It’s truly amazing what you can learn from four lines of type.
Take this want ad from the Niagara Falls Gazette, August 30, 1912. I found it while killing time on the internet this afternoon.
“Mrs. Gavin” was my great-great grandfather Michael Gavin’s second wife. Michael had been deceased for seven years when his widow, Annie, placed this advert. The address, 352 Third Street, Niagara Falls, NY, was one door up from Michael’s younger sister, Mary Gavin Callinan.
The item that is of particular interest to me is the directional instruction that refers to Annie Gavin’s living quarters: “over Hannel’s.” I am assuming that “Hannel’s” is some manner of fairly well-known business establishment in the area–certainly well-known enough to be used as a point of orientation for the average person.
This opens up the exciting possibility that there might be a photograph of “Hannel’s” somewhere out there, which would provide me a handy peek at the building in which the Gavins made their home. Exciting! Time to write another email to the Local History Department at the Niagara Falls Public Library…
And to think: a brand new lead from four lines of type!