Saturday, August 30, 2008

Show & Tell - The "Grandma" Lamp

In reading the details on the 55th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I saw that the topic was "show and tell" with further suggestions to feature "an heirloom, a special photo, a valuable document or a significant person that is a very special part of your family history". I didn't have to think very long or hard about what I could use as my "show & tell" piece and my choice would encompass three of those suggestions - an heirloom, a special photo and a significant person in my family history.

My great-grandparents, Rudolph Schulte & Juliane Feucht were married on October 7, 1891 in Detroit. Their only surviving child, my grandfather Elmer Schulte, was born 3 years later in 1894. While I never personally knew these great-grandparents, I heard many stories about them when I was growing up. I can't even remember when I first learned that my great-grandmother, Juliane (Feucht) Schulte, had died at a very young age - 36 - from cancer which amazingly was documented as such even as far back as 1907 when she died. My grandfather talked often about his mother and had many memories even though he was only 12 when she passed away. But, unfortunately, not too many photographs ever existed of Juliane Schulte. I had two but one showed her as a teen-ager and the other showed her in approximately 1895 holding my grandfather in her arms. For some reason that I can't explain I always had an affinity for her. Her life was short but even to this day her only great-granddaughter thinks about her often and I have her two photos displayed in my home.

Photos from private collection of Cheryl J. Schulte

Growing up I often saw a beautiful cut glass lamp displayed in my grandparent's home. It was lovely and we were never allowed to touch it. My grandfather told me that the lamp had belonged to his parents and had been displayed in their home at 521 St. Aubin in Detroit when he was growing up. He said that his mother had loved this lamp and he believed it had been a wedding present to them at the time of their wedding in 1891.

This lamp was from the Hubbell Lamp Company and was 100% cut glass with a total of 40 prisms hanging from around the center of the lamp. The prisms were staggered with 1 being long, the next shorter, the next long and so forth around the entire circumference of the lamp. The shade was also cut glass with an engraved pattern on it. The base was cut glass with the same engraved pattern. Two bulbs were in the lamp with pull cords to tun the lamp on and off.

Above photos of Lamp - Copyright © 2008 by Cheryl J. Schulte

Over the years, this lamp was passed down in the family. After the death of Juliane in January, 1907 and the remarriage of Rudolph to Juliane's sister, Elizabeth (of all things), the lamp was taken to their home. After the death of Rudolph in 1940, the lamp went to the home of my grandparents, Elmer & Ella Schulte. Following the death of Elmer in 1968 and the move to a small apartment by my grandmother, Ella, the lamp went to their daughter, my Aunt Marilyn. Following the death of Marilyn in 1992, I acquired the lamp.

I continue to display this lamp in my home and it holds a special significance to me as I can imagine my great-grandmother, Juliane, lovingly caring for this very extravagant lamp for the times.

Copyright © 2008 by Cheryl J. Schulte

A few years ago, representatives from "The Antique Roadshow" came through my town and I took the lamp to them for appraisal. I was pleased to learn that this lamp continues to be a very collectible and valuable item, some 100+ years after my great-grandparents had it in their home.

But, that is not the end of the story. So far I have featured an heirloom and a significant person that is a very special part of my family history. This story would not be complete if I didn't also feature the very special photo that is my most prized photographic possession.

Over the 30+ years that I have been involved in genealogy, I have traced all 8 lines of my great-grandparents, some with more success than others. I have connected with cousins from all these branches and we have shared information back and forth. During this period of time I was able to obtain many photos and documents on various ancestors of mine. All are special to me and could not be replaced. Having these photos and documents makes my ancestors seem more real to me and gives me a connection to the past.

As mentioned earlier, I would have to say that of my 8 great-grandparents, my great-grandmother, Juliane Feucht Schulte, would be my most special ancestor. I treasure the stories I heard of her from my grandfather, I often visited her grave in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Detroit where her headstone was destroyed and is now gone, I felt a twinge of disappointment that her husband (who was to have loved her unconditionally) only waited 8 days after her death to marry her sister!!! and I loved the two photos of her that I did have. I was always of the opinion that due to her early death there probably were no other photos in existence of her.

WRONG. When I reconnected with my genie cousin, TK, of Before My Time, we quickly ran e-mails back and forth between ourselves and brought each other up to date on what we had achieved genealogically in the 20+ years that we had been out of contact. Imagine my surprise and total excitement when TK e-mailed me a photo that she had in her possession (her great-grandmother was a sister to my great-grandfather, Rudolph Schulte). She told me the photo was labeled "The Rudolph Schulte Family". When I saw this photo, my excitement could not be contained. Not only did this photo show my grandfather, Elmer, at 11 years old and his father, Rudolph, who I immediately recognized but also my great-grandmother, Juliane, probably just months before her death.

I have to say without any hesitation that no photograph ever pleased me more and I have this one framed and on my desk. I think that my great-grandmother would be pleased to know that she is still remembered to this day - 101 years after her death. Thank you, TK, for sharing this photo with me!

The Rudolph Schulte Family

Elmer, Juliane and Rudolph

Digitized photo from the private collection of Cheryl J. Schulte
Original in the private collection of TK

--------------------- And, speaking of TK and some of my other genea-blogger friends, Jasia and Thomas, many thanks for your posts recently on the demise of my 16 month old blog which up and disappeared off the face of the Internet. Hopefully, my readership will find my new/old blog which now is at this site with the same title, Two Sides of the Ocean. And thank goodness for back-up copies of the old blog!


T.K. said...

Aw, you're welcome, Jul's! Isn't it such a great photo!

Cheryl said...

TK, it IS the best ever photo. I just love it.

Apple said...

The lamp is beautiful, what a treasure! I wasn't surprised that Rudolph married his sister-in-law but the speed with which they married raised my eyebrow a bit. Perhaps there are other pictures of Juliane out there, residing with as yet undiscovered cousins.

Cheryl said...

Apple, the lamp is very special to me and I am glad that I was able to snare it from my cousin years ago (at a price but I was willing to pay it). Yes my great-grandfather must have been one of those who HAD to have a wife because after wife #2 passed away (near 30 years they were married), he up and marries yet another woman but not another sister of his first wife!!