When is a postcard not a postcard? When it is a postcard-notecard. When can it be considered a postcard? When it is saved in your grandmother's keepsake postcard box. This is the only in her collection that opens for the sender to include a longer message inside. I have checked carefully and see no indication that it was ever sealed in any way. No tape or tape marks, no glue or stickum of any kind. I guess that, if one wanted to post a personal or sensitive message, this would not have been the medium. But it served the purpose for my traveling uncle Jim to send the following message to his mother, my grandmother Nellie:
Dearest Mom, Our trip so far has been very interesting & thoroughly enjoyable. Chicago was nice, Grand Rapids better, and Montreal is best yet. Such an interesting city 1,200,000 population - largest city in Canada - 7th largest city in North Amer. People 2/3 % French extraction. All public signs written in French & English. Elevator stops called in both languages. We took 2-1/2 hr. ride in old 75 yr. old carriage driven by old man & 2 horses . . .
Jim did not say, but since this old card shows the horse and carriage in front of the Chalet I like to think that was where he and his wife went on their 2-1/2 hour carriage ride. It would be worth the ride or drive, and I base that opinion on the stunning Flickr photo taken in 2009 of the interior that you can view here. Wow! Take a look; I will wait for you to return.........
The history of Mount Royal, including Mount Royal Park, is fascinating. Not a very tall mountain (764 ft.), "Mount Royal (French: Mont Royal, is a mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately north of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the city to which it gave its name. . . Some tourist guidebooks, such as the famous Michelin Guide to Montreal, state that Mount Royal is an extinct volcano. The mountain is not a traditional volcano as such. However, it is the deep extension of a vastly eroded ancient volcanic complex, which was probably active about 125 million years ago. . ." (source, including following info: Wikipedia. )
The first European to scale the mountain was Jacques Cartier, guided there in 1535 by the people of the village of Hochelega. He named it in honour of his patron, King François I of France. He wrote in his journal:
. . . The first Mount Royal Cross was placed there in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city, in fulfillment of a vow he made to the Virgin Mary when praying to her to stop a disastrous flood. Today, the mountain is crowned by a 31.4 m (103 ft)-high illuminated cross, installed in 1924 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and now owned by the city. . .
- [translated from French]
- "And among these fields is situated and seated the said town of Hochelaga, near to and adjoining a mountain ... We named this mountain, Mount Royal."
. . . The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park (in French: Parc du Mont-Royal), one of Montreal's largest greenspaces. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's Central Park, and inaugurated in 1876, although not completed to his design.
Olmsted had planned to emphasize the mountainous topography through the use of vegetation. Shade trees at the bottom of the carriage path would resemble a valley. As the visitor went higher, the vegetation would get more sparse to give the illusion of exaggerated height. City officials wanted a reservoir atop the mountain instead and Olmsted planned a grand promenade around it. However, Montreal suffered a depression in the mid 1870s and many of Olmsted's plans were abandoned. The carriage way was built, but it was done hastily and without regards to the original plan. None of the vegetation choices was followed, and the reservoir was never built.
The park contains two belvederes, the more prominent of which is the Kondiaronk Belvedere, a semicircular plaza with a chalet, overlooking downtown Montreal. . .
The four cent stamp on this old card features another royal, King George VI, who is a new hero of mine since seeing the marvelous movie The King's Speech. He had a great-grandson who himself will be saying a few important words that the world will be riveted to hear coming soon, this April 29th!
(Trailer runs 2:23 after .30 sec. ad)
[I intend to add a tab under my header that will include links to audio tapes that my uncle Jim recorded when he was in his 80s, memories of his mother and father, his boyhood, and of America in the early 20th Century. So far, I have posted two segments of Memories lit the corners of Jim's mind HERE and HERE.]