Friday, December 18, 2009

Blizzard Fever

This has nothing to do with old family photos, it's just a few thoughts.
Since early this morning (5am) the radio and TV have been in panic mode here in the Lehigh Valley. Snow Advisories, Possible state of emergency pending in all counties south of the Raritan River in NJ, Philadelphia to be covered by several feet of snow.
Come on people... it's a snow storm. It's not the first we've ever had and it won't be the last. When I was a kid I remember walking to school a few days after a blizzard and split rail fences were still completely hidden by snow... but the roads and the sidewalks were clear. Life went on.
The weather people seem to love causing panic.
The snow will be pretty though. It's just too bad it couldn't happen on Christmas eve. Oh well.
It occurs to me that most of you have no idea where I live. Too bad you couldn't have seen it when I wanted to live here... before the million dollar homes were built in the fields and woods that used to stretch for a mile, or more. I can't wait to get out of here now. The homes were all bought by people from New Jersey who treat me like I'm Mr. Ziffle (from Green Acres). They pass my house every day and manage to mumble a 'hello' only if I greet them first. I don't blame them for wanting to escape from NJ... I did too, 22 years ago but people like this are one of the top 5 reasons I left the state.
There are, however, moments, that I can look outside and remember what it used to be like here.

Ginny wanted a picture of our pond for her blog. I went out in the yard and set up just the right angle so none of the neighbors houses were shown.
The next morning we woke up to a winter wonderland so I went out and took the same shot. This looks like the place I moved to 22 years ago.
By the way, if you want to check out Ginny's blog you can find it at
So maybe if it does snow deep enough to completely hide a split rail fence, and our power (from Part-Time Power & Light) stays on, I'll have a chance to scan a bunch more photos to post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Strange photo

I'm not entirely sure who the child is
but I find the photograph a bit strange.

To me this child appears somewhat transparent in comparison to the wooden fence.
Could be a double exposure I suppose.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Updates & Corrections 12/7/09

The Lost Hardware Store.

I have a little more information about the hardware store in Brooklyn.
A few weeks ago, Aunt Eleanor emailed this:
"the only hardware store I remember for my grandfather Wilmott was in Elizabeth, went there many times. He lived with us and the house on Reid st had a sign out front for sharpening saws etc. I know they were in Brooklyn before I was born but know little of it."
In addition she recalls, "My uncle Perc took over his store in Eliz. when grandpa retired".
More recently Aunt El wrote, "Talked with my cousin George , he lives in Linden NJ. He remembers being to the store on myrtle street", so there we go. The Myrtle (street - avenue - whatever) address in Brooklyn is correct and I would presume this is indeed a picture of that store.
- - -
Who's The Girl?

Once again, Aunt El to the rescue.
I thought this might have been Aunt Hazel. I should have thought about it a bit longer... Hazel would have been quite a bit older than this. Now I did think this looked a bit like Edith but, I thought, my father and Edie were much closer in age. Then again with kids around this age, 2 years can make a big difference so, I'm inclined to agree with Aunt El.
I believe the young girl is Edith (Aunt Flossie's daughter and MUCH later married Jack Staeger).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Faded & Battered

Believe it or not, I have a few photos that are in worse condition.

I'm quite sure the young boy on the left is my father (L. W. Beyer).
I think the gentleman on the right is my Great Grandfather Willmot,
or Wilmott, depending on who writes it.
The young girl standing behind my father... I'm not so sure.
Could this be Lilly's sister Hazel?
I have loads of pictures left here but there aren't too many more 'mysteries'.
I know who most of the people are or,
the photos are so faded you can't tell who they are.
I don't know if everyone wants to see 40-50 more pictures of
"Bill" & "Babe"
but I've sure got them here if you do. Let me know, okay?
Also, if you want to be removed from this mailing list please,
let me know that too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A popular spot

Yes, it's Angus Sr. and Angus Jr. back on this porch again in Cranford, NJ.
A few months back I posted a similar picture but with Eleanor and Claire sitting in the middle. At first I thought this was probably the same day until I saw the size of the plant, shrub, bush on the left. That wasn't there in the other photos.
It's hard to tell whether this was taken long before or long after the other pictures. Angus Sr. does look a bit older but, that could be due to the hat.
Well, no matter really, I just thought it was a nice picture of father & son.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Myrtle Ave.

