Decoration Day

Within the ephemera collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we have two patriotic postcards honoring American soldiers which have lost their lives to battle.

One uses the original name of what we now celebrate as Memorial Day, which was previously called Decoration Day. This day of tribute began as a way of honoring fallen soldiers that had lost their lives in The Civil War; predominately women went to the grave sites of soldiers and decorated them.

The post date on this Decoration Day postcard is dated 1909 and has a U.S. Postage Stamp of one cent. The poem which is depicted on the front reads;

Though more than forty years ago,

In Freedom’s cause he fell,

While facing furious, Gallant foe,

He is remembered well.

The second postcard uses the more current and familiar term of Memorial Day also has a U.S. postage stamp of one cent and is postmarked from  San Francisco, California—May 30, 1911. The hand written inscription from the sender is perhaps as poignant as the occasion and the beautiful artistry. The inscription reads;

Dear Lena,

Will you see that my grave is kept green.


The Vintage Postcard Collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is small, we have only eleven in our collection! The world of ephemera is extensive and rich with history as well as gorgeous artwork. Our attraction is to both aspects, however the artistry of the pieces always become the most important element for the selections we have made.

We keep The Vintage Postcards within reach and are openly displayed on a postcard rack encouraging the study of them. We find a profound connection when holding one of these hand selected, hand written and hand stamped relics and now, some one hundred years later, once again are being held and read. Most of the postcards are embossed and the image has a three-dimensional quality. Often, the most collectible pieces are ones which have not been written on, addressed or stamped.

At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we prefer those which have been held, and with thought written upon and sent on a journey to another person. It is the communication from person to person; and the attempt to experience a connectedness, when doing so was not as simple or immediate as dialing a cell phone. That fact that art was a vital element in the process of speaking to another person resonates to the very depths our souls at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge!

Art Lives!

Love of—Ephemera

From Wikipedia:

Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.

And yet, for some wonderful reason—these paper treasures lasted!
Art Lives!

Ephemera can be anything—postcards, labels, magazines, theater tickets—according to the Ephemera Society (yes, there actually is a society!) there are over 500 categories of collecting.

Similar to most collectibles—the range of expense, sophistication and knowledge is vast. Often the high end of a hobby or interest is the only version we are easily exposed to. Unfortunately, that glimpse can be the cause of a door closing, rather than the wonderment of a door opening! Often an interested person may feel that collecting is “out of their league financially” or that the required education of the topic is lacking.


Collect pieces that move you—your collection does not have to become a significant or important item in a famous auction to have value—the value is in the joy you experience in looking, selecting and cherishing each piece and your collection!

The history lesson which is often accidentally stumbled upon, as was the case in the purchase of The Decoration Day Greeting postcard (pictured above) can inspire us, while connecting us to the past—assisting us to be mindful of the lives and the events that have come before us.

Hoping to achieve inspiration for designing an invitation to our Memorial Day—Parade-Viewing—Breakfast (the name is a mouthful) I discovered the postcard for Decoration Day Greetings. I came to learn, prior to the holiday becoming Memorial Day, the original name was Decoration Day, as this was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. The artwork of this postcard is so beautifully touching—I love the American flag dress the artist created and the sorrowful expression on the woman’s face. The background is a lovely landscape depicted in soft blues and greens. Printed on the gravestone in gold metallic ink is the year 1860 as the year of death. Indeed, I was inspired.

Dated May 28, 1909 and stamped with a one cent stamp, the poem reads;

Though more than forty years ago,

in Freedom’s cause he fell,

While facing furious, Gallant foe,

He is remembered well.

The Collection of Vintage Postcards at Rooster Ridge is small and has only just begun.  I found this new-Vintage-style postcard rack and it sits at the top of the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. Our collection of Vintage Postcards is inexpensive—purposely—to encourage holding, picking up, exploring and touching—admiring, dreaming and reading. The dated and handwritten messages on the cards from the original sender are a peek into bygone days. The addresses are interesting and often contain minimal information, studying the postcards is similar to a film set in a specific time period—these period pieces are a mere snapshot!

The inscription of one card dated 1910 reads;


Received the socks this morning. Thanks immensely. They are fine for the purpose.


Another dated 1909 reads;


Dear Friend,

Please excuse me for not writing sooner but mamma and paw both working every day and don’t have much time. We will write a long letter later. Your friend, Maude Mitten


The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Advertisement is from The Ladies Home Journal dated October 1926. With the significance of the historic soup kitchens just a few years later, there is subtle irony in the wording which proclaims;


12 cents a can

Advertisements and labels from boxes and cans are often—simply put—beautiful art—which can become unique pieces to be framed and used in decorating.

Join us as we delight in the beauty, the history and exploration of the

Love of—Ephemera!

Art Lives!