Sunday, November 24, 2013


Page 13 of my great-grandfather's Souvenir Album.  My Great-grandfather, James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER, filled this Souvenir Album with a miscellany of ribbons, invitations, stamps, cards, tickets, cut-outs from hotel letterheads, and other items from his travels and his affiliations. 

This particular page has a very large invitation to the Opening of the Legislative Halls in the new capitol, Albany, January 7th, 1879; above it is the New Capitol Reception card entitling the ticket holder to attend the Reception as well : "Hon. James Terwilliger & Ladies".  Grove's father, James M. TERWILLIGER (1825-1909), had been active politically, part of the founding of the new Republican Party.  I suspect that Grove received various invitations as his son, moving in similar social circles, if not similar political circles. (note to self: more & more research to do)

On the left side are two ribbons:
The top one, POST OFFICE CLERKS ASSOCIATION of NEW YORK, has no date on it, but is likely from the late 1870s-1880s, as Grove is listed on the 1880 Census in NY as occupation: "Clerk in P.O."  By 1900, although his occupation is listed as "Clerk Rail Road"  I believe he was still a postal clerk, specifically for the railroad.

The bottom white one for the Grand Lodge of NY Independent Order of Odd Fellows - I.O.O.F. - ERICSSON OBSEQUIES, August 23rd, 1890.  The New York Herald had two notices including an Excursion ad about the Obsequies for Capt. John Ericsson, the inventor/builder of the iron-clad man-of-war, USS Monitor,  which you can read by clicking on the two links in this sentence.  The IOOF ribbon may mean the person wearing it could be on the boat, able to see/hear the ceremony more easily.  Capt. Ericsson's remains were returned to Sweden, where he was born.

The blue ribbon with a big red-white-blue bow-tie top, is for an "AIDE" attending the Oct. 10th, 1892 COLUMBUS celebrations of the N.Y. Public Schools. 

Under the blue ribbon is an Irish stamp [hidden], a Bermuda stamp, and 4 symbols - perhaps one of my readers can tell me what they are for/from - See left.

To the right of the Opening of the Legislative Hall invitation card are 4 more symbols, one of them for the Imperial Hotel in Cork (Ireland) - perhaps he'd travelled there.  I will need to do more research for ships' lists!  See right.  

Above the right-hand strip is a dark gold ribbon for the A.P.W. with verse: Asbury Park /  Is still alive, / And waits the / Meet for '95. 
What's the A.P.W.?  This is the Asbury Park Wheelmen - bicyclists!  Here's a link to the 1894 Meet article in the NY Times, October 5, 1894.

The right edge of Page 14 has 2 ribbons:
The top red white and bue ribbon states: Wholesale Dry Goods Republican Club, and likely refers to the Presidential campaign in 1892.

And finally, the COMANCHE CLUB Outing, Sept. 11th, 1894, ribbon at the bottom right. The Comanche Club may have been another cyclists' club in New York. 

Whew! A very busy page, Page 14.  Outings, Events, Political and personal interests - I think my great-grandfather was a bit of a pack-rat!

Please do comment or post your questions about this post - I always love to hear what others think of these posts.  I'm determined to inventory Grove's Souvenir Album, although each page sometimes takes a number of hours of research!    You can also contact me directly at calewis at telus dot net  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Page 12 of my great-grandfather's Souvenir Blog includes 7 ribbons from various organizations.  All are silk, and are thoroughly glued onto the page -- indeed, they are glued into the page!

The first one is a 7" silk ribbon from the Knights Templar organization, advertising the "62nd Annual Conclave of the Monroe Commandery No.12, Grand Commandery Oct 12, 1875, Rochester NY".  I looked this up online, and found an example of the same ribbon described as follows, in the New York Historical Museum & Library:   Polychrome printed silk ribbon: depicts vertical arrangement of masonic elements emblematic of Knights Templar:  helmet, cross, crown, triangle, circle, and Maltese cross;  with inscriptions:  "IN HOC SIGNO VINCES / 62d / ANNUAL CONCLAVE / MONROE / COMMANDERY / No. 12 / K.T. / GRAND COMMANDERY / Oct. 12, 1875. / ROCHESTER, N.Y."
The Latin motto stands for "by this symbol [the red cross] you shall conquer"; sometimes stated as "by this sign you will succeed".    Clearly I need to find out if my great-grandfather and/or his father were members.  Or perhaps he had friends who were members.  My great-grandfather was a puzzle - he seems to have been a member of many different organizations, but it isn't clear to me how active he was in any of them.  As I go through the Album, I will be doing more research on this to try to gain a clearer understanding of him. Sometimes I think these items are from his own father, James M. Terwilliger, who stood on several election tickets, and was also the first Secretary for the new Republican Party when it was formed.

Next is a slightly wider white silk ribbon for the Hugh de Payens Commandery, No. 30, Buffalo, N.Y.  Once again, this is for the Knights Templar organization, the Masons.  But Buffalo is a long way from home for my great-grandfather.  Perhaps he collected ribbons from other Brother Masons.  For those readers who are not familiar with the the Masons, here is a link to a brochure found online.