I spent some time today on Google maps looking for Myrtle Ave. or Street in Brooklyn, NY. I didn't find Myrtle Street but there IS a Myrtle Ave. It runs East-West from Flatbush Ave. to the Van Wyck Expressway.
The mention of Routes 1 & 9 in my previous post was no help. I can't find Route 1 OR 9 anywhere near Myrtle Ave. so, either that information is wrong, they moved the roads, or renamed them. A rename is likely since there is a few Interstate type numbered roads in the area.
Without further clues I used the Google "fly by" feature which is the next best thing to driving down the street in a car. There are lots and lots and lots of old store fronts along the avenue but there's nothing that looks exactly like our photograph. No, I didn't really expect to find the place in a state of preservation but, I did hope to find a possibility or two. Nothing.
Unless one of us wants to go to Brooklyn and walk up & down Myrtle Street, talking to 100 year old, life long residents, that is the end of the road for the Hardware Store story.

By the way, I also did a Google "fly by" of Sayre Street in Elizabeth... 'our' house is still there and looks about the same. It's strange that I can remember all the houses where other kids lived and I remember most of their names. How odd that we humans carry around that kind of useless information around for, I guess, all our lives.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Brooklyn NY

What is the Beyer connection to Brooklyn NY?
Is it that the Willmot family was from Brooklyn?
As a kid, I can recall Brooklyn being mentioned from time to time but, as a kid, I didn't pay much attention to conversations about places that meant nothing to me.
Unreliable as memories can be, it seems most of those discussion took place when Aunt Floss was around.
In addition, my Father told some stories about things he remembered seeing in Brooklyn but I don't ever recall him saying that he lived there so, I would guess, he was relating things he saw while visiting his (Willmot) Grandparents.
Below is a picture of my father on Myrtle Ave in Brooklyn NY.
This picture is a reprint but I have seen the original (but don't know where) which said "Routes 1 & 9 run through here now".

Below is Willmot's Hardware Store on Myrtle Street in Brooklyn, NY.
Yes, I know... the picture above says "Myrtle Ave" so, it would seem, whoever wrote the caption on the back of one of these photos was mistaken.
Next chance I get I will spend some time on Google Earth and see if I can find out which is right.
The caption on this photo gives me a headache... talk about confusing!
"Grandpa Willmot's Hardware Store on Myrtle St. in Brooklyn NY"
Okay, that part is fine. Then it says,
"Grandpa, Grandma, Edith, Edith Stager, the store was much wider"
Well, "the store was much wider"... I get that part. The photo is just not showing the entire width of the store. No problem.
But, how many people do you see in the photo?
I'm counting 5. Somebody is unaccounted for and I don't think there are two Edith's. I only know of one Edith... Aunt Floss' daughter and Lillian's neice... who MUCH later married Jack Stager.
It doesn't look like anyone in this picture, aside from the obvious, are anywhere old enough to be married or have children.
Oops, have I stumbled upon some kind of dark family secret?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coney Island Express

Initially I thought this photo might relate to the "balloon" picture I previously posted, since it was obviously taken at an amusement park.
The "balloon" picture was taken at Bayonne, NJ according to the caption on the back. Was this taken at the same place or is this from Coney Island as the sign would indicate?
Of course that's A. A. Beyer Jr. on the right but who is on the left? An Uncle? Cousin? There is nothing on the back of this photo which, no doubt, is a re-print.
Does anyone have the original of this photo and, more importantly, is there any caption on the back?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to normal.

The "worst" of the show season is over. We have a few more shows this year but they are weeks apart. Now I've got time for my various online endeavors, not only this blog but my online store which takes a great deal of time.

So, here we have the Beyer ladies... well, three of them anyway. Not sure who the tall one in the back is.
Not sure what house this is either. I know it's not Sayre Street but that's all I'm sure of.

