Harriett Sends Poinsettias to Grandma – Lebanon, Oregon (1923)

Mrs. Emma Gagne lived in Lebanon, a small city in the Williamette Valley of northwest Oregon.


Grandma received mail in the household of Henry Badley – we do not know if Grandma was boarding at Mr. Badley’s home, if this was the home of her married daughter, or if there was some other reason for this living arrangement.

In January of 1923, Mrs. Gagne received a belated Christmas postcard from her granddaughter, Harriett.

Harriett mailed the postcard from Portland, Oregon – about 80 miles north of Lebanon.

From the appearance of Harriett’s handwriting, we might suspect that Harriett was still a young child.

The face of the postcard is a drawing of two bright poinsettias.

Beneath the blooms is a short (and, awkward) verse about Christmas:

“Of all the gifts St. Nick has left,

Upon his Christmas jaunt,

There’s none can boast a wished-for joy,

Such as this card can vaunt!”

On the reverse, is the childish scrawl of Harriett (which lacks punctuation):

“Dear Grandma,

I got your card you sent me

I have been sick but better now.

Brother is fine”

The message continues with Harriett’s expectation that she will see Grandma in the near future.

Like many grandmothers, Mrs. Gagne preserved carefully the mail from her granddaughter.

One hopes that the visit to Grandma occurred as planned, and that Harriet and Mrs. Gagne enjoyed many years of correspondence.


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