Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Mom & Siblings at Littlefield Fountain in Austin, ABT 1941

Charles III, Jo Ann, and Geraldine Guokas at the Littlefield Fountain in Austin, Texas, ABT 1941
 I was pretty sure the photo above was taken in Austin, Texas, about 1941, because the clothing Charles and Jo Ann are wearing matches that in another photo taken in Austin about the same time.  I wasn't sure about the location, though, until I enlarged the detail in the upper part of the leftmost third of the picture:
Above:  Close-up of fountain detail from the left part of the 1941 photo at the top of this post
Below:  The Littlefield Fountain in March 2013

The Littlefield Memorial Fountain, located in the South Mall at the University of Texas at Austin, was designed by Italian sculptor Pompeo Coppini, who also designed the Alamo Cenotaph. Donated by Major George W. Littlefield, the World War I memorial fountain was commissioned in 1919, installed in 1932, and dedicated on April 29, 1933. It is comprised of three concentric pools on different levels with jets of water spraying on a bronze group featuring the personification of Columbia, the Spirit of Independence, returning from World War I on the bow of her warship, the Boat of America (which has an eagle on the prow). In her right hand is the Torch of Light and in her left is the Palm of Victory. She is flanked by two military figures--the Army to her left and the Navy to her right. To the front are three plunging, finned sea horses, symbolizing the ocean, with the two outer ones mounted by mermen, representing man's discipline.  The fountain is inscribed in Latin with Brevis a Natura nobis vita data est at memoria bene redditae vitae sempiterna. The translation reads, "Short life hath been given by Nature unto man; but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever." Beneath this inscription is a memorial bronze plaque that lists all University of Texas students and alumni killed in World War I.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past: Cousin Beth, ABT 1971-2 and 1980

My 1C Beth, who shares the same birthday, at what I think is probably her high school graduation (left), and on her wedding day.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Those Places Thursday: San Antonio's Historic Menger Hotel

The original part of the Menger Hotel, at the corner of Alamo Plaza and Blum in San Antonio.
The lower two stories were built in 1859; the third story was added in 1881.
Just four-plus days left (through July 1, 2014) to get early-bird discount registration fees for #FGS2014, the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference being held in San Antonio, Texas, August 27-30!  If you are still looking for a hotel, and don't mind being a little further from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, you might want to consider the historic Menger Hotel, next door to the Alamo.

The historical marker pictured at left pretty much tells the story of the hotel.  I took the pictures in this post on April 6, 2013, when I was at the hotel to make a presentation on blogging and family history for the International Society of Educational Biography conference.  I also picked up a self-guided tour brochure at the front desk with some of the other facts presented in the captions to the photos.  What I didn't get to see, but described in the brochure, was a network of tunnels under the building that once held wine cellars, meat lockers, and led to Menger's adjacent brewery.
The Victorian Lobby - the lobby of the 1859-1881 portion of the hotel was remodeled in 1909
The leaded skylight in the Victorian Lobby, added in 1909

The four-story, 125-room 1949/1950 addition to the Menger Hotel (at Alamo Plaza and Crockett) 
Entrance to the 1949/1950 addition (at Alamo Plaza and Crockett) and Main Lobby of the Menger Hotel
The Tropical Garden of the Menger Hotel, as viewed from the Main Lobby side
© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dietz Kids, September 1963

Clockwise from left:  Ron, Shellie, Ruth, Rich, Regina, Rob, September 1963

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Travel Tuesday: El Mercado in San Antonio, 1980, 2008, 2010, 2011

cousin Donna shopping at El Mercado, January 1980
One of my favorite places to visit the summer I lived in San Antonio - and a favorite place to take guests in subsequent years - was El Mercado, the Market Square, "the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico."
Market Square (El Mercado), 7 August 2010 / David (Brokentaco) /  CC BY-2.0

