I Have Such Sights to Show You!



I recently inherited a bunch of charming vintage treasures from my late uncle’s estate.  Most of it belonged to my grandparents, great grandparents, and even great great grandparents before him.   These items were hidden away under years and years of dust in the basement of his home on the west side of Detroit.  I am stoked to bring them into my home and give them all a new life.


Alright, Lezzzzzz do it.


First up, we have this framed photograph of my great great grandparents, Augusta & Edward, on their wedding day in 1907.  Edward was a skilled craftsman who made all sorts of neat stuff including a pair of special handcuffs worn by Houdini in one of his escape acts in which he was plunged under water.



Spoiler alert:  He escaped!


Next up we have a photograph of my great grandmother Eleanor, daughter of Edward & Augusta pictured above.  This photo was taken in 1908 when she was just a few months old.  She passed away when I was only six, but we were very close and I loved her dearly. I think this photograph of her is very fancy and austere.  Although some would probably say it’s just creepy.



Speaking of creepy baby photos…


There is an antique store in Berkley that I frequent often.  For the last two years, every time I visited the store, I found myself drawn to a baby photograph similar to the one above (identity of baby unknown).  I don’t know why, but I just wanted it so bad, as though it was calling to me. Unfortunately it carried a hefty price tag with it, so I never took it home.  I would lovingly stare at it while I was there, and when other customers would approach the photograph, I would yell “DON’T TOUCH MY BABY!”.  So one day, I was talking to my aunt Joann about fleamarkety stuff, as we do, and I was telling her about that creepy baby photograph.  She said it was most likely calling to me because the evil spirit of the dead baby was trapped in the photo and wished to come home with me to haunt us for all of eternity.  EGADS!  Thank heavens I’m poor and could never afford it!  Now when I visit the store I walk over to it and whisper “Run to the light, child! Run as fast as you can!”  I don’t know if it works, but it can’t hurt.


I about lost my shit when I saw these tintype photos.  I mean, they’re like a couple HUNDRED years old!  I am assuming these are family members of mine from the mid 1800’s but I have no idea who they are.  Regardless, they look pretty serious.  Especially those dudes on the right. Holy moly.



Sidebar:  Have any of you used Ancestry.com?  I recently started a free two week trial and it is BLOWING MY MIND.  I found my great, great, GREAT grandmother Frances on the 1880 U.S. census, the year she immigrated from Germany.  She was 20 years old, working and living in Detroit as a hotel servant.  I wonder if Frances immigrated to the U.S. by herself without her parents?   If so, why?  Were they deceased?  Did she have siblings?  Did they come with her, but were working and living elsewhere?  Was she an indentured servant?   I NEED TO KNOW!!!! Hence the 500 hours a week I’m spending digging through census and immigration records on the site. Cuz you know, I have time for that.


I also found a 1900 census (20 years later) in which Frances was then married to her husband, my three times great grandfather, Jacob. They had seven children at that point, and Jacob was working as a day laborer. His mother, my great, great, great, great grandmother Agusta (four greats!) was living with them.  She was born in 1835!  I know I sound like a walking advertisement for ancestry.com, and I’ll stop gushing over it now, but seriously, if you have any interest in tracing back your family tree, I would definitely recommend starting a free trial.  And then tell me all about it and we can totally geek out together!


Ok?  Ok.


Oh hey, look at this badass wooden tool box, hand crafted by my great, great grandfather Edward (the same one who made the Houdini handcuffs).  I don’t know what we’re going to use it for (not tools) but most likely as a handsome display piece in Mike D’s man station for storing office supplies.



A lovely assortment of teacups and saucers.



Queen Elizabeth teacup?  SHUT. UP.



Did I ever tell you that I originally wished to name our puppy Mary, Queen of Scots?  I was all about it, but Mike D… not so much.  I thought it was a great puppy name, but whatever.  Had we gone with that name, I totally would have used this teacup as her little water dish. So hilarious, right?!  You know, seeing as how there was all that babymamadrama between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth back in the di-zay?  Question mark?  After discussing this with Mike D, he said this is not funny at all.  Even after I explained it.


Oh my lands, a whole box of old 45’s and 78’s!  I feel a plethora of exclamation points coming!




Cab Calloway!  Nat King Cole!  Glenn Miller! Johnny Mathis!



Can you even?!


Oh look, a Lady Schick facial mister.



No, I did not test it out on myself.  But I did try it on Celia and Eleanor Rigby.


What? It’s called ANIMAL TESTING, people.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.


This is what Eleanor Rigby looked like after her first misting.



And this is what Celia looked like.



Is it just me, or does Celia look older?


Large wooden fruit crate we still have from our storage space in Singapore for storage of random crap?  Don’t mind if I do.  Maybe I’ll use it for storing & displaying my new records.  Or maybe I’ll add steel casters to the bottom and make it a mobile cat/dog bed.  Anything could happen.



Gold flatware.  Dude, yes.



You guys know I like these.



How awesome are these old potato chip cans?  Perfect for storing away ugly things in the kitchen.


Can you believe potato chips used to come in cans?!  And cigarettes used to be recommended by doctors?!




And babies used to shave?!




Oh, olden times. You so crazy.


I am now the proud owner of a boat load of gorgeous antique glass serve-ware and depression glass.





Plus, I now have a bunch of embroidered towels, table cloths, and hand knit doilies. Some with cats!



Doilies, you get a bad rap, but I love you.


A stack of old National Geographics will make our guests think we are smart & worldly. They will also add a nice pop of yellow to our decor.


Cool, old timey kitchenware.



My excitement reached a fever pitch when my eyes landed on this AMAZING set of four mid century outdoor chairs.  Could these possibly be real Salterini Orange Slice chairs?!  How do I tell?


Do I really care though?  Not really.  I plan to give them a good sanding and a fresh coat of glossy white paint and plop them in my backyard.  Under my bum.



I really can’t express how grateful I am to my family for passing down all these amazing things to me.  And this isn’t even all of it!  I also received an old vintage locker from Vietnam, some cool mid century bar stools and my great grandmother’s art deco dressing table (pictures coming soon).


It feels really good to shine all these nuggets up and put them back to use and on display.  I’m sure my ancestors are smiling down at me, getting a kick out of all this.


Or…. they are pissed that I’m using their stuff.


Uh oh.

I doubt it, though. My people be pretty cool.


PS: Two of my friends just started a new blog about making craft cocktails, called Detroit Saloon League. It’s a great resource if you are interested in making old fashioned boozey drinks. Which if you are, why haven’t you invited me over?




Posted on by Tracey
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3 Responses to I Have Such Sights to Show You!

  1. Miss B. says:

    I love all the treasures and you have a very beautiful blog! Eleanor Rigby is a star!

  2. Natisha says:

    It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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