This real photo postcard was found among a group of papers that had belonged to DC Professor George Enders, who taught philosophy and psychology from 1910-1941. The papers were rescued from a dump in California and eventually made their way to the DC archives.
The card has no writing on it nor a date, but since there were no less than 4 copies of postcards of this house, it must have been important to the Enders family. As there is nothing in the background but fields, or any buildings beside the house in the picture to give context, it was hard to be sure what it was.
Among the papers found in the dump was correspondence sent to Enders from Stollberg Hardware Company in Toledo about his order for “finishing hardware for your new residence”, dated 1911, and an invoice from the Western Gas Fixture Company, also in Toledo, for lighting fixtures installed in the house, dated July 1911.
If the house was built in 1911, then the postcard fits the era; in the early 1900s, real photo postcards were extremely popular. The Enders were likely proud that they could build a new house and wanted to commemorate the event by having a photo postcard made.
Once we processed the rest of the correspondence, there were one or two letters addressed to Enders at 34 College Place. Also, the papers included photos of Enders and his family standing in front of a house, with a visible address, 34. Archives volunteer Carol Hull pointed this out to me, which I had failed to notice.
Here’s a picture of Prof. Enders with a relative, possibly his daughter Ruth, and you can see “34” above Ruth’s head:
So, postcard in hand, Carol and I walked over from the Library to the block of houses between Clinton and College Drive that face the campus. The house with number 34 as its address looks almost exactly like the house in the postcard:
(My thanks to Carol for taking this photo with her phone.)
A garage has been added, and new siding that makes the house a uniform color was put on, but otherwise the house appears unaltered, at least from the outside. The house is privately owned so we could not look inside.
Judging by the postcard, with nothing built beside the house in 1911, this must have been one of the early houses constructed on what would become known as “Professors’ Row.” Here’s a picture of Professors’ Row from the 1918 Oraculum (scroll down to the bottom of the two pictures): goo.gl/Xnqypq but that photo was taken from the Clinton St. end of the block, and number 34 is too far down the row to be really visible.
The DC Archives is the beneficiary of the Enders’ family having saved documents which others might not have kept. (Do you save invoices from the hardware store? For most people, once the bill is paid, into the shredder they go.)
We are also thankful to the unknown dump worker who recognized the value of the papers and made the effort to save them. Our thanks to the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society for forwarding the papers to the Andrew Tuttle Museum, and to the Tuttle for sending them to us.
Lead Librarian and Coordinator of Metadata and Archives