This historic site (in existence since the 1820s) has over 100 shops and galleriesrestaurants and a food court, and (since 2012) the Educational and Cultural Arts Center of Texas A&M University - San Antonio (in what used to be the Museo Alameda), which features exhibitions of Latino arts.
Museo Alameda [now the Educational and Cultural Arts Center], 1 June 2012 / Karen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Probably the biggest reason I'd travel from my work place of Mission San José to El Mercado was to eat great Mexican food at Mi Tierra Café, or buy goodies at its panaderia (bakery).  This awesome place, open 24 hours a day with year-round Christmas lights and decorations, has the BEST panes dulces (sweet breads - try the empanadas or cuernos de azucar) and Mexican candies (leche quemada is my favorite).
Mi Tierra Restaurant, San Antonio, 28 January 2008 / Mathieu PlourdeCC BY-2.0

For those of you going to San Antonio for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2014 Conference in late August, you can buy a one-day pass for VIA Transit and ride the Red (301) Circulator bus from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, site of #FGS2014 to Market Square and other sites of interest (like the Alamo).

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Pape Girls, Fall 1967

clockwise from left:  Terrie, Judy, Donna, Bobbie

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past: Dietz Kids, ABT 1963-64

Shelly, Rob, Ruth, Rich, Ron, and Regina, probably late 1963 or early 1964.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Those Places Thursday: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, 1978 and 1997

I hope those of you going to San Antonio for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2014 Conference (#FGS2014) in late August plan to stay in San Antonio a few days more (either before or after the conference) so you can see some of the sites outside of the downtown area.  This week, I am writing about destinations to the north and to the south of downtown.

If you were to head south of the River Walk along the San Antonio River, you'd eventually reach the first of four sites in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.  Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepción de Acuña, simply known as Mission Concepción, was dedicated in 1755, and is the oldest unrestored stone church in America.
Mission Concepcion at San Antonio, Texas, 27 June 2010 / Travis Witt / CC BY-SA-3.0
Next is Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, or simply Mission San José, the "Queen of the Missions."  It was almost completely restored by the WPA (Works Projects Administration) in the 1930s.  Thus, it is the largest of the missions and gives the visitor an idea of how all the missions (including the Alamo) might have looked in the mid-1700s.
Mission San José at San Antonio, 27 June 2010 / Travis Witt / CC BY-SA-3.0
Further down the San Antonio River is Mission San Juan Capistrano, usually just called Mission San Juan.  It started in east Texas in 1761 and moved to this location in 1761.
Mission San Juan Capistrano facade at San Antonio, TX, 30 June 2011 / Travis K. Witt / CC BY-SA-3.0
Furthest south is Mission San Francisco de la Espada, or Mission Espada.  It is the oldest mission in the state, originally founded in east Texas in 1690 and moved here in 1731.
Mission Espada Chapel at San Antonio, TX, 30 June 2011 / Travis K. Witt / CC BY-SA-3.0

I'd suggest allowing at least an entire day to visit the missions.  All four are still active Catholic churches, and San José and San Juan offer bilingual mariachi Masses on Sundays. (Note that the church at Mission Espada is closed for preservation work until December 2014).

You might also want to visit the nearby Espada Aqueduct.  Built in 1745 as part of the irrigation system for the missions, it is the only remaining Spanish aqueduct in the United States.

I was privileged to work as a park ranger at Mission San José in the summer of 1978, when it was still part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department system.  I've written about and posted pictures of Mission San José before, but here are some additional photos from a visit by my family of origin that summer, and another visit with my offspring in the summer of 1997.
Dad and me at the former entrance to Mission San José, on the southwest corner of the complex, summer 1978.
The entrance has been moved to the southeast corner and this sign was removed sometime after August 1998.

Mark, me, Mom, Dad, Mary, and Brian, just outside the San José granary with its flying buttresses, summer 1978

Mark, Sister Jean Marie, Brian, Mom, Dad, and Mary at the entrance to the San José church, summer 1978

Mark, Mary, Dad, Mom, Brian, Nani, and Sister Jean Marie in front of the Rose Window, summer 1978

Eric and Diane in front of the Rose Window / Rosa's Window, summer 1997

 © Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

(Almost-) Wordless Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Wall

photo courtesy Heather Grandusky Odden
photo courtesy Marianne Streff Gustafson
I thought this was a really cute idea for a photo booth prop (and another great way to incorporate old family pictures in a wedding).  These are from the recent wedding of a first-cousin-once-removed. Hang wedding photos for couples related to the bride and groom (parents, grandparents, etc.) on a wall made of plywood and covered with wallpaper or an old sheet, along with some large frames surrounding openings in the wall.  When I first saw the top image, I thought the "photos" of 1C1Rs Heather and J.J. (and their spouses Kevin and Marianne respectively) above, were REAL!  Only J. J.'s hand on the frame gives it away!  The second photo has 1C1R Christy and her fiance Dave.  In the photo below, my 1C Marianne and her husband Bill make their pictures come a little TOO alive!
photo courtesy Marianne Streff Gustafson