In the middle is a wide, 8" black ribbon, with gold-thread edging and 'tails'.  "State of New York / WM. H. SEWARD. / Memorial honors. / by the LEGISLATURE. / Albany, April 18, 1873. / OFFICERS."  Clearly the wearer would have been an Officer for the Legislative Memorial Service - was this worn by my 2nd great-grandfather James M. Terwilliger? He would have been 53 in this year, so this is certainly possible, whereas my great-grandfather James "Grove" Terwilliger would only have been 27 yrs of age.   William H. Seward was a very well-known politician in New York state as well as in Washington DC.  Click to read more about him.  He died October 10, 1872, and this Memorial Honor event in the following spring, was put on by the Legislature to honor his services; the link leads to the NY Times newspaper write-up of the entire speech given for Wm. H. Seward.

Next is a 6" white silk ribbon, Knights Templar, for the CENTRAL CITY Commandery, Syracuse, N.Y., No. 25.  As in previous ribbons, the number identifies the Lodge number.

On the right is a narrow 6 1/2" ribbon for the CYRENE COMMANDERY, No. 39. in Rochester, N.Y. Under the symbols on the shield is the phrase: "Be thou faithful unto death."   The quote running across the bottom says:
       "Silver and Gold have I none, but,
        such as I have, give I unto thee."
Finally, in very small print at the bottom:  Oct. 12 & 13, 1875 --- A . O .  767

Along the bottom underneath these ribbons, are two small silk ribbons (5" x 1 1/2") for the N.E.A.  This is the National Education Association.  The right white ribbon:  N.E.A. 1892.  Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; and the left red ribbon states:  N.E.A.  Denver, 1895,  New York.  While neither my great-grandfather nor his father were teachers, my great-grandfather had a very good friend who was a school superintendent, and his half-sister [twenty years younger] was also a teacher.  These are plausible - but certainly not proven - reasons why he has these ribbons from two of their annual meetings.

If anyone has more information about these 7 ribbons' events, I would be very happy to learn more, and will amend this post.  Comment below, or email me, calewis at telus dot net.  It was fascinating to read about these groups of Masons/Knights Templar, and the NEA.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Well, this is it - my ONE-YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!  I've only done 11 pages so far.  Sigh.  So many pages to go, and some of them are very challenging or frustrating in one fashion or another.  But it is a start at least - one page by one page...

My maternal greatgrandfather, James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER, put together a Souvenir Album in the 1890s, including many items from his parents' lives.  The Album is 16.5" tall, 11" wide, and 5" thick.  I refuse to count the number of pages but it's more than 120 - I think.  I keep being distracted by items on the pages, and the pages are quite heavy, as well. One day. Here is the cover on the right:

The Album is quite thick, made of very heavy paper, with items 100% tightly-permanently-glued down on each sheet.  It includes symbols cut out of paper/letterheads, tickets, menus, political buttons, wedding invitations, calling cards, and more.  I'm determined to inventory the entire album, to record it.  Some of the earliest items seem to be from about 1840.

Above is a photo of the book from the side - the bookmark [business card] shows where I'm at right now! The next page will be Page 12.

I hope all of you are enjoying some of the pages - there's something here for everybody.  I'd love to dash ahead and show you the menu for a dinner party they had.  Or to show you the pages with a very few very old photographs - not labelled of course!  And the obituaries which helped me learn about his wife's mother - the ORMSBEE line.  Oh, and the page of political buttons and other oddities in the middle of the Album.  Fascinating items.

If you would like more information about this Album, or any of the pages detailed to date, please contact me at calewis at telus dot com, or Comment below.  Cheers (clink!)...

Monday, August 12, 2013

PAGE 11 - 4 Fanciful NY Tickets, 2 Small Ones, 1882-1897

My last post on my greatgrandfather TERWILLIGER's photo album, showed 3 large decorated tickets to music events.  The next page in the album has 4 similar tickets, plus two small tickets.  These ones are more varied, ranging from an Elks Society Annual Reception, to a Symphony ticket.
This is the full page, showing the placement of these fanciful tickets to events in New York (mainly):

Here are the two small tickets on the left side:  [Blue]  Nov. 12, 1892, First Evening Concert, Symphony Society of N.Y., at 8:15, Music Hall, New York  
[White] Mar. 20, 1897, Fifth Evening Concert, Symphony Society of N.Y., at 8:15, Carnegie Hall, New York    

The large ticket on the left side has no identifying information on the event being staged, but it is very attractive and complex. I searched through Google Images, and didn't find any reference to this very interesting image - I'm certain there is a 'story' here, don't you?
The Top Middle ticket appears to be a fund-raiser for the Renner's Dancing Academy:  a Grand Masquerade Ball, Tuesday Eve'g, February 14th, 1882, at Walhalla, 48-52 Orchard Street.

The Bottom Middle "Ladies Ticket" is for the 13th Annual Reception of New York Lodge No. 1, the B.P.O. Elks, at Madison Square Garden, Monday, Feb. 9th, 1880.  This would be the original Madison Square Garden building [1879-1890].

