Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sentimental Sunday: Houses My Nana Grew Up In, Chicago, 1910-1924

In my last post, I talked about the "Big House" at 7000 N. Ridge Boulevard in Chicago's north side, where my Massmann great-grandparents lived from at least 1927 to at least 1932 (and possibly as long as 1920 or 1924 to 1936).  

One of my cousins asked if that was the house our Nana (grandmother) Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000), grew up in.  It wasn't, but the houses that she lived in from at least 1910 to just before her marriage to my grandfather (on September 3, 1924), were all in the same area as 7000 Ridge, three of them within three blocks of it.

On the 1910 Census, my great-grandfather Frederick Henry Massmann (1875-1948), his wife Elizabeth Camilla Dienes Massmann (1876-1946), son Alfred John Massmann (1901-1964), and daughter Elizabeth are living at 1938 W. Morse Avenue in Rogers Park, in a house built somewhere between 1883 and 1887.  Frederick owns the house, and is a superintendent in the grocery industry.

Above:  1938 W. Morse Avenue, Rogers Park, Chicago - Massmann home in 1910.

Below:  Modified image of the 1910 Census for the Fred Massmann family, to include the headings. The red line marks a section that has been clipped out as Fred Massmann appears on line 28, just below the red line.

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 23 June 2017), Illinois > Cook > Chicago Ward 25 > ED 1037 > image 29 of 50; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

When he filled out a World War I draft registration card (pictured below) on September 12, 1918, Frederick gave 2082 W. Estes Avenue, (also pictured below), as his address.  This house was constructed in 1911.

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 May 2014), Illinois > Chicago City no 60; A-Nelson, Charles G. > image 4345 of 4757; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Below:  2082 W. Estes Avenue, West Ridge, Chicago - Massmann home on September 12, 1918.

By December 1919, according to the Rogers Park Directory, the Massmanns had moved to 1833 W. Morse Avenue, to a house built in 1910.  The family is still in this house in the 1920 Census.  Even though Frederick is the general manager in the wholesale grocery business, he rents half this house, probably one floor or the other, based on the balconies at the end, from the owner.

Above and below:  1833 W. Morse Avenue, Rogers Park, Chicago - Massmann home in 1919-1920.

Above:  Frisbee, Hugh C., publisher. [from old catalog], The Rogers Park directory, June [December?} issue, 1919, page 52, entry for F. H. Massmann highlighted, available at the Internet Archive,

Right:  Engagement announcement for Elizabeth Massmann, from the August 26, 1924 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune.

When Elizabeth's engagement is announced, in the August 26, 1924 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune, she and her parents are living at 7731 Eastlake Terrace, at the very far northeast corner of Rogers Park and Chicago, right on Lake Michigan.  This townhome building, pictured below, was constructed in 1923.

Above and below:  7731 Eastlake Terrace, Rogers Park, Chicago - Massmann home in 1924.  7731 is on the left side in both the picture above and the entry below.

I took all of the previous building photographs on visits to Chicago in August and September, 2017.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Those Places Thursday: "The Big House," 7000 Ridge, Chicago, Illinois, 1927-28

The house pictured below shows up numerous times in the 1927-28 home movie I found a few months ago.  I have confirmed that this is 7000 Ridge Blvd., and I'll explain how I figured that out later in this post.  This is a view of the south and east sides of the house (which was on the northwest corner of the intersection of Ridge and Lunt Avenue) from the opposite (southeast) corner:

Here is what the house looks like on its north side, from further north on Ridge:

And a little closer...

And this is the east end of the house, facing Ridge:

Although the address was 7000 Ridge, the front door actually faced Lunt Avenue.  The picture below has Great Aunt Frances (Franziska) Ernestine Johanne Lina Massmann (1874-1958), my great-grandfather Frederick Henry Massmann (1875-1948), and my grandmother Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000).

This view is further west on the Lunt side of the house.  That's my grandmother on the left, and (I think) her best friend Marian Udelhofen (1904-1939) on the right.  You can see a small child standing in the window in the background; I'm pretty sure that's my uncle Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. (1926-2008).

So how did I figure out this was 7000 Ridge?  Well, one scene in the movie has Frederick, Elizabeth, and other family members (plus the Massmann family dog) walking along the east (Lunt) side of the house, heading towards Ridge.  Two buildings are visible in the background.

