A Birch Log for Christmas – Sackets Harbor, NY (1912)

Miss Florence Duggan lived in Sackets Harbor, a village on the northern end of Lake Ontario in western New York State.


In December of 1912, Florence received a Christmas postcard from Lyle, in Put-In-Bay, Ohio.

Put-in-Bay, a village on Bass Island was an early trading center for indigenous people who used the island as a transfer point for goods traded along Lake Erie.

European settlers, following the lead of French explorers, used the area for the same purpose.

Put-In-Bay was the covert base for the fleet of American ships under Commodore Perry that defeated a British fleet in Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

By the early 20th century, Put-In-Bay had become a summer resort; visitors could reach the island by ferries or steamship.


We looked at an earlier postcard story about Put-In-Bay:

The postcard from Lyle featured an illustration dominated by the drawing of long pieces of birch bark, peeled from Birch logs.

Behind the birch is a wintry scene with a rural home.

Beneath the drawing is a legend, “Christmas Greetings”.

On the reverse, the sender inscribed, “A Merry Christmas from Lyle”.

The cancellation on the stamp refers to the upcoming centennial celebration of Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie.

One hopes that Florence was delighted by the Christmas greeting, that she and Lye enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and that the two remained correspondents for any years.


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