Postcard from Bethany Children’s Home in 1916

This handsome structure at 4000 W. Ninth St. was originally the home of Alfred and Jane Merritt. They sold it to the Swedish Lutheran Church of West Duluth the same year this postcard was mailed, 1916, and it became an orphanage. The home was destroyed by fire on Oct. 10, 1920.

A new brick building was constructed on the property in 1922 and lasted until 1974. A replacement building had already been completed in 1972 and Bethany Children’s Home became part of Northwood Children’s Services around the same time.

The postmark on the card is Aug. 16, 1916 — 105 years ago today. The message on the back is dated July 11. The sender’s name is scribbled sideways on the left edge of the card. It looks like “Your friend, Miriam Swan.” The recipient’s name appears to be Miss Maybell M. Franseen of Frederic, Wis. The message reads:

We are having beautiful weather in Grand Hill.

Dear Maybell,

How are you? I am out on the farm now so I’m fine.

Ellen said she might go to [???] school the whole term.

My address is
219 6th Ave. E.
Duluth, Minn.

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