The picture below was taken in the backyard of Sayre Street. I'd bet $2 on it because I can still remember that 'industrial' sized garage the neighbors had to park their oil trucks.
When the last link of Interstate-78 opened between Phillipsburg, NJ and Allentown, PA. (around 1991) there was a parade of antique vehicles over the Delaware River bridge. Most of the vehicles came as far as the Bethlehem-Hellertown exit to turn around and Ginny & I got to see them. To my surprise, there was the big "GOLD" oil truck! I know Gold had a few small trucks but only one big one like that. It was exactly as I remembered it.
Anyway, here is Claire in OUR yard with Bandit. I remember so well how "Bandi" would ride in the basket of Claire's bike and... too many funny little incidents to include here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's almost over.

We have one more antiques show this weekend (10/9-10-11/09) and our crazy schedule is over. We have a few more shows to do before 2010 but they're not so close together.
I'm looking forward to getting this blog back on track. I've still got a BIG envelope full of pictures that need to be scanned & posted so we should click right along until the antique show season starts up again next April.
By the way... we do 2 shows a year in Flemington, NJ. It's not as far from Ocean County NJ as, say... Bagdad. Think about it.

So, you may remember this little girl from the "Sittin' on the Beach" post a few months back. Her name is Vivian (see bottom photo) I think that might be Babe holding her and, evidently, that's Robert (also see bottom photo) on the right.
[The bottom photo is the back of this picture which has been cut. Somebody in our family was kinda 'sissor happy'. I'd love to know what else what written on there.]
We didn't have much luck figuring out who she is last time but, I'm thinking, maybe the association with Babe might help jar a memory.
I vaguely recall my father talking about a "Cousin Vivian" and I think she lived in New England in the 1970's.
Is Robert her brother... or another cousin? I've got 3 or 4 pictures of her. She can't be just a homeless waif.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where have I been?

In short... I've been pretty busy.
The fall antique show season is about to get underway and Ginny & I have been out buying stock. We shop the flea markets, estate sales, auctions and (to a much lesser degree) yard sales.
Now things you buy like this are NEVER as clean as they could be so, once we get the stuff home, we wash, touch up, and maybe repair the items so they are ready to go.
It's a lot of work, especially when we have heat & humidity like we did in August.
So for the next few weeks I'll be, mostly, on the road trying to make a few bucks.
Wish me luck.
In the mean time, here's a couple guys you might remember.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dig them crazy shades.

Is this Aunt Eleanor? I think so.
From the look of the fishing pole she's heading out for some deep sea fishing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Look, up in the sky...

it's the Beyer family!

The caption on the back is just slightly damaged but appears to be written by Aunt Gladys.
Angus and Gladys Beyer with Grandfather and his 2nd wife Ka(te?)
at amus(ment park?) in Bayonne, NJ.
Gee... don't they look like they're having fun?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

They hadn't invented

the weedwacker yet. Too bad, we may have been able to determine where this photo was taken.

However we can see the people alright and I don't have a clue who they are. Anyone else have a guess?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I asked,

a while ago if Babe always stood to Bill's left.

Apparently so.
I'll guess that the top photo was taken somewhere around the Elizabeth, or Newark meadows but I really have no idea.
I think most of us have a pretty good idea where the bottom shot was taken.

Monday, August 3, 2009

As promised...

Charles Edmund Beyer and his 2nd wife Kate.
According to the caption on the back of the photo, this was taken in front of the home of his son, Howard.
The fence looks a lot like the fence in the previous post of Charles Edmund Beyer.
Oh, and about that previous post, I had a chance to look at another, much brighter, copy of that same picture... the lady on the porch may, indeed, be Kate.
I'm still curious what happened to his 1st wife Mary Ellen.
As a dealer of antiques, I'm interested in that "morticed bench" they are sitting on. Wish I could see it better.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

1st American Citizen Beyer of our family line.

