Flora Couple Party at the Bainbridge Park Hotel, 1905

BB Park Hotel.jpg

Sixteen couples, including Flora Barber, take the seven-mile train ride to Bainbridge from Afton on a cold January Thursday. Although many sleighing parties have the same destination, this evening there is a concern the ice flow around a half completed bridge could be dangerous.

Just two months earlier, C. P. Buskirke of Oneonta purchased the property (for $25,000) and proceeded to make renovations. The party is excited to be among the first to enjoy the refurbished dining area. After dinner, they dance and play games in the spacious third-floor ballroom.

Flora lives with her sister, Frances, and brother-in-law, Lewis Fredenberg, in Afton where she teaches school. After completing a year of college, the twenty-three-year-old started her first school job there. Who is her beau for the evening?

Others attending:

  • George L. Church and wife
  • Wayland A. Hinman and wife
  • Roscoe Falls and wife
  • A. R. Williams and wife
  • A. L. Sherman (editor) and wife
  • Lewis H. Graw and wife
  • Bert Doolittle and wife
  • A.W. Collar and wife
  • Frank Lewis
  • Howard LeSuer
  • Jack Humiston
  • Clinton Grow
  • Gerald Shaw
  • Rowland G. Hill
  • Howard Hyde
  • Mrs. T.E. Keator
  • Mrs. T.D. Reed
  • Flora Barber
  • Ina Guy
  • Bertha Caswell
  • Hazel Peek
  • Bessie Burgess
  • Bruce Kestor
  • Chester Sackett
  • Julia L. Reed
  • Jennie Elmendorf

The latter four “drove” to Bainbridge. Did they risk a sleigh ride or an automobile on icy roads?

afton to bainbridgeSources:

  1. The Binghamton Press; Friday, January 13, 1905; Page 11.
  2. Local History Notes; Blog; Friday, February 13, 2015.
  3. Google Maps

Jeanne Hosts Girls Missionary Society, 1933

The Girls Missionary Society of the Methodist church met Thursday afternoon with Betty Jean Barber at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland on Warren Street.

The Depression captures the attention of the country and church activities seem to be a big part of Auntie Flo’s life. Tough times demand comfort. Jeanne is actively involved at nine years old with the encouragement of the Ireland’s with whom she lives.

Prices from the same page:

1933 Prices

Sources:

The Homer Post; Homer, N.Y.; Friday, November 10, 1933; Page Two.

Fred Visits the Ireland Family and his Sister, 1935

Fred Vernon Barber of Binghamton spent the weekend with his sister, Betty Jean Barber at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland on Warren Street.

School is out for the summer and the Barber family of Binghamton has two fewer children in the home one summer weekend in June 1935. Eight-year-old Fred and ten-year-old Jeanne are staying with Flora and Fred Ireland in Homer, New York.

Sources:

The Homer Post; Homer, N. Y.; Friday, June 21, 1935; Page Five.

Jeanne 10th Birthday Party, 1934

water works park homer
(Newton) Water Works Park, 2017, Google Maps

Fred and Flora Ireland lost their daughter fifteen years earlier. They extend the same love they would to their own to Jeanne for a few years. Jeanne’s 10th birthday is celebrated with a hot dog roast at Water Works Park in Homer where it is reported: all “had a glorious time”!

Her friends that join the party:

  • Olive Burns
  • Jean Atkins
  • Marjorie Blanden
  • Lois Steele
  • Johann Creal
  • Jean Van Me???
  • Doris Rumsey
  • Claire Rumsey
  • Joyce Carl
  • Darlene Klock
  • Virginia Ripley
  • Edith Harris
  • Georgia Bell
  • Ione Lottridge

Sources:

  1. Cortland Standard, Cortland, N. Y.; Tuesday Evening, July 31, 1934, Page Six.
  2. Google Maps

Methodist Mothers and Daughters, Jeanne, 1933

Homer Methodist Church
Methodist Church, Homer, New York. I believe this is the same church Jeanne attended.

Miss Pearl Palmer speaks about her service as a teacher in India to twenty-eight members of the Girls’ Missionary Society of the Methodist Church and their mothers or “honorary members”. I imagine Flora Ireland is the latter. “Jean” Barber performs a song in a quartet including Patty Briggs, Georgia Bell, Geraldine Rood and herself.

The color scheme for the banquet is pink and green and includes a darling craft project. The wooden ice cream spoons are dressed and painted to look like ladies using the theme colors and include unique faces and clothing on each one.

Other girls mentioned are:

  • Lucille Farnham
  • Helen Spencer
  • Marybelle Bartlett
  • Doris Rumsey

Sources:

  1. Cortland Standard; Cortland, Ny.Y.; Wednesday Evening, September 27, 1933. 
  2. Google maps photo, June 2017.

 

Irelands’ Visit to NYC with Jeanne, 1933

Homer to Islip

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland and Betty Jean Barber of Warren street spent last week-end in New York City and Central Islip on Long Island.

It is interesting that the three traveled to Cental Islip. Has Jean’s family moved out of Brooklyn? If not, what is the attraction or who are the friends? Is it a Dairymen’s Association Meeting that Fred has obligations to attend?

This is a long trip for a weekend. Did they drive or take a train?

The community of Homer seems to find Betty Jean Barber’s presence normal. She is “of Warren street”.