Lucky for me, those two buildings still existed when we visited Chicago in August 2017, and there haven't been many changes to them.  Here is the house pictured on the right in the black-and-white film still, on the northeast corner of Ridge and Lunt:

7001 N. Ridge Blvd was built about 1906 (photo below from Cook County Assessor's Office website).

The building next door, at 7003 N. Ridge, is an apartment building that had just been completed in 1927:

(Photo below from Cook County Property Assessor's website):

My father's sister, my aunt Marilyn Pape Hedger, looked at the still photo at the beginning of this post and confirmed that this was the "Big House" that belonged to her Massmann grandparents.

The house originally at 7000 Ridge was built sometime between January 1920 (it does not appear on the Census of that date) and May 31, 1927, the address of Frederick and Elizabeth Massmann on a passenger list with that date.  Likely it was built sometime after August 1924.  The Massmann family address that month (when my grandmother's engagement announcement appeared in the newspaper) was the nearby 7731 Eastlake Terrace.

By August 24, 1936, Frederick and Elizabeth Massmann had moved to 1123 Hull Terrace in Evanston, according to a Chicago Tribune article on this date.  Another family was living at 7000 Ridge Blvd. on the 1940 Census, and they were still there on April 27, 1942, based on World War II draft registration cards.  Therefore, the house was not torn down until after that date.  It was replaced by an apartment building.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday's Faces From the Past: Images from a 1927-8 Home Movie

After my father, Frederick Henry Pape, passed away in November 2017, I was going through his things, and I came across a VHS tape I'd never seen before.  It had a label from a video transfer service from the town he lived in from 1993 to 2013, so my guess is he had a 16mm film reel transferred to VHS.  The only other label on the tape said "Old Movies 1927-28."  Dad had never shown it to any of his five kids nor even mentioned it.  I think he may have forgotten about it.

I watched the 16+ minute tape and was VERY excited by what I found on it.  It's all in black-and-white, there is no sound, and the image quality was rather poor.  But I had the tape digitized and have captured some still images from it.  In later posts, I'll include clips from the film.

Like most home movies, it really is a series of short clips, most filmed in or around my great-grandfather Frederick Massmann's home at 7000 Ridge Boulevard in the north part of Chicago (Ridge was the dividing line between the Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhoods).  The house is long gone and I'd never seen photographs of it, so that was exciting in itself.  I'll tell you more in a later post how I was able to positively identify it (before verifying with my aunt).  Other landmarks I recognized were the Lincoln Park Zoo, the "Standing Lincoln" statue in that same park, and Calvary Cemetery on the border of Chicago and Evanston, Illinois.

Based on all the snow on the ground, a Christmas tree in one scene, the people who appear in it, and the dates on the label, I think this was filmed around the Christmas season of 1927-1928.

But most exciting to me were the people!  I think my grandfather, Paul Robert Pape (1896-1970), did most of the filming, but there was one short clip near the end where he appeared, walking with my grandmother, Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000):

I'm pretty darn positive this is my grandparents, but for those of you who never knew them, here is their wedding picture from just three years earlier, September 3, 1924:

The other major players in the film are my Massmann great-grandparents.  Below is my great-grandmother Elizabeth Camilla Dienes Massmann (1876-1946), and the toddler is my dad's brother, my uncle Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. (1926-2008).  Uncle Bob was born in January 1926, so he would have been about two years old when this movie was made.  He appears a lot in the film, which makes sense if his father was the one doing most of the filming!

And below is a clip with the best image of my great-grandfather Frederick Henry Massmann (1875-1948).  His wife Elizabeth is to the left of him, and I believe the woman on the far left is his sister Frances.  More on her in a bit.

Here is a previously-undated photograph of Elizabeth and Frederick Massmann.  The structure behind them appears in other clips in the movie, so I think the photograph was taken outside 7000 Ridge Boulevard, which I know they lived in from at least May 1927 (but not during the 1920 Census) to at least April 1932 (but they'd moved by August 1936).

Here are a couple more photographs of my Massmann great-grandparents, Frederick probably in May 1932 at his investiture in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great, and one of Elizabeth in her younger days (no date on photograph, but it probably around 1900): 

Two more Massmanns in the movie are, I believe, my great-great-grandfather Carl Wilhelm Heinrich Massmann (1847-1929) and my second great aunt Frances (Franziska) Ernestine Johanne Lina Massmann (1874-1958), Frederick's slightly-older sister.  After the death of Carl's wife, my great-grandmother Wilhelmine Auguste "Minna" Fricke (1847-1917), Carl lived with his daughter Frances, who never married.

Here's a photograph of Carl from just three years earlier, at the wedding of his granddaughter Elizabeth to my grandfather Paul Pape, on September 3, 1924.  I feel pretty confident it is the same person.

