Postcard Views of our Past

♦—  Postcard Views of Our Past  —
By: Paul Bowers

 Gail and I have been collecting postcards since the mid 70’s. At that time we collected many subjects such as early 1900’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter Cards. We have some cute kitten cards and Adirondack scenics. I loved finding old Amsterdam scenes that we remembered as kids in the 50’s and earlier.

When I was young I loved our old New York Central railroad station, (it had Tiffany windows),  and was lucky enough to wave to the last of the steam engine engineers while they were chugging up the hill at the upper end of Mathias Street, where my parents rented a flat, on their way to the mills off of Church Street and Forest Avenue.

The past few years, while doing genealogies of our families, I have been focusing on old Amsterdam street scenes to illustrate the family history book I am in the process of writing. Finding old views of the Mohawk River pre-Barge Canal years is also a treat. And now that Gail and I are becoming more involved with Schoharie Crossing, I have a new goal. I am trying to collect any scenes of the Erie Canal that I can find in the hopes of putting together a display of the cards and their sender’s comments at the Visitor Center.

In searching for old cards in antique shops you are very lucky when you find a dealer who has taken the time to categorize the cards by place and subject. I always will look in the boat section in the hopes of finding a picture of a canal boat, but you may also find a picture of a boat in a lock! Cities take a bit longer because you have to look at each represented city and town that was along the original canal. That’s quite a few places between Waterford and the Buffalo/Tonawanda area.
If any of you happen to find an appropriate card for my quest, I will be happy to reimburse you for the card. Just remember, if someone wants more than $5 for a single card, walk away from it unless it is of exceptional quality and very pertinent to the collection. 

Contact: Paul Bowers
Please put Postcards as the subject when emailing.


Editor’s Note:  Paul & his wife Gail are Friends that live locally.  Their involvement with the site has grown over this past few seasons as they have participated in the Geocache Challenge, Tai Chi, Friends Talks, Canal Days and recently volunteered to lend a hand at the Birthday Bash.  They both share a passion for the site, its beauty, recreational opportunities and rich history.