This photo is long overdue but I wanted to find a few facts before I posted. I didn't find out everything I was looking for however, thanks to Aunt Eleanor, Joe Castoral and my magnifying glass, I've got more than I had before.
This is Charles Edmund Beyer, born in Prussia 1837 or 38.
In the 1880 census he was 46 years old and living on Staten Island, NY. His occupation is listed as "House Carpenter".
I don't know the date of this photograph but MAY have been taken at the home of his son, Howard. Clearly he was much older than 46 at the time of this photo.
If you look carefully to his right, you'll see a dark figure just to the right of the post and, apparently, seated on the porch.
That figure may be his wife Mary E. (maiden name?) Beyer the mother of Angus A. Beyer Sr.
I have another picture of Charles taken in what appears to be the same location but a "few" years after this one. That photo is marked "Charles Beyer with his second wife Kate, who is a very sweet lady, in front of the home of Howard Beyer".
I spent a loooong time with a magnifying glass comparing the two photos. I don't think they are the same woman... of course, I could be wrong. I'll post the "other" photo in a few days.
At any rate... what happened to Mary? Did she die or was there a divorce?
Now, Joe has asked me if we have any more information about Howard Beyer. Howard is the link between the Beyer and the Castoral family. Do we know anything about Howard? He was 22 years old in 1880 and working in a Sewing Machine factory.
I should mention for all interested parties that the Beyer family had many members employed by the Singer Sewing Machine Co. in Elizabeth, NJ.. This includes my father who worked there after his medical discharge from the army, until the end of world war 2. In fact, it was at the Singer company that my dad got friendly with the lady who was operating the machine next to his... that lady had a daughter named, Anita. I think you can figure out the rest.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Got Wilmotts?

I think I've got another bunch here.
I recognize Harry (back row, 4th from left) but the rest of them... I dunno.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Curiouser and curiouser

Yesterday I posted a photo of "Margaret & Charlie".

Last evening I heard from Aunt Eleanor who said she didn't know them. Fair enough. I thought some photos from my mother's side of the family had gotten mixed in.

Then this evening I found this photo of Eleanor, Margaret & Charlie.

Could be that these two are, indeed, members of my mother's family (Jordan) and this was merely a brief and forgotten moment in time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Margaret & Charlie... ?

I have no idea who Margaret is and Charlie, this doesn't look like "Babe". Are they Wilmotts or Whitesels?

Sorry I can't find a reference for "Whitesel" so I don't know how to spell it.

I seem to be rather short on Beyer photos. I'm missing people several people, like Lucy and Gladys. For all the family legends regarding "Aunt Gladys" I should have, at least, a few pictures of her. But I'll keep looking.
In addition, I'm missing "Babe's" dod. My dad died in 1985 and his brother was only a few years later. 1988? I believe I had just moved to Pennsylvania and the news was a bit slow getting here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Timeline: Angus A. Beyer

The photo above has a caption which I cannot improve upon.
It merely says, "This suit fits pretty quick".
Is he proud of this bike, or what?

Here's himself delivering the mail on Broad and Lafayette Sts. in Newark, NJ.

Me and my Grandfather.
From this moment on, he was always telling me something he thought I should know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today's mystery pictures are of...

well, I don't know who they are.
The child in the picture above appears in another photo which says, "Vivian" on the back.

I'm really at a loss on this one.
It must be a Beyer or a Wilmott since it came from the same box as all the previous pix.

These two ladies, if I had to guess, are Wilmotts.
The boys, of course, we know are "Bill" and "Babe".
Notice that "Babe" is once again at "Bill's" left side.
I know I've posted a lot of pictures in the last few days but I wanted to get a little ahead since I'm going to be quite busy for the next several days.

"Life is what happens when you'd rather be doing other stuff"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I wonder where these were taken?

I sure hope I'm not flooding anyone's inbox today but I found some interesting shots and I have some time today so...

What a nice photo of Lillian! Could this have been on Staten Island? I guess the meadows around Elizabeth and Newark, NJ looked like this back then too.
Does anyone know the name of the dog? He/she shows up in a lot of the photos from this era.

Here's my granny with my dad and Uncle Babe.
It looks like the same place and the same day.
Did Babe ALWAYS stand on Bill's left? You'll see why I ask this in future posts.

Here's granny and Aunt Eleanor during one of those rare New Jersey earthquakes.
It's amazing to me that this photo survives.

Lil & the boys.

