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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mystery Postcard

A few weeks ago Dick Ireton alerted me to the sale of a postcard that was offered on EBay. The scene was unidentified, but the New Gretna post mark suggested that the photo may have been taken on the Bass River.

The upper left message is somewhat cryptic and may present some clues as to the location of the postcard photo - "Tuckerton of Str EJ McKeever. NJ". Does the symbol of a shamrock mean anything to anybody? Any guesses on the name of the garvey (First 3 letters are ALD)? Unfortunately, I can't decipher the name of the person sending the postcard, as it may be a significant clue.

I sent a copy of the postcard to my Bass River expert, Jim McAnney, in hopes that his knowledge of the Bass River may shed some light on the photo's location. Following is his reply.

I think the picture could be the John Mathis farm. It looks like it could have been taken across from the lower end of Allen's Dock. Being east of McKeevers, this is my best guess. The grove of trees on the right of picture looks similar to the one that was near the John Mathis house.(This guess plus a dollar will get you a cup of coffee)!!!!

The McKeever Brothers owned the Crab Island Fish Factory and kept their menhaden fishing boats near the Bass River bridge for the winter. They owned the area now called Allen's Dock. Does the postcard notation regarding EJ McKeever somehow refer to this area?

The McKeever Brothers menhaden fishing boats docked near the Bass River bridge for the winter. Courtesy of Paul Steinhaurer.

I am hoping that someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere may be able to shed some light on the location of the postcard photo.

Pete S


  1. I don't know if my suggestion for a subject of discussion is considered apt for the scope of this blog, but: I see different names for boats used in the NG area such as a garvey. Would someone like to explain what these boats look like and what specifically they are used for? Thanks
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

  2. It seems likely that ALD stands for Alderman. There is an Alderman McKeever listed in the following book, which I found on Google Books:

    The Brown Book: A Biographical Record of Public Officials of the City of New York for 1898-9

    Alderman McKeever is one of seven alderman listed under the Docks and Ferries section.