Monday, October 28, 2013

Lovely Indeed Her Works of Art

My mother, Etta Bower Davis (1910-1964) was the eldest daughter of Stanton M. Bower and Etta Strubbe of Bronx, NY. She was born at midnight October 26/27, 1910 but always celebrated her birthday on the 27th so Happy Birthday, Mom!

By 1920 the Bower family had moved to Leonia, NJ, and when Etta graduated high school in 1929 her artwork graced the pages of the Leonia High School yearbook, Leonia Lore

There is no doubt Etta inherited her artistic talent from her father who, at one time, was a commercial artist in the 1920s.  

Her yearbook photo, 2nd on the right.
Etta Bower
"Lovely indeed her works of art
But nature made her lovelier." 
Student Council, 3; Year Book Staff; Leon-
ian Reporter, 1; Glee Club, 1, 2, 3, 4.
Art School


"The good old ship of '29' with all of its valiant crew,  
Sailed forth upon a four year voyage searching for knowledge new." 

This pen-and-ink line drawing is on the first page of the yearbook. Her signature, Etta Bower, is in the lower right.   

 Second page-- a scroll and sailing ship.

The faculty page. One of my mother's teachers was actually my homeroom teacher who had a reputation of snapping bra straps and pinching girls in the hallways <g> He'd never get away with that nowadays!

My dad had graduated two years prior in 1927 but his brother, my uncle Al Davis, was still an underclassman when my mother was a senior so his class photo is in this section. 

Organizations--or Clubs--included The Student Council, The Leonian, The Commercial  Club, Debating Society, Der Deutsche Verein, Latin Club, Le Cercle Francais, Math Club, The Naturalist Club, The Spanish Club, ULULATORS (rah! rah!), The Girls Glee Club, The Orchestra, The Library Staff, Fire Squad, and . . .

 . . . the Leonia Lore Staff. My mother was one of two Art Editors. (3rd from left front row)

I just love this drawing. Note the bird and bird cage in the boat. 

Baby pics were featured in the "Hidden Treasure" section where she was #1 top center.

I've often wondered what amazing work my mother would have produced had she attended Art School after graduation. For as long as I can remember she was always making something with her hands including hooked rugs, embroidered flower pictures, and of course, wonderful quilts and appliqued pictures that we will treasure forever. 

My Mother's Appliqued Pictures 

Quilts My Mother Made

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, October 18, 2013

Common Jersey Carver, Museum Exhibit and Two Quilts

The Common Jersey Carver is an anonymous stone cutter whose carvings can be seen in numerous New Jersey cemeteries including several near where I live. The gravestones date from 1737 to 1777 and feature the symbol of mortality--a winged death head with rows of teeth.

Last month I went to the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, NJ, to see their current exhibit, "Ghosts, Ghouls & Gravestones." I was allowed to take photographs and have posted some below. Two quilts, too!   

 Whippany Burial Yard, Whippany, NJ

Asai Son of Edmaund
& Abigail Craine
Aged 5 months & 14
Ds Decd Novr ye 18th

First Presbyterian Church of Hanover, E. Hanover, NJ

Here lies ye Body of
Ruth wife of henry
Burnet Aged 38 years
4 mo & 11 Ds Decd
March ye 4 1750

 Whippany Burial Yard, Whippany, NJ

Here lyes ye Body of
Bethiah wife of Capt
Daniel Lum Decd
Novr ye 2d 1752
Aged 36 years 

   First Presbyterian Church of Hanover, E. Hanover, NJ
 Catharine Daur of
Peter & Rebekah
Smith Decd April
ye 21 1754 Aged
3 years 2 mo
& [   ] Days

                                        First Presbyterian Church of Hanover, E. Hanover, NJ

Here lyes ye Body of
John Williams
Decd Febry ye 8
1755 in ye 70 year
of his Age

 First Presbyterian Church of Hanover, E. Hanover, NJ

Here lies ye Body
of Mary Wife of
Col. Joseph Tuttle
Decd April 9 1760
aged 56 Years

 Ely Cemetery, Livingston, NJ

Bennoni Jones
Son of Fredrick &
Elizabeth Jones he
Died [  ] 1777
Aged 3 years

Detail of Bennoni Jones gravestone above. 