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Travel Tuesday: San Antonio's Brackenridge Park Area, 1944, 1978 and 1980

Japanese Tea Garden / Sunken Gardens Pagoda / Pavilion, Summer 1978
I hope those of you going to San Antonio for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2014 Conference (#FGS2014) in late August plan to stay in San Antonio a few days more (either before or after the conference) so you can see some of the sites outside of the downtown area.  This week, I'm going to write about destinations to the north and to the south of downtown.

If you were to head north of the River Walk along the San Antonio River, you'd eventually reach Brackenridge Park, which is near the river's spring-fed headwaters.  The 343-acre site has an interesting history and features New Deal era structures in its bridges over the river, picnic areas, and golf course, as well as tree-lined trails, playgrounds, and a miniature train that takes visitors on a 3.5 mile loop around the park.

Brackenridge Park is the site of a number of attractions, including
the San Antonio Zoo,
the Witte Museum, and
the Japanese Tea Garden.

Mom, Dad, me, and brother Mark along the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park, summer 1978
Siblings Brian, Mark, and Mary at Brackenridge Park, summer 1978
I visited all of these sites as well as the park the summer I lived in San Antonio, but my favorite place by far was the Tea Garden.  It's one of the places I took my family when they came to see me that summer, and a place I took relatives visiting in Texas in subsequent years.  In those days (1978), it was known as the Sunken Gardens.

The site was originally a rock quarry.  Between July 1917 and May 1918, City Parks Commissioner Ray Lambert, with plans from his park engineer and no money, was able to construct the Garden. According to the city's website, he "used prison labor to shape the quarry into a complex that included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island and a Japanese pagoda....local residents donated bulbs to beautify the area. Exotic plants were provided by the City nursery and the City Public Service Company donated the lighting system. The pagoda was roofed with palm leaves from trees in City parks. When completed, Lambert had spent only $7,000."
Cousin Donna diverts the 60' waterfall at the Sunken Gardens, January 1980

"In 1926, at the City's invitation, Kimi Eizo Jingu, a local Japanese-American tea importer, moved to the garden and opened the Bamboo Room, where light lunches and tea were served....his family continued to operate the tea garden until 1942, when they were evicted due to anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II. A Chinese-American family operated the facility until the early 1960s....In 1984, the area was rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden."

Unfortunately, after that, the Garden suffered some decline due to "the ravages of time and insufficient funds."  In 2004, the City and the San Antonio Parks Foundation began a multi-phase restoration. In 2014, according to the City, "The lower area, which includes the koi ponds and flower beds, will be closed beginning June 10 through the end of September. However, the upper level around the pagoda will remain open as will the Jingu House Café. The renovations include repairs to the ponds’ filtration system and re-lining of the ponds. Additionally, new lighting will be installed around the ponds and the pagoda."

Above and below - views of the Sunken Gardens, summer 1978

ETA:  I'm not completely sure, but I believe this photo of my mother and her two siblings was taken in the Sunken Garden area in 1944.  They are wearing the same clothes they had on in photographs taken at San Antonio's River Walk and Alamo.

Gerrie, Jo Ann, and Charles Guokas III at the Sunken Gardens in San Antonio, 1944

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Motivation Monday: Orphan Train

My local book club meets tomorrow, and we will be discussing Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline.  This historical fiction / realistic fiction novel includes the story of (fictional) 91-year-old Vivian Daly, who is an orphan train rider.

Set in 2011 in Maine, Vivian's story flashes back first to 1929 in New York City, where Irish immigrant Niamh Power lives in a tenement with her parents, two brothers, and younger sister.  After a fire kills the rest of her family, Niamh is taken in by the Children's Aid Society and is put on an orphan train heading west.  She ends up in Minnesota, and goes through a series of placements before finding a loving family.  You can read my review of this novel here.

