Grandma's picture

Grandma's picture
Grandma's Passport photo

Sunday, July 26, 2015

28 - Europa - Blueprint of Passenger Areas

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile was on her way to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She had crossed the country by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, a ship with the North German Lloyd ship line, was carrying her across the

One of the more fascinating items in Grandma's collection, for me at least, was a blueprint of the "passenger accommodations" of the ship. It is a large piece of paper, 40 inches by 52 inches. It has been folded up for almost 80 years, so it is a bit fragile and bent and torn in a few places, but still quite legible.

Mostly folded - outside title & math notes
On the outside, next to the identification are some calculations and some handwriting in German.

Close view of the writing

As usual, I had to turn to my friend Al Haunold to help me with the translation.

The calculations at the top  convert temperature from Centigrade to Fahrenheit. On the top,written down, it says 37 = Normal, the normal body temperature in Celsius(Centigrade). Then long-hand calculations resulting in 98.7, only 0.01 above normal in Fahrenheit (98.6). In other words, Grandma was fine!

The handwriting below that says essentially:

Zilly's fever on the 6th day after her arrival in Nieder-Mohrau

Nothing indicates who the writer was. "Zilly" was a nickname for Grandma Cecile by her siblings, so it must have been one of them. The word "fever" might have been a way of saying "body temperature". It does suggest that perhaps Grandma did not feel well after arriving and was concerned that she had a fever. If that was the case, she must have just been suffering from anxiety.

Looking at the ship plans 
The unfolded blueprint, on a rug
themselves is interesting. In her diary, Grandma Cecile never indicated which room she was in. However, looking at the blueprint, there is only one small section of rooms with 4 berths which could have been where Grandma stayed. Her comment, "We are 4 to a room..." tells us that she must have had a room on the C Deck.

Title on the inside

Key to the blueprint

The key includes the abbreviations for beds of various sorts, wardrobes (closet), showers, various tables, mirrors, washstands (sinks) and deluxe suites.

Water and fresh air in the rooms!
Considering they added the information that all rooms had hot and cold running water and fresh air, that must have been an innovation! 

Looking closer at the image with the statement about water and air, some of the rooms have red numbers in them, others have 1st Eng., 2nd Eng., 3rd Eng., etc. Those must have been some of the ship officers' rooms. The red numbered rooms would have been for passengers. There is also an area marked "Shooting Range", for those wanting to practice their target shooting at sea. This particular section is from the Upper Promenade Deck.
C Deck - the section with 4 to a room

In the "C deck" image, you can see the configuration of the rooms that held 4 passengers. Not all in this section did, but Grandma Cecile's room had to have been one of the rooms that shows an AB & EF combination of beds. To see any image, just click on one and you can scroll through all.
Sun & Upper Promenade Decks

The Sun Deck image shows all the games you could play up on top of the ship.There were lots of places to play shuffleboard, something that looked like tether ball called "Lloyd Spiral Ball Game", ring tennis, a "ring game", golf, deck billiards, a "Bull's Head Game", "Mouse Trap Game", squash tennis and a ping pong table. I wonder if Grandma ever gave any of them a try?

If the decks are shown in order of the arrangement on the ship, the Sun Deck was on top. Then came the Upper Promenade Deck and the Main Promenade Decks. Below them were the A-, B-, C-, D- and E- Decks. The passengers had a total of eight decks at their disposal.

The Sun Deck had the games previously mentioned. It also contained a restaurant with a grand piano, open space - presumably for sitting in the sun, lifeboats, the captains quarters and the pilot house. 

The Upper Promenade Deck had rooms at both ends for the officers, a few passenger cabins, a telephone room and office, and a sitting area for passengers. A bar with the Palm Court, 2 social halls, a writing room, library and ball room with a stage and grand piano were all found on the Main Promenade deck. A kindergarten, flower shop, candy store/ "sweet shop" and an art exhibition room were also found on the Main Promenade.

The A-Deck held deluxe suites, other large cabins, bathrooms for ladies and gentlemen, some with bath tubs, others just with toilets and sinks. The Smoking Room was there and next to it the Ladies Room. Perhaps the ladies were not allowed in the Smoking Room?

B-Deck had more Deluxe Suites, but not as many as A-Deck. B- also had more large cabins, a gymnasium, the Information and Ticket Office, the Pursers Office and the Baggage Office.