The only photograph I have of Frances is from many years earlier.  The photograph was definitely taken before May 14, 1917 (when her mother Minna - cropped out of this photo - died), and probably before June 23, 1909, when her sister Minna "Minnie" Marie Clara Massmann (1878-1928, also cropped from the photo), married.  You can see some similarities to the woman in the movie.

I believe the gentleman in the bowler hat below is Alfred John Massmann (1901-1964), my great-uncle.  In the photo below, I believe he's with his nephew, my Uncle Bob, but I think his own son, Alfred John "Jack" Massmann (1926-1999) is also in the movie.

Here is Uncle Al as a groomsman in the wedding of his sister, my grandmother, on September 3, 1924.

These two also appear in the movie, on a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo with my grandmother and Uncle Bob.  Agatha Patricia Burke Massmann (1903-1979) is holding her oldest child Jack, born just six months after my Uncle Bob.  Unfortunately, I have no other photos of either of them anywhere near this time with which to compare.

There's one more woman who appears a lot in the movie with my grandmother, and it's not her mother, aunt, or sister-in-law.  These two are often doing fun things like throwing snowballs at each other (and perhaps figure skating together).  I think it is Marian Udelhofen (1904-1939), who my dad told me was his mother's best friend.  For many years, they lived just down the street from each other, and at the time this movie was made, Marian still lived close by, about 2-3 blocks away.  In the photo below, I think Marian is on the left and my grandmother is on the right:

Here is another excerpt from the wedding party photo from my grandparents' wedding on September 3, 1924.  I had identified everyone else in the photo, except for this woman, and I now think she is Marian Udelhofen.  It would make sense for my grandmother to have a good friend from childhood as an attendant, given that she had no sisters.  And I think the woman in the picture below looks an awful lot like the woman on the left in the picture above.

The film also has a brief sequence, unfortunately shot in poor lighting, of a woman holding a baby.  I think the woman is my grandmother and the baby is my aunt, my dad's older sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Mary Pape Streff (1927-2017).  Betty was born in October of 1927, so she still would have been an infant when the film was made.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday: Roy Lee Guokas, 1917-1959

My great uncle Roy Lee Guokas (1917-1959), is buried at South Park Cemetery in Pearland, Brazoria County, Texas.  I'm not quite sure why he was buried there, as no other members of the Guokas family are there, and he died in California, where his only child, Gloria Guokas Ahmad Stone (1941-2017), lived most of her life. 

photo by and used with permission of Sue at FindAGrave

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sibling Saturday: Found Photos, Dairyman's Country Club, Wisconsin, July 1951

I found these two photos when sorting through items belonging to my father, Frederick Henry Pape (1929-2017) after his death late last year.  All he wrote on the back of the Kodacolor* prints, processed the week of July 20, 1951, was "DCC July 1951."  DCC stands for Dairymen's Country Club in Wisconsin, where my father and his family of origin spent many vacations from the mid 1930s at least into the early 1950s.  Dad had 15 days of leave from the Air Force from July 12-27, 1951, and went home to Evanston, Illinois, during that period - and it looks like he joined his family at Dairymen's during that time.  I know who the people are in the following two photos:

Above:  Paul Robert "Bob" Pape (1926-2008), Rose Mary "Moe" Pape Dietz (1931-2007), Frederick "Fred" Henry Pape, and Marilyn Electa "Beete" Pape Hedger.  This was before any of these four married.  Their sister Elizabeth "Betty" Mary Pape Streff (1927-2017) had married in 1948 and had three children by this point.

Below:  Bob and Fred with their mother, Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000).

*Because it is Kodacolor and it has been nearly 70 years since these photos were taken, the colors have faded to mostly shades of pink and dark green.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Funny Birthday Face, 1958

My first birthday, at 609 Teetshorn, Houston, Texas

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Easter, 1970

Easter 1970 (which was March 29), in the backyard of our family's home at 8015 Sharpview, Houston, Texas.  In the back are my sister Karen (age 12) and me (age 13).  Seated are my brother Brian (almost 8), sister Mary (about five-and-a-half), and brother Mark (almost 10).

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Those Places Thursday: Nativity BVM Catholic Church, Chicago

At the corner of Washtenaw and Lithuanian Plaza in the Marquette Park neighborhood of Chicago (home to many Lithuanian immigrants in the mid-20th century) is Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, usually called just Nativity BVM.   We were not able to go inside the church on our visit to the old Lithuanian part of Chicago on August 8, 2017, and even my picture of the outside of the main church was not as good as this one:

Below:  Mosaic on east exterior of Nativity BVM depicting the "Baptism of Mindaugus, King of Lithuania, Precursor of Christianity"

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chicago was founded in 1927.  The present building was started in 1953 and completed in 1957, and is of Lithuania Folk Baroque style.  Photos of the beautiful interior of the church are available on its website gallery.  It features, above the main altar, a reproduction of Our Lady of Šiluva, often called "Lithuania's Greatest Treasure."