I've just heard from Joe Castoral who was interested in Angus Jr's wife & children.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of everyone together. Does anyone have a shot of JUST the children, say... pre 1950?
I do have, however, this pretty nice shot of,
(far right) Lillian
(middle) Leslie "Bill"
(left) Charles "Babe"
I get the feeling Uncle Babe didn't like those shoes much.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Babe & Charles

or Charles & Babe... either way.

I've been in touch with my cousin Charles (the little one in this photo) and we've exchanged some interesting email. During the course of conversation I mentioned this picture so here it is.
Charlie, maybe this was taken in Metuchen. I'm quite sure you weren't yet 2 years old.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wilmott quiz.

Meet the Wilmotts.
At least I think they're all Wilmotts.
There's no question in my mind, that little girl in the front row with that big ribbon in her hair is Lillian.
Can anyone identify some, if not all, of them?

I cropped this picture, cutting out some of the details of the porch they are on.
If anyone wants to see the larger picture just let me know.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It must have been...

summer when this was taken.
Only "1942" is written on the back of this.
I can't positively identify who is in the middle of Claire & Eleanor.
This looks like it was taken at a "campground" or something.
Remember the "Tourist Cabins" that used to be out on Rt. 9 in Bayville? You could see them from the back yard of granny's house. They tore them down to build the school, I think. Anyway, it looks like that kind of setting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Now that we know...

Now that we know all the pertinent information about Susan, here's another one that's a mystery to me... though I do have a guess.
First, on the right, we have Lillian who, apparently, had tried a new shampoo that day. It sure made her hair look... different.
The lady on the left. Gosh, she looks about 30 years older than Lil but I have a feeling the age difference isn't that great.
Is this Gladys? (Angus Jr's sister)
You know, I only met her once, at my father's funeral, but she made an impression on me. This kinda looks like her.

Updates & Corrections 7/15/09

I spent over an hour on the phone with Claire on Monday evening. She had some good, first hand, information to relate regarding two earlier posts. First the post on the right. The lady on the right is "the step mother" whos name is vaguely remembered to be Helena, or something similar to that.
As for the rest of the people, yes, I had them correct but I was incorrect about the location. I thought it was Westfield. Nope. Turns out to be Cranford, NJ.. Well, I was still right about the houses. That whole part of the state has those "Dutch Colonial/Craftsman Era" style homes.

Now, for the lady below. She is Susan Archer-Beyer-Barry. Born 1867 - Died 1948 @ 81 and is, indeed, the mother of Angus Jr.. So, it would seem, her entry in the Castoral family tree is incorrect. Thank you Claire!

Now, this I never knew. Claire told me that our Angus's (is that the plural of Angus?) are actually Adolfus Angus Beyer, not Angus Adolfus Beyer as I always thought. Who knew? Well, he always called himself Angus so, I'll keep writing it the way he apparently wanted.

That's all the new information I have for now. Please keep me advised of anything that comes to mind about this.
I have everyone on the email list so you don't have to log onto the Blog all the time. So, you can either send me an email or go on the blog, click "post a comment" and tell everyone what you have found.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Claire & Grandfather Wilmott

This one's easy, it's identified.

H. Wilmott.

You see that several people were working out how old he was... or something. I guess there was a shortage of scrap paper at the time.

Where was this taken? By the bungalow? It appears to be near salt water, judging by the vegetation.
This is the spelling of Wilmott I see most often, but I've often seen it spelled with two L's. I think one L is correct.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ridin' the rods.

My grandfather was a hobo?

Just kidding. This picture is the mate to Angus on the signal pole.

Many years ago, before my time, railroad box cars had these iron rods underneath. I don't know their real purpose but hobos would ride these rods just as Angus is doing here. Of course, this train isn't moving. What a terrifying prospect... fall asleep for a few seconds, lose your grip and it's all over.

I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 when grandpa would take me for a walk up Sayre street, then up (I think it was) Cherry Street. We'd cross Westfield Ave. and right there a railroad ran parallel to Westfield Ave.. We'd stand on the Cherry St. bridge and watch the trains go underneath. I think that must have been the Central Railroad on NJ.

