Papa Writes to His Son at Prep School – Mercersburg, PA (1907)

This postcard languished in a box of 25-cent cards until I found it at a postcard exhibition.

It is interesting in two ways:  the photograph of Carsonia Park in Reading, Pennsylvania, and the reference to the Mercersburg Academy.

Carsonia Park was the subject of recent conversation among Berks County historians.  The trolley park was created in 1896 as a pastoral setting for picnics and water sports, but soon grew to include a wide variety of amusements (an arcade, photo studio, etc.) and rides (three carousels, a miniature railroad, a roller coaster, etc.).

The Mercersburg Academy was established originally as a prep school for Marshall College.  In 1853, when the college merged with Franklin College to become F & M in Lancaster, the Prep School continued to operate under its original charter and became (after several changes of name), the Mercersburg Academy.

In January of 1907, Papa wrote to his son, William J. Rourke, Jr., at the Mercersburg Academy.

Unfortunately, Papa wrote on the face of the postcard (required by postal regulation until 1906) and his solid penmanship is blurred.  I can discern, “I hope that you are ….and happy with…  Papa”

Papa addressed the card with admirable penmanship.  I regret that his written message is not legible any longer.

The postcard was mailed from Reading on January 25, 1907 and received the next day in Mercersburg.

One hopes that young William succeeded in his studies and enjoyed the favor of his father.

William Rourke, Sr. was a noted attorney and public official in Reading, PA. He died in 1918.

Note: In this category is another postcard communication to young William Rourke – “Highland House”.


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