The church still offers Masses in Lithuanian.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Easter Eggs – Margučiai in Lithuania

One of the displays at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago, which we visited on August 8, 2017, was full of decorated Easter eggs.  These colorful eggs are called margučiai  (mar-GOO-chay) in Lithuania.  Decorating eggs is a folk art still practiced today.  Colored eggs are made for Easter and for St. George’s Day (April 23).

A variety of techniques are used to decorate the eggs.  According to Antanas Tamošaitis in his book Lithuanian Easter Eggs, people gathered natural dyes such as oak or alder bark, sprigs of budding birch, and other twigs and mosses, and collected onion skins, beet roots, apple peelings, nutshells, herbs and dried flowers for boiling as a dye. Vinegar or alum enhanced the colors. The eggs were either boiled with the dye, or the dye was applied to them after boiling, in one or more soakings in colors.

Some eggs were left white, for the application of patterns, others were dyed for scratch-patterning. After drying a dyed egg, a penknife or shard of glass was used to create an etched-on pattern.

The other major technique is wax-resist.  A stylus (sometimes a pin, small nail, fishbone or shard of wood) is dipped into hot wax and then immediately applied to the egg. Beeswax is preferred because of its low melting point, but tallow is also used. Typical patterns involve teardrop shapes and dots.

The eggs are then immersed in dye, then dried and heated gently in a hot towel to melt the wax, or the wax is carefully scraped away. For multicolored eggs, more wax is applied to dyed areas of the egg, which is then placed in another color. All the wax is then removed to reveal the final pattern.

Many of the more unique eggs in the collection were the work of Ramutė Plioplys (1953-2007).  For example, she "pioneered a method of etching eggs.  The design was applied with melted wax, and once dry, the egg was inserted into a corrosive bath.  The resulting etched patterns are extremely delicate and subtle," as in the example pictured below (quotation is from museum label).

Some of the eggs had those etchings enhanced with color.

Ramutė also created drilled eggs: teardrops and dots delicately carved through a drained shell.
I can't imagine how she was able to do this without breaking the egg!

Finally, Ramutė also created beautiful hanging birds with decorated eggs as bodies and paper wings.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Verbų sekmadienis - Palm Sunday in Lithuania

I saved a couple of posts about our visit to the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago on August 8, 2017, for this week, Holy Week, the last week of Lent. Today is Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, and here's a little about how the day, Verbų sekmadienis, is celebrated in Lithuania.

One of the displays at the Museum in the Women's Guild Room were these unusual dried floral items.

A label said these were Palm Sunday bouquets from the Vilnius region.  On Palm Sunday, 

...plant branches (palms or others), called verba in Lithuania, are blessed in churches.  In some countries (for example in the U.S.) everyone entering the church is given a blessed palm frond or sprig of leaves.  In Lithuania, the people brought the verba to church themselves.  
These verba could be simple: bunches of juniper and pussy willows, or sometimes quite elaborate, plaited from dried plants, flowers, and bent-grass (Vilnius "verba").  It was considered a disgrace to arrive at church without a verba.  It was said that the devil himself gave such a person his tail to hold all through the services. 
After these verba were blessed in church, they were brought home, dried and put away.  When the dried juniper needles fell off, they were stored in a small box or bag and used to scent the house during a heavy storm or other occasions.  The bare branches were placed under the roof as protection against lightning.

You can find verba today at the annual Kaziuko mugė or Saint Casimir's Fair, held in Vilnius the weekend before or including the Feast of St. Casimir, which is March 4.  As the earliest date Palm Sunday can possibly be each year is March 15, this works well.  This folk arts and crafts fair dates back to the early 1600s and includes music and dancing.  Verbos made from colorful dried wild flowers and herbs chosen from about 150 possibilities are tied around a wooden stick.  Making this traditional symbol of spring and Easter is an endangered craft, as the process is difficult and time-consuming, and it's harder to find flowers and herbs or special dyes to color them. 

In the photograph below, verba are being sold outside the Church of All Saints in the Vilnius Old Town in April 1916.

Above:  Vilnietė pardavinėja verbas prie Visų šventųjų bažnyčios Rūdninkų gatvėje, 1916 m. [9 April 1916] / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.