Oregon Man Receives Postcard For His Great Grandmother Postmarked 1940

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An Oregon man received a postcard addressed to his deceased great-grandmother postmarked at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 1940.

It’s been a long journey for a postcard addressed to Florence Marion of Butte Falls, who died in 1952.

The card arrived at the Butte Falls post office in July 2013 and was delivered to her great-grandson, Alan Marion of Phoenix, Ore., on April 14, 2014.

“To me, it’s one of those things that must have been meant to be. For everything to fall in place and show up at my doorstep, so to speak. I’m thrilled to have this card,” said Marion, who happens to be the maintenance director of the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society.

The front of the postcard is a picture of a boat with the handwritten inscription: “Leaving Manilla Bay. Feb. 1906. Flying Homeward Pennant.”

On the back, in faded pencil, it says, “Arrived in Portland at 8 o’clock. Having a fine time. Be home sometime Sat. — Blanche.”

Sunny Bryant, a USPS employee at the Butte Falls Post Office discovered the postcard last July. She asked around town about Florence and “got little clues here and there.” 

But she couldn’t find a find for the piece of mail. That’s when she contacted Charleen Brown of the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society.

Brown recognized the name Marion and contacted the RVGS member. She said Alan once told her he had family in Butte Falls.

“Somebody’s been looking over my shoulder here, and it must have been my great-grandmother,” Alan said.

“Obviously these kinds of situations are very rare,” says Peter Hass, USPS spokesman. “It’s really difficult to determine where it might have been for those many years. The good news is it did get delivered to a relative, at least.”

Florence was laid to rest with her husband John, who died in 1935, in a cemetery in New Sharon, Iowa.

No one recognizes the sender of the postcard. Just who Blanche was remains a mystery.

Sources: Register Guard, Mail Tribune