My dear Kate……Believe me always……Yours Henry

a bit of a long story to share with you today 🙂

back in February on our way to the beach to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Mr Magpie’s birthday

Antique shop window Salisbury MDwe stopped in a small town and enjoyed a bit of window shopping…

Salisbury MD antique shop

 outside a great little shop called Moon Vine we noticed a stack of letters tied with a pretty ribbon on a small round table…

Moon Vine Salisbury MD

so romantic looking from 1905 and 1906 with vintage postage and interesting handwriting…

without even reading a letter we could not resist the chance to give them a good home

that is how we “met” Miss Kate Mehling of Baltimore, Maryland and Henry … her letter writing traveling salesman suitor …

Henry's Millinery Co

we do not have a last name or address for Henry but we are assuming this is the millinery company he worked for (he used company stationery for some of his letters mailed from Florida…it is nice sturdy paper torn from a pad)…

8 July 1906 Dowell Helm & Co Millinery and Cloakswe brought home about twenty letters written to Henry’s darling “little girl” as he sometimes liked to refer to his dear Kate…

what a shame we only get one side of the correspondence

his letters are quite tame talking about his gentleman’s life of fishing and hunting expressing again and again how nice it was to receive letters from his dear Kate and how much nicer it would be when they were together again…

more Florida hotels

you can imagine it was a bit tricky trying to deliver letters to a traveling salesman who only stayed in one place for a few days and then moved on to the next location…

Devil and sealing wax Aug 1905

above he writes that “the millinery business is the very (insert his devil drawing)”...that August 1905 envelope from New York City had a bit of black sealing wax on it too…Florida Hotels

he wrote that business was very good…

Kate had Typhoid Jan 1906

one startling thing to read in January 1906 was the news that Kate had Typhoid…

Kate had Typhoid Jan 1906 (1)

an interesting tidbit from here:   “Due to improved environmental sanitation, typhoid fever has decreased dramatically in the United States since the early 1900’s. Before 1920, for example, typhoid fever occurred in 100 out of every 100,000 people. By 1920, it had decreased to 33.8 per 100,000 people, and, by 1950, to 1.7 for every 100,000.  Currently, about 400 cases each year are reported in the United States, and the infected are mostly those who had recently traveled to endemic areas”...

Dear Kate...Yours Henry

a month later Henry wrote: I enclose a few little violets as a token of “old times” gone by and to come,

Feb 1906 pressed violets

only a bit of brown imprint remains on the patinaed pages with the pressed violets long gone…

Feb 1906 pressed violets (1)

when the wild violets burst into bloom in our garden it reminded me of Henry’s letters…

Pressed Fern July 1906

in another letter he tucked in a piece of Florida fern as a souvenir…

Pressed Fern July 1906 (1)

my goodness HOW long would this post have been if there WAS anything of real substance to report…

Henry in Baltimore 27 Feb 1906

for now I am happy to be the keeper and guardian of these letters not quite sure what I will do with them exactly…

Violet tea cup

hope you enjoyed this…

token of affection

 joining the other bloggers over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard and wishing you a Happy T Day…

Wild Violet Love Letter Tea


38 responses to “My dear Kate……Believe me always……Yours Henry

  1. What a marvellous find Patty, so interesting! Happy ‘tea’ day! xxx


  2. What a find! And, oh, I want to know how the story ends…did they ever get married, did Kate recover from typhoid, how did they meet? Maybe you can write the rest of the story and illustrate it with your beautiful art.


  3. What a beautiful post, my friend….lovely letters, I adore old correspondence….you violets are really special…happy tea day xo


  4. awww it feels like you’ve adopted a new family member, in memory anyway. so sweet. i like to think they married but had no children to care for the letters. thx so much for sharing this sweet correspondence


  5. How romantic to ponder the relationship between these two correspondents! How amazing to see the images of the violets and ferns still there! This was a good tea day read!


  6. What a lovely find Patty. They may not have had much content but they do give a true flavour of their relationship. It is good to assume that she recovered from the typhoid as the letters continued after that. I wonder if somewhere are Kate’s letters or whether he did not keep them?


  7. So nice that you are the guardian to these letters. They are a great find.


  8. Enchanting! Thank you fir the trip back in time!❤️


  9. The days of hand written letters has almost been deleted from our world. These are so special. I have some that were my Grandmother’s that I have had for years. I like to show them to MY grandchildren, even though we can’t read them, they are written in Norwegian.
    Your violets and tea cups are beautiful.


  10. Patty, what an amazing find! It was all waiting for you to come by — a woman who will appreciate every letter.


  11. What a find! What a lovely post! And you did it all such justice.. Just beautiful! Tea and violets what a great way to start my day! XXOO


  12. What a great find and lovely post! I loved it, thank you for sharing!
    Hugs Marilou


  13. Oh how I Love the way Henry writes! So sweet. Sure would Love to know how it all turned out.


  14. Oh so sweet…love that you provided a home for the letters…and a quite marvelous photo of violets and tea cup! the shadow of the violet on the letter was just stunning. Since we hardly ever write old-fashioned letters to one another, it is becoming a lost art…happy T day my dear…


  15. Oh what a beautiful post, Patty! I really enjoyed hearing about the violets imprinted into the paper after all those years. Simply wonderful to read and share over a cup of tea with a dear friend. Happy T-day!