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is housed in this beautiful stone building which is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. 

Here's the story board for the exhibit. 

Some mourning hats . . . 

. . . and a Corpse Preserver coffin. Who knew??

There was a lovely exhibit of gravestone rubbings by John Zielinski. 

Here's another.

There were two quilts downstairs--this Medallion hanging above a fireplace and a Nine Patch strippy.  

The are some interesting fabrics in this quilt.

 It was difficult to get a good photo because of the vinyl covering but you get the idea.  

 Here's a detail of one of the blocks.

I'm really looking forward to Historical Hauntings at the Ely Cemetery next Saturday. This is another event organized by the Livingston Bicentennial Historical Committee and the Livingston Historical Society. Costumed actors and actresses will portray some of the people who are buried in the cemetery and I'm in charge of costumes :)

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall 'N Leaves

Fall is my favorite time of year especially when the mountains are ablaze with color. Walking in the woods,  collecting leaves, and yes, photographing gravestones, all make me happy.

This past weekend I captured an early morning sunrise on the Ausable River in Wilmington, NY. 


I spotted these bright-colored mushrooms on a hike in late July.

I gather leaves, tape them to plain white paper, make color xeroxes, and then create cards or use them to decorate album pages.

 Several years ago I framed pressed leaves for Christmas presents. 

. . . and made this small piece for the Little Wishes Silent Auction at our guild show a while back.

These two quilts were documented by The Heritage Quilt Project of NJ. Don't you just love the use of natural leaves in the borders? 

Whenever I have a chance to photograph gravestones I go for it! I saw this lovely fall-landscaped plot in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, NY. 

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer  


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cottages & Quilts

Last Saturday was the 20th Annual Mount Tabor House Tour which also featured a quilt show. If you live anywhere near this Morris County gem, this tour is not to be missed. "Mount Tabor was founded in 1869 as a Methodist camp meeting ground and the site where a camp meeting was held for ten days or so each summer." This year 28 houses were on the walking tour and row upon row of quilts were displayed in The Tabernacle building.

Some houses were open to the public and others such as this one made use of the front porch to display photographs of the original house and its inhabitants. All of the cottages built around Trinity Park were tent sites at one time. This cottage was built in 1877 by Samuel Cosgrove of Jersey City and is known for its Stick Style of architecture highlighted by cutout patterns, pendants and medallions.

Quilts were displayed in The Tabernacle which could hold up to 1200 people for services and entertainment during camp meetings.

There were so many quilts--old and new.  

This cottage is for sale if anyone is interested :) It is just as ornate on the inside as it is on the outside.

Lush plants and flowers were everywhere. This house actually sits on two tent sites plus part of a third lot. Its location "was part of the 100-acre expansion of the camp meeting grounds in 1880 and lots were made larger to accommodate larger houses as year-round properties."

This lovely quilt top was on a bed in a "cozy and comfy" second floor bedroom of the History House which is owned by the Mt. Tabor Historical Society. 

 Signed "Miss A. Mabie N.Y."

Signed "Anna Maria Tallmann"

 Illegible but last name is Ackerman.

This cottage was built c. 1888 in the "Queen Anne style with cut-away bay windows, intricate spindlework, gable ornamentation, and the avoidance of flat wall surfaces." The property consists of six lots which when purchased in 1887 were priced between $40 and $50 each.

This neat and tidy cottage was built c. 1900s and is typical of Mount Tabor Victorian architecture with gable front and porch below. In 1870 the property consisted of three separate tent lots that leased "for $36, $31, and $29 respectively."

All in all, it was a beautiful Indian summer-like day to be out and about looking at houses and quilts. Actually, it was perfect :)

Here are some more pics from last year's tour.

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer