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.

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