C-Deck had many passenger cabins, definitely smaller rooms than those on A- & B-Decks. Those rooms that had 4 berths were at the stern end. C-Deck also had the Chief Steward's Office, more of the toilet and bath rooms and vestibules that have general seating areas. There was a barber shop for the gentlemen and a salon for ladies hair dressing, but not just one. There were two of each, one for second class and another for first class. The swimming pool, another gym and a room for medical and electric baths (whirlpools?) were located on C-Deck.

D-Deck consisted of a much smaller area, containing a dining saloon and general dining room. D- also had a small dining room for children and a dining room for maids and valets.  E-Deck was larger than D- and had a large general dining area.

All of the decks were connected by staircases and elevators. There were many places for Grandma Cecile to explore. I wonder if she did?

Story to be continued......
To read Post "29 - More of the Europa Blueprint Click here 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

27- Post Cards From the Europa - 10 June 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile was on her way to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She had crossed the country by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, one of the North German Lloyd ship line, was carrying her across the Atlantic.

Grandma Cecile managed to mail at least 2 post cards from the ship. She may have mailed others, but these are the only two that I know about. The one that she mailed home was in her collection. The one mailed to Sr Liliosa (Agnes), was in Sr Agnes' possession. One time when I visited Sr Agnes, she allowed me to take home many of her photos and other items to scan. I returned them to her later. Since Sr Agnes ' death, I do not know who has this particular card. It probably was given to one of the family members.

Here are the cards and their messages:

Front of postcard to Sr Agnes

10 6 36 [10 June 1936]


Dear Sister of mine!
I am writing this on high sea so when we land in Cherbourg it can be given
Postcard to Sr Agnes/Liliosa
in the mail. Everybody on the ship is nice, but rather high tuned. So far I am well, but we can sometime[s] loose [lose] the floor today when we want to walk.

Addressed to:
Sister M. Liliosa
St. Marys of the Valley
Front of postcard mailed home
Second card - same picture as the other one
Deutsch-Amerik .Seepost
Bremen-New York
10 6 36 [10 June 1936]

Message to family at home

My dear All at home:-
by the time this card reaches you  I will be by my destination I am writing this on high sea, so when we land at Cherbourg it can be given in the mail. So far I am fine in spite of rough sea.

Addressed to: 

Mr. Alois Beitel
Route 1 Box 207 

Grandma mentions mailing the cards in Cherbourg. Cherbourg is a port in France. The ship must have made a stop in that port on the way to Bremen. According to the wikipedia article at the previous link, Cherbourg was the first stop made by the Titanic after it sailed from Southampton, England.

She signed the card "M." Perhaps that was short-hand for "Ma" (mother).
Story to be continued......
To read Post "28 - Europa - Blueprint of Passenger Areas  Click here

Sunday, July 5, 2015

26 - Letters From Betty & Stella - 9 June 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile was on her way to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She had crossed the country by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, one of the North German Lloyd ship line, was carrying her across the Atlantic.

Meanwhile back home in Stayton on the farm, life went on as usual except that Grandma Cecile was not home. Providing a glimpse into how that life went, these next two letters came from her youngest daughter, Betty, and one of her granddaughters, Stella (Lulay) Neal

Betty(l) & Stella (r) - from Betty's photo album
 Betty had just turned 12 the day that Grandma had arrived in New York City. Stella would have her twelfth birthday a few weeks later. While they were almost exactly the same age, Betty was actually Stella's aunt, though I imagine they felt more like cousins or even sisters growing up together. Stella was the oldest daughter of Betty's oldest sister, Marie Lulay, here still called "Mary". (Mary's husband Bill Lulay was the one who at some point started calling her "Marie", which would eventually become her commonly accepted name.)  

Betty and Stella lived a scant two miles apart. Betty was on the farm on Coon Hollow Road and Stella was living on the edge of Sublimity where Coon Hollow met Church Street, in the house where the Farewell Party was held for Grandma before she left.

The envelope the letters were mailed in was not in the collection, but the paper used is identical - 8"x5" lined tablet paper. While organizing all the materials from Grandma's collection, I found these were written the same day. After reading the letters, I realized that the two girls had to have been together while writing. It's easy to imagine the two of them, probably sitting at the big kitchen table, trying to outdo each other in what they had to say to Grandma Cecile.

Here, first, is the letter from Betty:

Stayton, Ore.
June 9, 1936

Dear Mama!