The Rockettes give their first Christmas Show this year, but not until December

Sources:

  1. Homer Post; Homer, N.Y.; Friday, November 18, 1933; Page Two.
  2. Google Maps.
  3. Wikipedia, Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Jeanne Barber, Birthday Party, 1933

 

Lois Steele
Lois Steele, Homer High School Sophomore,  5 years later

Lois Steel gathers together fourteen of her girlfriends for a 10th birthday party at her home on 48 Clinton Street in Homer. The table is decorated with pink and white crepe paper for the occasion. For three hours that evening, they eat dinner and birthday cake and listen to music and play games. Stormy Weather is so popular it makes it into the top ten during 1933 with two versions by separate artists.

 

48 Clinton StLois’ step-father is a farmer and yet the house is close to the Ireland’s home. It is still rural, but a short walk for Jeanne.

The most popular songs

  1. Ethel Waters, Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)
  2. Duke Ellington, Sophisticated Lady
  3. Bing Crosby, Shadow Waltz
  4. Dick Powell, Gold Digger’s Song (We’re in The Money)
  5. Bing Crosby, You’re Getting to Be a Habit
  6. Leo Reisman, Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)
  7. Paul Whiteman, Lover
  8. Guy Lombardo, The Last Round-Up
  9. Eddy Duchin, Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?
  10. Ray Noble, Love Is The Sweetest Thing

Others present at the birthday party:

  • Johann Creal (Lois’ sister)
  • Ruth Jennison
  • Mary Stoker
  • Joan Bean
  • Vivian Morse
  • Georgie Bell
  • Felicia Bell
  • Betty Jean Barber
  • Dorothy Jane Andrews
  • Helen Kingsbury
  • Beverly Lucas
  • Olive Burns
  • Winona Griggs

Ione Lottridge is invited but stays home due to illness.

Questions:

  1. Are Jeanne and Lois best friends? They live close to each other.
  2. Did they have a record player or listen to music on the radio?

Sources:

  1. Google Maps, 2017
  2. Cortland Standard; Cortland, N.Y.; Monday Evening, December 11, 1933.
  3. Tsort
  4. You Tube, assorted songs

(The stand out memory I have of Jeanne as an adult is the tone of her speaking voice. It is by far the most distinctive and beautiful I have ever heard. I imagine she sings lovely at the time written about here, too.)

(Betty) Jean Living in Homer, 1935

 

Binghamton to Homer
Binghamton to Homer

 

Betty Jean Barber, who spent the vacation period with her parents in Binghamton returned Sunday to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland of Warren street.

The Claude Barber family is back in Binghamton after living in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Brooklyn, New York. However, Betty stays with Flora and Fred Ireland in Homer, New York. She attends school, church and has a circle of friends, many from the Girls’ Missionary Society at the Methodist Church.

Questions:

  1. What time frame did Betty live with the Irelands?
  2. Why did she go to them? Was there not enough space in the Brooklyn apartment?

Sources:

The Homer Post; Homer, N.Y. Friday, January 11, 1935.

Leoria Visit with Flora Ireland, 1933

28 Warren Street Homer NY
28 Warren Street built 1885

 

Claude Barber and family of Brooklyn spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland on Warren street. Mrs. Claude Barber, who has been spending the past two weeks with Mr. and Mrs. Ireland has returned to her home with her husband and family.

Leoria and Claude have five children under the age of nine which she leaves them in Brooklyn for a two-week stay in Homer, New York with the Ireland couple. In the past two years, she lost an almost two-year-old daughter and her grandmother/mother who adopted and raised her and was most recently living with the family. Tough times for a young woman of twenty-nine.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Did Leoria visit to escape the children? Or did she go to Homer to help Flora?
  2. The above house is 28 Warren in 2017. Have the houses been renumbered since 1933?

Sources:

  1. Realtor.com photo
  2. The Homer Post; Homer, N.Y.; Friday, May 19, 1933;Page Two.

Visiting Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland, 1932

Brooklyn to Homer NY

Mr. and Mrs. Claude Barber and family, of New York City, spent last Friday with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ireland. Their daughter, Miss Jeanne Barber, remained with Mr. and Mrs. Ireland for a visit.1

Flora Ireland is Claude’s aunt, his father’s younger sister. She completed one year of college, an amazing feat since her mother died when she was seventeen, and her father was off and on in the Yukon mining for gold.

Flora’s husband, Fred, lost his first wife, most likely during childbirth, and she became at twenty-five the step-mother of ten-year-old Edna. The couple does not have any children of their own. Fred works as a dairy superintendent; Flora is a homemaker. In 1924, they lose Edna to tuberculosis, another death possibly connected to dairy farming.

Jeanne at eight is delighted to spend time with her great-aunt in the country out of the apartments in Brooklyn with several younger children under foot. At 28 Warren Street in Homer, New York, she has all the attention.

Auntie Flo and Uncle Fred. So many years later I would visit them, too. I remember only that Flo is exceptionally kind.

Questions:

  • Was Flora the first Barber woman to attend college?
  • Mom indicated Jeanne lived with them at some point. Was it just summers or did she stay longer and go to school in Homer?
  • Did Carolyn live with them while she attended Cortland Teacher’s College?
  • Where is Flora’s older sister Francis?

Sources:

  1. The Homer Post, Homer, N.Y., Friday, July 15, 1932, Page Five.
  2. 1930 United States Census
  3. 1900 United States Census
  4. 1880 United States Census