In honor of St. Valentine's Day I thought I would share some fun history on how it was celebrated on the frontier. Today Valentine’s Day is primarily considered a romantic couples holiday, but in the 1800s both private and public celebrations were held. Churches, lodges, hotels, and private individuals held St. Valentine’s Day parties. Hostesses decorated with red and pink cupids and hearts with arrows gracing the walls and windows. Whether together or apart, pioneers on the Western frontier carried on the tradition of celebrating St. Valentine’s Day in ways not dissimilar to today’s celebrations. To honor St. Valentine’s Day, the young and old alike sent cards to family members, secret loves, sweethearts, and even teachers. This day of love was also a day when people would take time to send letters to friends letting them know they were thinking of them. Men worried about sending the proper card or gift and girls dreamed of receiving a [...]
The commitment I made to myself of trying to blog at least once a week, has been really hard since I have tonsillitis and the flu! While in Denver, despite being sick, my friend Mary and I visited the historic mining town of Georgetown. We also stopped at Buffalo Bill's grave site along they way. Ever since coming back on Feb 3, I've been sick. My brain is mush and I can't think straight. You know that filter that prevents you from saying things you shouldn't? Well, my is malfunctioning. So, I've been taking it easy and playing with family genealogy. I learned that I have way more Dutch in me that I knew. Several of my ancestors on my mom's side were from the Netherlands. I'm mostly descended from English immigrants, but there's also German, French, and Irish. Yep, a true American mutt who likes to write about her country's Western history.
I got back from a trip to Denver on Saturday and ended up with tonsillitis and likely the flu. Despite that, I am still working on Ethel. She really wants her story told! I've been enjoying reading through and looking at all the documents I've collected. My cousin and I took a trip to England and few years ago to research Ethel. I met her great granddaughter, Elizabeth. She was a caterer and treated us to some amazing food and gin and tonics. I told her what I learned about her family and she shared some fun and interesting tidbits. Her photos were awesome. I reached out to her today and now I really am inspired, despite being sick. This is an illustration of Ethel from 1898.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, but with the creation of my new website, I’ve decided to start up again. No promises on how often it will be, but my goal is once a week. I’ve pushed so hard over the last few months to meet multiple deadlines so I’m taking the rest of the year off! Well, okay, that’s what? 44 days? I do still have a magazine column for True West due December 7, so not completely off. Oh yeah, did I mention I still have to find photos for my California Madam book by the end of November? Wait, did I say I was taking off? I also want to start working on my next book called, Love, Lies, and Loss Across Two Continents, which is a narrative non-fiction. So that’s my first blog, but hopefully not my last.