Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sepia Saturday #159 - Bathing Beauty on Miami Beach 1948

This is my second entry for this week's Sepia Saturday theme which centers around beaches, bathing suits, the Southern Hemisphere, etc.  I usually post  on my other blog, ForgottenFacesandLongAgoPlaces, but I immediately thought of this photograph of my mother-in-law Margie which is perfect for this week and knew I had to post it as well.  

My mother-in-law, Margaret Ann Hall Rogers Eaglebarger was born in Nassau, Bahamas on 11 Dec 1930 and when she was sixteen her mother sent her to Miami Beach to work as a nanny for a wealthy couple. She had strict instructions to work hard and stay away from boys.  I have always found this story fascinating as of course, at age seventeen she met her future husband, Alvin Rogers who was fresh out of the Navy and working as a doorman at the same hotel where her employers wintered in Miami.  Alvin came from a wealthy New Jersey family and was expected to follow in the family tradition and become a doctor.  Instead, against both of their families' wishes they were married.

Even though the photo is a bit blurry, you can see that Margie was an exceptionally beautiful young woman and she remained this way throughout her lifetime.  I hope you will check out the rest of her story by clicking here to see the post I wrote after she died last year.

For more bathing beauties check out this week's Sepia Saturday!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July! Trenton Inter-State Fair Early 1900's

I thought this real-photo postcard showing the Trenton Inter-State Fair in the early 1900's would be perfect for today the Fourth of July.  Although I believe the Fair was typically held in September, with the big flag waving prominently in the front, it seems to say "patriotism" to me which is apropos for Trenton where so much of our country's early history took place.  It's a little hard to date this photo but I believe it to be from the very early 1900's (1900 - 1905) as some of sleeves on the women's dresses look very puffed up on top.

About the Inter-State Fair:  According to Grounds for Structure the Fairs were held intermittently in Trenton since 1745 when King George II granted a royal charter for the purpose of buying and selling livestock.  This was the first fair in Colonial America.  State Legislature banned all fairs in 1797 until 1858 when a revision was sought by the State Agriculture Society.  They were held sporadically in the mid-1880's.  In 1888 Trenton businessmen organized the State Fair Association and purchased more than 100 acres for a new park.  

The Inter-State Fairs were wildly successful, bringing in large crowds to see the horses and other livestock.  There were also contests in culinary arts and needlework - I have found newspaper reports in the Trenton Times where my husband's great-great grandmother and great-grandaunts won prizes in these categories.  The Midway attractions at the Fair featured daredevil stunts, horse races and special events such as a shooting match between Annie Oakley and Miles Johnson.  In the 1890's parachutists jumped from hot air balloons; at the turn of the century pioneers of aerial navigation, including the Wright Brothers, thrilled the crowds with their stunts.

Over the years people lost interest in the Fair and attendance dwindled.  In 1980 the land was sold and the last Fair was held that year.  For more information on the history of the Interstate Fair visit the Grounds for Sculpture at:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Did Great-Grandmother Wear This in Trenton, NJ?

What did the fashionable Trenton, New Jersey woman wear in 1908? According to the 3 May 1908 Trenton Evening Times edition this shirtwaist gown was one of the most popular of the new designs of that time.  It was elegant, simple and appealed to women of refined tastes.  A pattern could be purchased for ten cents from the Trenton Times to make this dress - imagine, only a dime!  For a medium sized woman it took 8 1/2 yards of fabric to make this dress.  

Box pleats ornamented either side of the front and back creating a trim waist.  The sleeves were a combination of a puffed upper and fitted, wrinkled lower.  Suggested fabrics were the new soft woolens or taffeta.

The model drawn here is quite lovely with her large, stylish hat.  As we have no pictures, I can only wonder if this is what our female Rogers ancestors were wearing at the time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Medical Monday - Dr. Alvin S. Rogers' Microscope

This photograph of the microsope used by Dr. Alvin S. Rogers, my husband's grandfather was quite an exciting find. This picture was found in the book published by a distant cousin of my husband, Dr. Fred B. Rogers, The Healing Art, The Medical Society of New Jersey through two centuries 1766 - 1966.  Fred Rogers was a son of Dr. Lawrence Rogers, who was a son of Irvin Rogers, and a brother of Elmer H. Rogers, Alvin's father.  Dr. Alvin S. Rogers practiced  between 1920 and 1947 in Trenton, NJ.  I don't know how Fred Rogers got possession of Alvin's microscope or the picture of it, there are no pictures on this side of the family so this is particularly precious. Dr. Alvin S. Rogers died of heart complications 23 May1937 at the age of 47.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matrilineal Monday – Margaret Ann Hall 1930 - 2011