How perfectly I recall the smoke billowing up around the bridge when a steam locomotive would pass under the bridge. These had to be oil burning locomotives and I say that because of the unique smell of the smoke. I had forgotten all about the smell of that smoke till I moved to Pennsylvania and into a house with oil heat. Every once in awhile, when the burner starts up, I get a whiff of that same odor... and I think of my grandfather.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sittin' on the beach.

There's no label on the back of this pic.

I've looked at it for a long time and just can't positively identify this child but it could be one of the Beyer girls.

What really caught my attention was the guy in the suit. I'm thinking, "who wears a suit & tie to the beach?" when I noticed there's ANOTHER guy in a suit behind him and a little to the right. Did everyone get dressed up to sit on the beach in those days or was this just a terribly exclusive beach? Wow, the local dry cleaners must have been raking in the dough.

Email Posts

I bet you think I'm an expert at blogging. Well, I have, almost, three weeks of experience so, you see, I'm learning too.
I've learned that, in order to fully participate in my blog, people need to have a Google (or gmail) account. Yeah, it's free and has not generated any appreciable spam in the year that I've had my account but, I understand that people are hesitant to sign up for stuff like that.
For the last two days I've been looking for a workaround and I think I've found it. I can send the posts to you via email if you wish. (This post is going to Aunt El and Ed in that manner) Let me know how this works out for you. Easier? Harder?
I'm not sure how/if you can post comments but, at least, you can reply to the emails and I can then post the information you report to me.
You'll get one more post from me today which will contain a picture. The picture may take a few moments to download on to your screen so don't think you've done something wrong.
I'm trying to make this a bit easier for everyone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ed & Claire 1945

That's not the Ed you thought, is it?
The text on the back of the photo reads;
Eddie & Claire
at (unreadable)
This is my cousin Ed Rehm, son of my mother's sister Alice. He died about 6-8 years ago, in California.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Angus the signal man.

I can just imagine what he'd say if any relative of his tried this. Look close, it's him alright. The photo above is an enlargement of the one below. It's apparent that this picture was cut down from a larger size. I wonder what else was in the shot.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just a darn minute here!

This doesn't add up.
The picture below is said to be Susan Beyer. According to the Castoral site, Susan was born 1871 and died 1908 at 37 years of age. Clearly the lady in the picture is over... 40 years old.
So now what? Did some family member mislable the photo, and that is not Susan or does the Castoral site have her birth and/or death date wrong?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Susan, I found you.

The hand written note on the back of this photo reads,

Angus & Glady's mother
Susan Archer-Beyer

The word "Barry" is written directly under "Archer" so I'm a bit confused about it's meaning. Was it "Susan Archer-Beyer-Barry" or was the author of the text named "Barry". I am also aware that we have relatives with the surname "Barry". Is Susan a connection between both the Barrys & Beyers? Wow... this kind of gives me a headache.
Note: I've spelled "Glady's" exactly as it's spelled on the back of the photo. I only met "aunt" Gladys at my father's funeral but I can't imagine she would tolerate being called "Glady".
Anyway... this would be my great-grandmother.
Somehow this picture doesn't look like it was taken prior to 1907, the year Susan was supposed to have died but, I have no evidence that she lived beyond that year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Some I do, some I don't.

I believe the child on the left is my father (Leslie W.) and the child on the right is my uncle (Charles/Babe). I have no idea who the child in the middle might be. So, who is on the porch? Well, I guess it's not Susan (Leslie & Charles' grandmother). I rechecked the Castoral site and Susan died in 1908. Since my father was born after that year, I'm wondering if that is Lillian on the porch. It doesn't really look like her but it was a very long time ago so... maybe.

I'm very sure of who 3/4 of these people are. Right to Left is my grandfather, Angus (Jr.), then my aunts Eleanor and Claire. On the far left, I'll assume, that must be Angus (Sr.). I recall that he lived in Westfield, NJ and that sure looks like Westfield to me.

Going Left to Right this time, Angus (Sr.), Eleanor, Claire and... who is the lady on the right? I'll need some help from the girls in this picture.