Papa Writes from Offenbach – East Northfield, Massachusetts (1907)

There are many mysteries attached to this postcard which contains an affectionate message from Papa who is in Germany.

Miss Elizabeth White Clark was living in the household of H. H. Tracy in East Northfield, Massachusetts.

Northfield is in western Massachusetts, near Springfield. It has remained a college town since the noted evangelist, Dwight Lyman Moody,founded the Northfield Seminary there in 1879.

In August of 1907, Elizabeth received a postcard from Papa who was in Germany.

The face of the postcard features a black and white photograph of the River Main at the town of Offenbach.

Offenbach am Main is an old town, first noted in 8th century documents of the Holy Roman Empire.

The title of the photograph identifies boats and the Boathouse on the River Main at Offenbach.

Beneath the photograph is a written message in careful block letters.

Papa reports that he walks along the river in the evening; he has seen large Canal Boats pass through the Lock, and he watches the crew teams racing on the river.

He compares them to the teams at New Haven, which suggests that father and daughter may have some acquaintance with the college town in Connecticut.

“Little Otto Heraeus is better”, says Papa – and we are left to wonder if the illness of little Otto was the reason for the trip to Germany.

One hopes that Little Otto continued to improve, that Papa returned safely to his daughter, and that Papa and Elizabeth could watch again the boats on the river at New Haven.


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