Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 5, 2002, pg. 12
Most of our readers are familiar with the story of Juliet Calhoun Blakeley (1818-1920), Albion’s so-called “Original Mother of Mother’s Day” and the legend that grew around her through the years. There is another aspect to the story which we are featuring this week in preparation of Mother’s Day next weekend.
Back in 1934 the Albion Business & Professional Womens Club (ABPWC) issued a commemorative envelope in honor of the late Mrs. Blakeley. The envelopes were postmarked Friday, May 11, 1934 (two days before Mothers Day) and contained a 3¢ U.S. Postage stamp “In Memory and in honor of the Mothers of America.” This stamp shows a seated mother facing left, with a vase of flowers in the lower left. I am not a stamp collector (I am a numismatist instead) and so you’ll need to consult your nearest philatelist for the Scott number.
Most importantly however is the local addition to the envelope. These special covers contain a purple-colored imprint that was hand-stamped with a rubber stamp. Oval in size, the imprint measures approximately just over two and three quarters inches wide, and one and three quarters inches tall. The text states, “Sponsored by Albion Business & Professional Womens Club. Commemorating the Birthday Anniversary of the Founder of Mother’s Day, Juliette Calhoun Blakeley. May 13, 1918-Nov. 29, 1920. Albion, Michigan.” I had read somewhere years ago that the ABPWC had issued a “stamp,” but what they meant was a rubber-stamped imprint, not a lick-it type. This article should clarify any confusion.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the only such envelope I’ve ever seen (does anyone else have one?) in all my years of researching Albion history. This is courtesy of the Connor family. It is addressed to Mrs. Earl Connor (Ruth) from her postal carrier husband, Earl Connor. In a bit of irony, not only did Juliet Calhoun Blakeley live to be 102 years old, but so did this envelope’s addressee Ruth Connor (1896-1999), who lived to be 103. Ruth lived a long and productive life and was well loved by her family, church, and those who knew her.
This envelope, by the way, will be included in my upcoming 128-page pictorial book “Albion in the 20th Century.” The book will contain over 225 photographs “by decade” from 1900 up to the present time. It just went to the printers and will be released sometime in August. I’ll have more information on this later as the time approaches.
Mother's Day Commemorative Envelope
All text copyright, 2014 © all rights reserved Frank Passic