This beautiful young woman was my mother-in-law Margaret Ann Hall who was born 11 Dec 1930 in Nassau Bahamas to Margaret Louise (Smith) and Hershel Stanley Hall.  She was the youngest child of six, and the couple's only daughter.  At the age of sixteen her mother sent her to Miami, FL to work as a nanny for a wealthy family from New York who wintered in Miami.  Margie had lived a sheltered life up until this time and her mother warned her to do her job and stay away from boys.  Unfortunately for Margie she was a beautiful young woman and I suspect heads turned wherever  she went.  The family she worked for spent each winter in a luxury hotel on Miami Beach and it was here that she met the man who was to become her husband.

Alvin S. Rogers, Jr. had just gotten out of the Navy and instead of going home to Trenton, NJ to become a doctor as was expected of him, he wanted to do something different with his life.  He had seen the world while in the Navy and gotten out from under, what I believe, was a domineering mother.  He stopped in Miami to make his own way and took a job as a doorman at the same hotel where Margie was working, and history, as they say, was made.  As soon as their paths crossed, Al was smitten with the young beauty and as the story has been told in this family, could not leave her alone.  In June 1949, Margie was sent back to New York with her young charge in an effort to keep her away from Alvin.  Not be deterred, Alvin, along with his sister jumped in a car and drove all the way to New York to woo his true love.  There are a lot more details to this story that I will not bore you with, but in the end they were wed in New York, NY on 10 Jun 1949 and their first son was born nine months later in Miami in March 1950.  Another son would follow in 1951, a daughter in 1952.

On 11 May 1953, while eight months pregnant with her fourth child, my husband, Margie petitioned the U.S. District Court in Miami for Naturalization and was granted the same.  On the Petition she listed her current address: 11501 NE 11 Pl, Miami, Fla; she listed her date of birth and place of birth (Nassau, Bahamas), her height, 5’1’, her weight 100 pounds.  She listed her husband as Alvin Stackhouse Rogers (click here for a look at his ancestry chart) and their marriage date as 10 Jun 1949.  She also listed her three children, their names and dates of birth.

She stated she was 21 years of age and formerly a British citizen.  The picture here is the one that was used on the Department of Justice's Certificate of Naturalization.  I have to assume this picture was taken at or about this time so she would have been about 21 in this picture and was most likely pregnant with my husband at that time.  So few pictures exist in my husband’s family so this makes it all the more special to us.  

Margie and Alvin went on to have three more children for a total of seven.  There are many more stories I could tell, and I'm sure there were some happy times but the marriage had insurmountable issues.  Alvin's mother inserted herself into their life and many problems ensued.  Unfortunately their marriage ended in divorce in March 1971.  She later married Joseph Eaglebarger (1929 - 1986).  After her second husband's death she lived for a number of years in Margate, FL and then in Georgia with one of her sons.  She also traveled around the country and to Nassau visiting family on a regular basis.  Margie's family was extremely important to her and nothing made her more happy than to have them gathered around her. After a short illness she died 26 Aug 2011 at the age of 80 in Plantation, FL at our home.  In the short time before she died she shared with us many stories we had never heard before and we felt honored and privileged to have had that time to talk to her and hear her stories. She left behind six living children, thirteen living grandchildren, a number of great-grandchildren as well as many family members in the Bahamas.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, one son and one grandson.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Alpha Hildinger Cutler Ullrich, Trenton, NJ

The sister of my husband's great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Hildinger Johnston and great grand-uncle, Charles C. Hildinger of Trenton, New Jersey.  Alpha was first married to Clinton Charles Cutler, well-known and respected newspaperman in Trenton.  Sometime after his death in 1926, probably about 1930 she married family friend and  extremely successful, local undertaker, Frank J. Ullrich who died in 1942.  Alpha was born in Pennsylvania about 1871 to John A. and Mary Jane (Cochran) Hildinger, she died in Trenton, NY on 29 May 1945.

Trenton Evening Times 30 May 1945

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Trenton, NJ

Trenton, NJ Postcard (unused) ca 1940

Postcard of Trenton, NJ circa 1940, showing night view of State Street West from Broad Street - you can see the Hotel Stacy Trent in the rear left.

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