Saturday, January 11, 2014

52 Ancestors - #1 Calla Tucker's 1917 Botany Note Book

My Great Aunt Calla Lily Tucker died in 1981 when she was 82 1/2 years old. I inherited a few of her things - one of which was her Botany note book which she did between Fall 1916 and June of 1917. It contains Botany exercises, drawings and plant samples from Silver Creek, Lewis County, Washington. Amazingly almost all of the plant samples are still in one piece after 97 years (only the strawberry plant totally disintegrated.) I just finished scanning it last week in case someone else would like a copy of it (since there are dozens of Tucker cousins) and to "preserve it" forever. I also created an index to it which includes current day pictures of the samples. The note book sits on my antique desk, and I put Calla's grandmother's (my great great grandmother Mary Hardesty Tucker's) reading glasses on top of the book as if she was reading it. I am sure Calla showed it to her as Mary did not die until 1918. Calla left Silver Creek in 1922 to attend the Seattle School of Nursing.

Calla was my maternal grandfather Alva Ashbury Tucker's youngest sibling of four and only sister.  Alva had forgotten to mail his life insurance check for his premium in May 1927 and he asked her to mail it for him before he went to work (he was an engineer on a tugboat) and to look after his family if anything happened to him. The tugboat went down in stormy seas and the life insurance money helped keep his widow and four children (ages 10, 7, 4 and 2 months) going during the depression. Calla did what she could for his children.

After working as a nurse in Seattle after graduation she then worked for a doctor at Port Gamble, Washington sometime during 1929. She returned to Seattle in 1930 and worked at the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers for six years. Sometime between 1940 and 1948 she returned to Lewis County and bought a home in Chehalis. She worked as a nurse until she retired.

Samples from the Book:

1 comment:

  1. This is so cool, Auntie Maeve! My brain is swirling with potential art projects based on this!