Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Ice Cream and Romance

Peter Bros.
Originally uploaded by midgefrazel
Advertisement from Westerly, RI City Directory, 1915, p. 275

Last Sunday, I blogged about my maternal grandmother meeting my grandfather at the place she worked in Westerly after graduating from high school in 1912. A friend, who works in the genealogy room of the Westerly Public Library tells that when the renovations are complete she will be able to look her up in the yearbooks stored there!

As my handwritten notes say that  she worked at a place called Peters, I checked the 1914 and 1915 Westerly City Directories and easily found the same ad in both years. I have cropped it to show here as it is less than 10% of the page of city directory stored at I noted that now allows these pages to be attached to your family tree and to be saved to your hard drive. This was not the case a couple years ago.

I checked the 1914 city directory and  discovered that the shop was owned by Albert L. and Brainard J. Peters and they were indeed brothers. [1914, p. 127]. This street still exists as many of the streets in New England do that are named Main St. It would be possible to stand in that spot today.

 My grandfather, Evans Stewart, was born in North Stonington, CT which is not too many miles from Westerly. His father, Charles, was an accountant when he was young and started his own business called the Westerly Laundry. Those ads in the Westerly City directory are terrific. I can track by each year the changes in the names and locations. My grandfather, took part of the business and moved it from Westerly to the Cranston-Providence line where my father worked for him. I guess I have soap bubbles in my blood, too!

Evans and Josephine married in Westerly, RI on 27 Jan 1914 with his brother, Dudley W. Stewart and her sister Dorothy Palmer Barber in attendance. It was not a big deal. They were married by the minister in the parsonage on a Thursday. The next notes say my mother was born on 7 January 1916 in the cottage hospital on Highland Ave. in Westerly.

Without these notes, I would only have what it says on the official marriage and birth certificates and not be able to visualize the events. I know that Evans and Josephine lost a baby before my mother. My mother, who was in the room when I asked these questions, didn't know that and didn't know exactly where she was born.

The city directories have allowed me to track my grandparents in all the places they lived. It is a wonderful resource! Excuse me now, I must go have a dish of ice cream and put up my feet!

1 comment:

Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski said...

My Clarke family lines, who originated from England, settled in Westerly for a number of generations before migrating to New York where my line eventually immigrated to Wisconsin. I feel a real kinship with this post. Thanks for sharing.