Finally, the Right side Ticket: the Bal Masque de L'Opera, Thursday January 26th, 1882.  No place is described, however a quick search through my favourite NY newspaper website,  showed me the Evening Telegram NY newspaper [p.3,right side], states it was held at Madison Square Garden.

I hope you enjoyed these fanciful tickets providing insight into the variety of cultural events happening in New York city, in the 1880s.  If you have more information or details of any of these items, do let me know - I love learning more.  The links add a bit of history or additional details, for your pleasure!

Contact me at calewis at telus dot net, and/or leave a Comment below!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

PAGE 10 - CARNIVAL & BALL TICKETS, 1882 and 1883

The next two pages are of fanciful Tickets of Masquerade Balls and Carnivals.  The TERWILLIGER family apparently loved anything to do with music, dance, and concerts of all kinds.

Here is the full page with three large souvenier Tickets, on the left.  You can see that the top and bottom tickets are the same format/design, with different fonts for the details on the 'card'.

The top ticket:
The Grand Masquerade Ball of the New York Maennerchor, Wednesday February 21st, 1883
held at Terrace Garden, 58th Street, near 3rd Avenue.   The New York Maennerchor [men's chorus] celebrated German and American choral singing.  There are a number of Maennerchor societies continuing to sing in communities such as Utica Maennerchor, which has been going strong for over 145 years!
The middle ticket:
The Grand Carnival de L'Opera, Madison Square Garden, Thursday January 26th, 1882.  The New York Metropolitan Opera did not open until almost 2 years after this date, so this ticket may be to a gala fund-raiser.  Do let me know if you have additional details.  This is the first Madison Square Garden building, which was used for a number of sporting events at the time.
The bottom ticket:
Prospect Ass'n Grand Masquerade Ball, Academy of Music, February 1st, 1883
held at the Academy of Music & Nilsson Hall.  Apparently the Prospect Association held annual Grand Balls, but I have yet to find details of the purpose of the Association.  Another small mystery to be solved.

The next page, Page 11, has 4 large tickets similar to these, plus two small tickets as well.  I hope you enjoyed seeing these 130 year old tickets.  As always, if you have questions or information to offer, please do not hesitate to contact me at calewis at telus dot com, or leave a Comment below!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

PAGE 9 - 14th Annual Reunion, ARMY of the POTOMAC

Page 9.    My Terwilliger greatgrandfather and his family actively participated in many social events - for example, the Newburgh Centennial details can be seen back on the post for Page 4 of his Souvenir Album. On this page, he has surrounded the poster with many symbols of organizations and the like. Personally, I like "Friday" on the right side! I have little notion of the symbols' meanings, and hope that some of the readers will understand - for instance - the 6-pointed cross in the middle surrounded by sun, moon, stars, and various crosses! Do feel free to comment below.

The dates of the 14th Reunion are on the inset drawing of Washington DC, at the centre bottom:
      MAY 16th & 17th, 1883

In swirling ribbon beside the words "Army of the Potomac" are the following names:
Left:                         Right:
McDowell              Burnside
McClellan             Hooker
Pope                       Meade

The ribbon tied below states 1861    1865  on the 'bows', and Bull Run and Appomattox on the strands, above the drawing of Washington DC.

The Executive Committee members are listed on both the left and right sides at the bottom:
Gen. A.A. Humphreys          Gen. John G. Parke,
Gen. S.S. Carrell,                 Gen. George D. Ruggles
Gen. J. C. Tidball,               Gen. Ellis Spear
                Gen. E.A. Garmin
Gen. Duncan S. Walker      Major H.L. Cranford
Major George M. Lockweed    Major N.H. Camp
Capt. John M. Carsen        Capt. R.W. Tyler
               Capt. I.N. Burrill

On the right side can be seen symbols of sea battle: a sailing ship's sails and masts, flag, trumpet, anchor. On the left side, ground battles with a helmet, drum, cutlass, rifles, cannon. All draped in the American flag.

And around on all sides... cut out symbols, painstakingly and thoroughly glued onto this page. I may need to do a page only on these 50 cut-out symbols! Several I can see are Sigma Phi letters. Here are a few more:

  • The red circle middle top:  The Military Service Institution
  • The red circle top left:  United States Consulate Annaberg Saxony
  • The tall gold rectangle left:  Morton Commandery, New York
  • Beside the above, on right, Small square, blue on gold, deer -?:  "Pulset Virtus"  (They were brave/virtuous)
  • Below the above, a prancing unicorn
  • On the top right, blue circle:  Jamaica
  • Also top right, below above circle:  Newburgh Centennial
  • Below above:  Friday
  • Below above:  Happy New Year (in red ribbon)
  • Beside above, dark gold seated baby holding a staff with a 'leaf' on either end -?

Also on the right side, there are two birds on a log, facing each other with a symbol seen on one of them between the birds (seen right side top, and also in middle right);  there is an owl sitting on the old man moon, many Greek letters [for organizations], as well as stylized initials.

If you have any light to shed on these symbols and letters, do leave a comment or email me at calewis at telus dot com   - I am always happy to add to the knowledge about items in my greatgrandfather's Souvenir Album.  

The next page is of Balls, Masques, and Operas - gorgeous brilliant cards.