  16. What a treasure you found. Of course, I was impressed by the swans you managed to include in your photos. Beautiful photos, as always, and a lovely tale of, what I can only imagine, was bittersweet love. Such a unique and wonderful find. Somehow, I suspect these gems will eventually find their way into your art. But until then, you are the keeper of this one sided conversation in a form that was so popular before the telephone, skype, and internet became so popular.

    Thanks for sharing these gems with us for T today. And thanks for sharing your violets and tea cup, too.


  17. Oh what an incredibly beautiful and romantic post Patty! Such a treasure to find those letters together. I know I’d have a very difficult time using any part of them unless I made copies. Wouldn’t it be something if he and Kate somehow knew after all this time someone is still reading these lovely letters and imagining their story? Thank you for sharing such a special find!


  18. A fabulous find! No doubt you were transported back a century during your reading. It’s a shame that emailing and texting has taken over from handwritten correspondence.


  19. hettiecraft

    What a beautiful post Patti. I am so glad you rescued these and shared them with us today. I have lots of cards which Hubby’s grandfather sent to his grandmother whilst they were courting. I do love to read through them from time to time.


  20. This may be one of my favorite blog posts from all time, anywhere, any person. The letters are a treasure and I suspect they were entrusted to you two by fate to share the lovely words of Henry to his dear Kate. He sounds quite wonderful. I hope in the end they had a happy story, that the letters — so carefully saved — were saved by their descendants together, and not just found by those of Kate many moons later. Even if that is so, it must have been a wonderful love for her to have kept them so carefully — violets and all. You were chosen. This is beautiful.


  21. Hi, thanks for your nice comment on my blog. My goodness, these letters that you have posted are so sweet! It’s kind of funny (but also nice) to think that people really used to write so formally. It’s very different from the “hey wazzup” e-mail exchanges if today. :). Enjoy your letters and have a Happy T Day!


  22. Hello Patty, what a lovely treasure you have to share with us today. I love seeing these letters, makes me want to see if my mom has any of my Nana’s, would love to see them. Love the added flowers, fern to some of them, how sweet.
    Thank you for sharing them and your beautiful flowers and tea cup.

    It is a hot 86 today, YAY and my lilacs are blooming like crazy, YAY!! So nice to finally be warm/hot and just enjoy being outside.

    Thank you for your visit today and happiness over my 29 layouts. I just did #30 yesterday and might squeeze in one before bedtime or early in the morning.
    Have a lovely week and Happy T Day!


  23. How lovely. And how sad that these two lovers were forgotten. Hey this would make a wonderful fake journal, or even a digital one, or a lovelt book with your beautiful photos!


  24. What a treasure! So glad you have them now. God bless!


  25. Happy T-Day!
    Oh wow that is amazing … you can write a great novel out of that. How sweet. Really love the beautiful hand writing. Beautiful photos and I love your cup.


  26. sparkledaysstudio

    Fantastic story….Like a bit f life frozen in time you,want to preserve…..xox


  27. i´m sure you will treasure this find so well, and the letters will be more mysterious with every year… so many imagination to put into this correspondence…
    and i love the swan window… the trumpet swan especially!!


  28. inanoctopusgarden

    How sweet – the violets ghostlike impression in the stationery made it very real for me. I love that you found them and treasure their words. The fact that they were collected, tied up and saved is gently powerful too!


  29. Dearest Patty, what a lovely find,-I`m sure it was wayting there for you, to be photographed in that absolutely wonderful way, with the violets of today, giving colour to the faded one from all back then.
    What a bittersweet story, not knowing if she got well again, and if they ever saw each other !!
    Your little cup is so sweet,too my dear.
    Hugs from Dorthe


  30. How romantic these letters are! Love the faded pages and the beautiful writing. Your pictures of the blue flowers are amazing.
    Have a wonderful week


  31. Really wonderful, thanks for sharing.


  32. Maybe just enjoying them and briefly living in the moment of time they let you slip back to is all that needs to be done with them…what a treasure!!!


  33. How romantic and wonderful these letters are! They are something to be treasured, for sure. I always feel sad when I see things like this (particularly old photographs) left abandoned in shops and wonder how they got there.


  34. How wonderful!!!! I love the story…… I think you should send them to Carole and she can write a book based on them…. and, of course, split the royalty with you!


  35. A peek into someone’s life from long ago – Thanks Patty!
    sandy xx


  36. Pingback: Mikrokosmos Foto Challenge July Week 4 “Brief/Letter” | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  37. What a wonderful story!


  38. Pingback: He wrote me a letter… | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

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