It's eleven o'clock so I have to hurry. Mary and Mrs. Zimmerman[1] are here canning berries now and some of Mary's kids[2] are here. Mrs. Zimmerman washed and ironed yesterday. Please don't worry because we are all O.K. no one got sick so far. On my birthday Mary's kids came down and picked berries for Mary to can for herself. I went to [M]ary's for Sunday and Mary made me a birthday (the baby was just eating chalk.) cake. I got your letter from North Dakota. but please don't forget to write - I hope Me-Na[3] and kids are O.K. Papa is picking strawberries now The only thing he wishes that you were home again.
Betty on her bike

Gus is going to live in the [D]owning [P]lace[4]. He built a shit-house already. We got twelve geese from our goose[5].

I guess that's all because I am in a hurry.

Your Good Housekeeper,

P.S. Stella tries to write good but I am writing to tell you something

Next is the letter from Stella:
June 9, 1936

Dear Grandma,

Its eleven o'clock now and [I] have to hurry. I picked strawberries this week & last week & earned seven dollars. I would have went today but I got a nose bleed in the morning. I & Betty are helping clean the berries.

Berry pickers at Zimmerman's
(Clement is now eating a piece of chalk.)[6] Betty is getting along swell with cooking & don't you worry about anything, just enjoy yourself. I hope you enjoyed your trip on the boat. Did you feed any fish?[7] Ha! Ha! That is just like me to think up such things. Grandpa is picking strawberries, Mama & kids are fine, we had a sick chicken so she fed him linement[8]. I guess I'll close now wishing good luck. Good-by.

Your good 

P.S. Betty tries to write good but I am writing to tell you something.

[1] - Mrs. Zimmerman was a neighbor lady who did the main housework while Grandma was gone.

[2] - Mary's kids  refers to Bill & "Marie" Lulay's children

[3] - Me-Na - Betty's phonetic spelling of Mina/Minna Schiebel Bernt's first name

[4] - the name of a specific piece of property, named for the person who owned it previously. the property in question was owned by the Downing family. Gus Beitel would be getting married soon and must have started working on building a house on that property.

[5] - one of the farm geese must have hatched out a nest of 12 eggs, so a dozen new goslings for the farm!

[6] - Clement Lulay, Stella's baby brother, he would be 2 in the middle of July, 1936. A good clue that Betty and Stella were together when they wrote, as both made an immediate reference to the "baby eating chalk".

[7] - A reference to being seasick

[8] - She must have meant liniment, a salve or balm for aching joints or muscles. Not sure feeding it to the chicken did the chicken much good!

The photographs included in this post belonged to my Aunt Betty Silbernagel, the same person who wrote the first letter. The photos might not be from 1936, but probably within a few years. The one of Betty on her bicycle is included because she bought the bike with money she earned picking strawberries. The picture was taken east of the Beitel farmhouse, with a view to the northeast.

After originally scanning these photos, I showed them to some of my aunts and uncles to see what memories they brought back.

The picture of the berry pickers at Zimmerman's reminded Uncle Florence Beitel that this was Zimmerman's berry patch on the line fence between Zimmerman's and Joe Spenner's place. Also, he remembered that he was up at Zimmerman's shop one time and saw lightening strike the tallest fir tree in the grove of firs in the upper right of the photo.

Both Uncles Florence and Tony said that the strawberries were planted so that they could cultivate both ways through the patch, instead of being in rows like nowadays. That's why the bushes look so far apart in that picture.
Now cultivation is all done in a simple back and forth direction.

The picker with the hat is probably a Laux boy. The person hiding her face in the carrier Aunt Betty remembered as Margaret Laux Hendricks. She must have been camera shy. (Aunt Betty took the picture.)  Laux's were neighbors, not relatives.

Aunt Betty had a few other photos from the berry patch. This next one is Ed Zimmerman unloading the hallocks (boxes) from the carrier to the crates. Aunt Betty said that was Ed's job in the field.

Ed Zimmerman

The little boy with berries (below) may be from a different time and place. The photo did not have the sepia color, and the berries look like they may be raspberries instead of strawberries, but he looks like he's planning on eating some of them! Aunt Betty could not remember this photo and with her limited vision at the time, was not able to identify him. No one else recognized him, so if you do, please let me know!! I welcome all comments below.

At any rate, perhaps these photos will bring back memories of days in the berry patch as they did for me! I just finished picking my own strawberries this year - my back still hurts!

Little boy with berries

Story to be continued......
To read Post "27 - Postcards From the Europa - 10 June 1936" Click here