A genealogist must be part detective and part pack rat. It can be difficult to know which yellowed papers, brittle documents or old photos to wrap in acid free paper or place in archival safe boxes for future generations. I cannot part with anything that once belonged to my Nana, Helen Frances (Coyle) Gardner, 1897 – 1965. Anything that was once in her hands is a treasure.
I have a notebook that Helen used about 1915. It was made by the National Blank Book Company of 52 Duane Street, New York City and Holyoke, MA, patented in 1892. The metal rings that hold the hard cover and lined pages together are ‘National School Rings’, “the best fastening device to use in connection with university covers.”
Inside the cover, my young maternal grandmother wrote:
“Helen F. Coyle, Morris High School, Domestic Science 114” The school was in New York City.
Inside are recipes for things like Cranberry Jelly, Biscuits, Black Pudding, Cherry Wine, Fudge, and Muffins in Helen’s handwriting. There are also notes on how to remove stains, how to make hair tonic and how to brew coffee.
For one cup of coffee allow one rounded tabsp [sic] of coffee, 1 tabsp [sic] of cold water, a little uncooked egg and a cup of freshly boiled water. Scald the coffee pot, mix the coffee, egg and cold water thoroughly and add the boiling water. Put over fill and let boil then move off fire and keep warm. Keep cover on. Coffee is a stimulant both to the heart and to the nerves. Coffee also acts as a narcotic. Coffee with cream and sugar retains the actions on the liver and also makes one bilious.
Strong coffee aids digestion in the stomach and is used for that purpose after a heavy meal. Coffee should not be used by young people.
2 lbs. wild cherries, fresh
2 lbs. Sugar
2 qts. Water
Boil water & sugar in pot there add cherries & Let stand 3 weeks. Then bottle.