Monday, August 11, 2008

The Helen Apartments

Arden recently unearthed this photo of the "Helen Apartments," which I'm reasonably convinced are located in Spokane (and Helen's age in this photo is consistent with the timeline). I googled "Helen Apartments" and found quite a bit of info on a Helen Apartments building in Spokane which was the site of an infamous and gruesome serial murder. Outside of Greece it's the only instance of Helen Apartments that I could find. (Using google maps' street view, I located the building in Spokane, which doesn't look exactly like this, but could have undergone "renovations" in the last hundred years. It's in what is currently Spokane's skid row area. )

I'm still working on identifying all of the individuals in the photo.

The tall gentleman on the far right is George Maltesta. It's possible that the young lady standing between Ella and George is Myrtle Kalas. She bears a resemblance to a newspaper photo I have of Myrtle at that time. If so, the young boys could be Quisty and Bud Kalas. The gentleman on the far left is probably Raymond Lavery ("Uncle Ray"), although William Lavery looked a lot like Ray, so it could be him instead.

Yesterday, Lorraine provided more information about the "Spokane Connection." Arden knew that her mother and grandparents had lived in Spokane for a short time, but didn't know when or why. Lorraine provided a few more puzzle pieces:

One of the essays I have that Helen wrote is titled "California, Here We Come!", and in it she states that in 1916 she and her Mother left Alameda for Chicago (for economic reasons) because her Father had lost his job and there being a recession at the time the chances of him getting another soon were slim. They sold all their household furnishings, and were in Chicago (probably with Aunt Mae) for four months.

She states that at that time he finally got located in Spokane, Washington, and they returned to California. She says she returned to the same school she had attended
before they left.

She says they had moved to California 9 years earlier (1907). That was about the time that gr grandmother Ellen died, which is in a letter I have that she wrote to my Mother stating that Ella had just arrived in California, and that she (Ellen) was sick. I think there was one other sister living in California at that time (probably Carrie?) (kmn's note: Carrie didn't move to the Bay Area until 1927; Lucy was the one living in California at this time.)

One last thing: notice Helen's long blonde curls? You can see them in person! Among the stuff Arden found in the garage was a bag of hair --- Helen's curls when she had them lopped off.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lavery Family Photos

Recently, I was able to get in touch with Lorraine D, a Lavery descendant, from whom we have a letter written to Helen Raysor in 1981. She's 82 years old; she and Arden are second cousins. She is descended from Ida Raysor (Eleanor's sister), the oldest of the Raysor children. She had several family photos that she shared with me, and quite a bit of information on the Laverys and Daleys that I would not likely to have been able to track down on my own.

Anyway, here are a few of the photos she shared (CLICK to BIGGIFY):

The photo above is of the four Daily (Daley/Daly) sisters. The large photo is labeled. The top photo is Ellen, Alice, Catherine and Annie. Ellen (far left at top; far right on bottom) is your great great grandmother.

The Dailys were raised in an orphanage, likely orphaned by a catastrophic cholera epidemic in Chicago. Ellen was living on her own in 1860, at the age of 16. She married William Lavery in 1864... he had been in the hospital recovering from grievous wounds he suffered at the second battle of Bull Run (a mini ball hit him in one leg near the groin and traveled down his leg to a point a couple of inches above the knee; the ankle on the other leg was broken), and they married almost immediately after he left the hospital. (It is not known, but would seem that perhaps she was volunteering at the hospital and met him there).

This is Ellen's daughter Ida, with her grand-daughter Evelyn. Evelyn was Helen Raysor's first cousin (and Lorrain's mother). There's also a note from Aunt Lucy Lavery Kalas.

This photo shows Evelyn, Lucy and Ida. This is the youngest photo I have of Lucy. Arden and Lorraine both remember Aunt Lucy as being a lot of fun. When Arden traveled from Potter Valley down to Oakland to visit the orthodontist, they stayed with Aunt Lucy, and she remembers them stayed up late into the night -- they would make toast and tea and sit around the table playing cards and laughing... a lot.