After reading the book, I'm eager to see the keynote presentation at this year's Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2014 Conference (#FGS2014) in late August in San Antonio.  On Thursday morning, August 28, at 8 AM, presenters Phil Lancaster and Alison Moore will "combine live music, a video montage with archival photographs and interviews of survivors" into the multimedia presentation "Riders on the Orphan Train," about "the Orphan Trains that carried over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children across the United States between 1854 and 1929."  I was also interested to learn from the FGS blog that the last such train stopped in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

This program by Austin residents Moore, an author who has written a novel with the same title as the presentation (which I plan to read next), and her husband Lancaster, a musician, is the official outreach program for the National Orphan Train Complex museum and research center in Concordia, Kansas.  Moore and Lancaster are also on the program Friday afternoon at 4 PM with a session entitled "Paper Trails in Texas: In Search of the Orphan Trains," a follow-up to the keynote where they will "give examples of Texans who braved red tape and closed doors to complete family trees."

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day!

My sister Karen, Dad and me, probably late 1958 or early 1959, probably Houston, Texas.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Society Saturday: #FGS2014 - Early Bird Deadline Approaching!

The FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio will be here before you know it. Have you registered? If not, register online today.

Then pay it forward by telling your friends you'll be "Gone to Texas" August 27-30, 2014, to spend some quality time with a group of others as passionate about researching family history as you are! Ask them to meet you there. Take a look at what's in store for you in San Antonio.

Early Bird Registration Deadline is July 1 for Genealogy Conference in San Antonio, Texas!

There’s still time to beat the early deadline for the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio. Register now and save on your conference registration – register before 1 July. To see the full program and conference details, go to

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past: Frank J. Senge, aka Another Reason Why I Blog

F. J. Senge store; formerly Senge & Pape, at 885-889 (today's 3056-3060) W. Armitage, Chicago, between 1904 and 1909.  Used with permission from David Schardt

The photo above is just another example of why I blog.  Just this past Sunday, I got an e-mail from the grandson of my great-grandfather's former business partner (and the godfather of my great uncle Walter Pape, 1900-1975).  He had some questions for me, and he also shared the photo above and below.  The photo above is significant because my great-grandfather, John Pape (1851-1945), was part of this business from at least 1900 through about May 1904, when it was located at 883/885/889 W. Armitage (3058/3060 after the 1909 street renumbering) in Chicago.  The May 1904 issue of The Clothier and Furnisher (volume 64, page 91) indicates "F. J. Senge has succeeded Senge & Pape, dry goods merchants, at 883-885 Armitage ave."  We believe at this point John Pape opened his own store at 6949 N. Clark St. in Chicago.

The photo above was taken sometime between 1904 and October 1, 1909, when the May 19, 1909 Men's Wear (volume 27, issue 2, page 84), in an article called "Store Improvement and Enlargement," said, "F. J. Senge to Erect Own Building - Frank J. Senge, department store, 887-9 Armitage avenue, will erect and occupy on October 1 a double store building at 918-20 Armitage avenue.  His old store will then be discontinued."  The address 918-20 after the renumbering is 3111-3113 Armitage.

Frank J. Senge, 1871-1951, around 1900.  Photo courtesy David Schardt
Franz Joseph Senge was born May 18, 1871, in Germany.1  His parents were Franz Senge and Wilhelmine Schulte, and he was baptized on May 22 of that year in Saint Servatius Catholic Church in Brunskappel in Westphalia.2   He arrived in New York September 24, 1893,1 and was naturalized June 2, 1903.3

Frank's grandson tells me that Frank married a clerk in his store, Marie Holm, and they had his mother, Gloria Senge, in 1926.  Gloria "married my father George Schardt in 1946. They had six children....Frank died in 1951, Marie in 1974, Gloria in 1986, and George in 2010."

Below is a photo of what 3058 (to the right) and 3060 (to the left) W. Armitage in Chicago looked like in August 2013.  The 3058 building (The Neighborhood Chapel) is virtually identical to the short building to the right in the photo at the top of this post.  The three-story brick building to the left in the photo below (address 3060) appears to be new; the original two-story building with "1888" at the top in the old photo appears to be wooden and was probably torn down.  However, the building to the far right in both photos appears to be identical.
Same view on Armitage as in the photo at the beginning of this post, August 2013

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

"Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Jun 2014), S-465 to S-525 Amon, Part B > image 704 of 5365; citing Federal Archives and Records Center, Chicago.

