the front is what prompts someone to buy a postcard in the first place.
There is something to be said for what's written on the reverse, or back side, however. While a postcard's picture certainly speaks 1,000 words, often it's the ten or twenty words on the back that tell the true story. Collectors seek out 'mint' cards that are in pristine condition, but we find those cards to be almost a little boring. If the history inherent in a postcard is part of its value, then a card with only one side to view could be considered worth only half as much.
With this in mind, we're introducing Messages, a new feature that will focus on the message, in the hopes of learning a little more about Escanaba and the people who called it home.
Our first post brings up an interesting concept, that Escanaba isn't the city it used to be, that it's somehow diminished over time. Lately, we seem to hear more and more about Esky's decline, due largely to the prevalence of social media and the ease by which people can share their opinions. A hundred years ago, postcards were the social media of the day. And it seems that these types of opinions never go out of style.
"Dear friend - Arrived here yesterday morning. Pretty good town but not the town it use to be."
What's so interesting, of course, is that this particular opinion was expressed over 105 years ago! The card is postmarked May 8, 1912. One can only imagine what this person saw in 1912 that made him long for 'the good old days'.
Nowadays, it seems as though we hear something similar almost on a daily basis about Escanaba. Apparently, it's not a new concept that the Escanaba we see before us is somehow in worse shape than the Escanaba of our memories. We're not sure if that's comforting, or not.