“So Near And Yet So Far” – Lowell, Michigan (circa 1910)

Miss Zilpha Hyde lied in Lowell, a city on the Grand River, about 15 miles east of Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Zilpha resided in the household of James Steele, but it is unclear if she is a relative, domestic worker, or a boarder.

(We have seen other postcards related to members of the Hyde family in Lowell.)

In February of a year near 1910, Zilpha received a postcard from her mother.

Ma mailed the postcard from Lowell, but she appears to be living apart from Zilpha.

The face of the postcard is a photograph of a romantic scene, albeit one that depicts some amorous frustration.

A young woman, in a frilly white dress with some excellent hand-stitching, is perched on a rock or on the low bough of a tree.

Her swain, standing on the ground, stretches to kiss her, but is an inch too far.

The caption reads, “So Near and Yet So Far”.

On the reverse, the message from Ma has no romantic content.

Ma writes that she does not have “time to write this morning”; Ma has “got to go to work now”.

Ma signs her message with, “Bye now”.

It seems that Zilpha was amused by the romantic scene as the postcard was preserved in good condition for more than a century.

One hopes that Ma was able to complete a letter at a later time.


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