Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bye Bye '15

Here it is the last day of 2015. Time to open up the music box and play the traditional tune.

Yes, that's our music box, yes, it's really old, and yes, it's a tradition to open it up and give it a spin on New Year's Eve here at the Island.

How was your '15?

We'll close out the year with one final sunset ... This one from the Treasure State of Montana, taken yesterday, December 30th. If it looks COLD, you are RIGHT! But beautiful indeed.

One more chorus of Auld Lang Syne and we're out of here!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Canadian Wildflowers [ca 1910]

We collect vintage travel memorabilia, especially related to travel by train in the days way before AMTRAK took over passenger service in the USA. The time period that interests us is from about the late 1800s to 1950s. Train enthusiasts, aka "railfans", like to refer to their favorite "roads", short for railroads and/or rail line companies. Our favorite roads were the ones that served the Pacific Northwest, especially the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Milwaukee Road. It's common to find items we like from other than our favorite roads and today's item is an example.

Today's post features an item published by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, which was a subsidary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and nicknamed the SOO Line after the phonetic spelling of Sault. Wild Flowers of the Canadian Rockies was published sometime around 1910 by the SOO Line.  Here is the brochure ...


Pasque Flower and Golden Ragwort

Do you enjoy wildflowers?
White Heath and Marsh Everlasting Pea
It appears the illustrations are hand drawn, especially the colored versions. Hand coloring of photos was common during this time.
Canada Violet and Blue Lettuce

Yellow Adder's Tongue
Heart-Leaved Arnica and Pale-Flowered Arnica

Red False Heather and Ox-Eye Daisy

White Mountain Rhododendron
and Large-Flowered Blue-Eyed Grass

At the time of publication of this brochure, color was just starting to be a part of the printing process. How do you like the format with the black and white on the left ... color on the right?

Great-Flowered Gaillardia
Large Purple Beard-Tongue
and Butterwort

Drummond's Dryas
Purple Virgin's Bower

Wild Parsley
Small White Lady's Slipper
Small Yellow Lady's Slipper

Birch-Leaved Spiraea

List of Publications
Agents for the SOO Line

Back Cover

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Yellowstone National Park Chapel

From our Yellowstone collection, a book by Aubrey Haines ...

A History of the Yellowstone National Park Chapel
by Aubrey L. Haines
Published 1963

First pages inside.

Table of Contents
Interior of the Chapel in 1917, Haynes Photo
Page ii

Key Figures in creation of the Chapel
Page 6

Interior of the Chapel in 1963, NPS Photo
Page 18
Amazon lists this book as "Out of Print -- Limited Availability". It can be found in some libraries as shown in this link.

If you have been to Yellowstone, did you see the Chapel?

Other photos from around the web ...

Chapel photo from Wikipedia

Stained Glass Window in YNP Chapel
Great Falls of the Yellowstone in the center.

Stained Glass Window in YNP Chapel
Old Faithful in the center.
The Chapel as it appears on Google Maps Street View
Grand Loop Road, Mammoth Hot Springs
Image date 2013
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas [1908]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Copyrighted 1908 by Julius Bien & Co. N. Y.
Embossed and with a bit of glitter as well.

Back of the unused card.
One Cent domestic postage!

Regardless of what you celebrate this time of year, best wishes from John's Island. Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter - Again

From ...

Seattle Solstice is Monday, at 2049 hours (8:49 PM PST)
Go to and plug in your own city for your solstice information.

Here we go again ...

Celebrating the Season with one of our old cards ...

We've featured this old card before and still think it's the best for starting Winter. Copyright 1906 by O. Benedict, Chicago. Benedict did one of these cards for each of the seasons.

A few December skies ...

December 14th
Looking across Puget Sound

December 13th

December 9th, Late Afternoon
This was one of those "grab the camera" moments.

The drought in Seattle and Western Washington is officially over!

Screen Shot from Deptartment of Ecology

Fresh snow on the Olympic Mountains ...

The photo above was taken on the morning of December 16th. There were dark clouds above us in Seattle but way over to the west the Olympic Mountains were in full sunshine.  Those mountains, about 50 miles distant, were almost clear of snow at the end of summer.

Let us be the first to wish you a fine Winter! Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

20 Views - Yellowstone National Park [1920s]

From our Yellowstone collection ...

Bardell Fototone Miniatures
Yellowstone National Park
Here is a little packet of 20 black and white miniature photos of Yellowstone National Park. These little packets were available at souvenir stands in the Park, as well as, for example, railroad stations for trains that served tourists going to the Park. We are guessing these photos are from the 1920s based on the automobiles in a couple of the pictures. Actual size of the pics is about 2 1/2 by 4 inches. Information on who actually took the photos and Bardell is scarce. A web search will find a few more sets of Bardell Miniatures on other locations such as Niagara Falls and San Francisco. Several of the pictures are marked © N.P.Ry.Co. That would be copyright by Northern Pacific Railway Company. The N.P. was one of the major railroads that served Yellowstone. Their closest depot to the Park was in Gardiner, Montana at the Northern Entrance. The Official Photographer for the Park during this time was F. J. Haynes. He also did a lot of work for the N.P. Railway and may have been the photographer on some of these pictures.

Great Falls of the Yellowstone

Mammoth Hotel

Old Faithful Inn
Next photo:  Do you know the story behind "Fishing Cone"? Back in the early part of the 1900s a fisher person could stand on the edge of this hot spring and, once catching a fish in Lake Yellowstone, could swing around and cook the fish in the boiling water in the cone. The cone is still there today, but, of course, they will not let you walk out on it ... too dangerous they say.

Fishing Cone

Northern Entrance Gateway

Upper Falls

Giant Geyser

Old Faithful

Yellowstone Park Bears
Above picture:  The Park bears are still one of the great attractions of the Park. Yes, tourists actually used to feed the bears! The Rangers will not let you do that now. They say it is dangerous and it is not good for the bears to be hooked on human food.
Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs

Shoshone Canyon, Cody Road

Golden Gate

Photo below:  In the early 1900s there were several business in the Park called Camping Companies. They set up tents at various locations around the Park and many tourists stayed in the Camps instead of in the more expensive hotels. The Camping Companies arranged tours and would take you around the Park in about 4 or 5 days ... stopping at a different camp each night.

View in one of the Camps

Yellowstone Station, Official Western Entrance

Elk Horns

Chittenden Bridge

Deer in Yellowstone

Tower Falls

Jupiter Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs
Photo below:  Do you know the story about Handkerchief Pool?  Here is what the Yellowstone Park website says:  "One hundred years ago, one of the most famous attractions in Yellowstone was a small spring called Handkerchief Pool. Visitors threw dirty handkerchiefs into the water. The cloths were sucked into the depths, only to emerge a few minutes later, considerably cleaner. Other objects were also thrown into the hot spring, including coins, broken bottles, rocks, hair pins, and a small horseshoe. The plumbing system of Handkerchief Pool was damaged and eventually the spring became dormant. Today this hot spring has nearly been forgotten." You never know what you can learn on John's Island.

Handkerchief Pool

20 Views Package
Postage = 1 1/2 Cent

20 Views Package
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Happy Birthday USA

Happy Birthday USA Happy holiday to all in America. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day. Comments will return on the next post. Credit to...