2  "Deutschland, Geburten und Taufen 1558-1898," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Jun 2014), Franz Joseph Senge, 22 May 1871; citing ; FHL microfilm 1051955.

3 "Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Jun 2014), S-465 to S-525 Amon, Part B > image 703 of 5365; citing Federal Archives and Records Center, Chicago.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Those Places Thursday: HemisFair '68 and the Tower of the Americas, 1968 and 2007

In a post earlier this week, I mentioned HemisFair '68, the World's Fair for 1968, which was held in San Antonio, Texas.  My family visited the fair (which ran from April 6 through October 6) on August 15, and I bought the postcard above and sent it to my pen pal, who kindly saved it for me.  On the back, I wrote,

HemisFair was great!  We didn't get to see everything, though.  The best things were the Italy and Texas Pavilions, the IBM and Coke Pavilions, Tower of the Americas, the Laterna Magika show, and the roller coaster on Fiesta Island.

Here are some photos I took at the fair, with descriptions from the Souvenir Book of Hemisfair '68:

"Coca-Cola Company brings theater to the fair.  Here, in its 500-seat theater, the company presents the puppets of Sid and Marty Krofft in a special play called Kaleidoscope." (page 17)

"IBM: Lakeside:. Key feature of the IBM Lakeside Pavilion, one of two the corporation has constructed on site, is a light-hearted informative movie explaining the operation of modern computers." (page 20).  I'm not sure if this is the Lakeside or the nearly-identical Durango Pavilion which "houses a unique, computer-operated loom that will weave a sample of cloth for the visitor." (page 21)

Mexico's pavilion had a small outdoor performing stage over the water, a "floating theater."  Today, this pavilion houses the Instituto Cultural de Mexico.

I took two photos at the "Paper and People" exhibit.  I haven't found any information about this (so far) in official HemisFair information available online, but an article called  "HemisFair Isn't Biggest, But 'Best',"  from the Abilene Reporter-News, April 23, 1968, page 20 said, "PAPER AND PEOPLE is an unusual exhibit reviewing the development of paper from the second century B. C. in China to 'way out' art using paper with its many textures and forms."  I also found it in the San Antonio Light, April 22, 1968, page 6, in an article called "HemisFare," (continued from page 1), under the heading "Theme Exhibits," as "Paper and People - A world of paper, from furniture to art. (In Plazas del Mundo.)"

"Paper and People also shows up on the Official Souvenir HemisFair 1968 Map under "Theme Exhibits/Structures" in Las Plazas del Mundo, which was where the national pavilions were.  It was located at the western end of the fair grounds. Along with all the new structures housing foreign pavilions, many of the 19th century homes and commercial buildings preserved on the site were remodeled and served as restaurants, pavilions, and shops during the fair.

Then of course, there is the Tower of the Americas, the signature structure of HemisFair, and, next to the Alamo, the most recognized structure in San Antonio today.  Those of you going to San Antonio for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2014 Conference (#FGS2014) in late August can easily walk to the Tower from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center (the original part of which was built for - you guessed it - HemisFair '68).  The admission fee includes unlimited access to Flags Over Texas Observation Deck, and the Skies Over Texas 4D Theater Ride during operating hours.  You can also enjoy lunch or dinner at the tower's restaurant.

Breathless and me at the top of the Tower of the Americas in April 2007

There are also some beautiful water features in HemisFair Park, near the Tower and the Convention Center.

This one is called the Hemisfair Mini-Monorail Monument, because it incorporates concrete structural elements from the original monorail at the fair:

As is the case with all World's Fairs, the HemisFair '68 site has changed over the years. Twenty-four historic structures incorporated into HemisFair '68 still exist today, the oldest ones dating to the 1840s.  Many structures put up just for the fair are gone, but others remain, some with their original usage, others with new uses.  The two buildings making up the USA Pavilion, for example, were constructed with the intention of turning them into the federal courthouse and judicial training center that they are today.  The city is currently in the midst of a plan to transform this area further.

A really great general website about Hemisfair '68 is  More information about the history of the site is available here: and here:

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.