07 Oct 2022

Romantic mystery of Christmas card from Laois to New York

Romantic mystery of Christmas card from Laois to New York

Mystery surrounds a handpainted Christmas card sent from Laois to New York some 70 years ago.

The card is signed 'love Willie' and was sent to a lady who moved to Ireland to New York.

The lady whose name is not given, recently died and her daughter Otillie found the lovely card and posted it back to Ireland, to Portarlington Library.

"This will surely be an unusual note, but my mother had this card in her scrapbook for decades (1950). My family was from Galway and we know no-one at this time in Port Laois. I thought it too nice to simply discard it so thought I'd send to you to include in your annual Christmas display as we have her in many libraries in the USA. Either that or consider it a gift from me to you."

Enda McEvoy is head librarian in Portarlington.

"We thought this would be a nice little story for Heritage Week. I got in touch with Ottilie and let her know that we would try to find the sender but nobody has come forward yet. 

"It's not quite 'Who Do You Think You Are', it is more a bit of playfulness on our part," Enda said (pictured below with the postcard)

The image was hand painted on a printed blank stationery card.

"It is quite delicate. It was made before the word bespoke was around. We intend to frame it but we will wait if any information comes in and then put it all together," he said.

Enda said that a vast trove of further Portarlington historical items is soon to be studied.

"The late Ronnie Matthews acquired local historic artifacts and we have acquired them through his son Tim. We are looking now for an archivist to sort through them. Maybe this card could be part of a museum display eventually in our town," he said.

The library shared the image on social media, asking for public feedback.

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