Greetings from Myersville, Md.
When Dora sent this postcard from Myersville to Florence Cutsail in Frederick on Feb. 23, 1924, she was not sending a tardy Valentine, but just a friendly note. Before the age of smartphones, “snail mail” was the most popular form of communication for people living and working apart; the first telephone exchange in Myersville was completed in 1913, and in those days, telephones were by no means mobile.
Many cities and towns of that era had postcards promoting their communities with amusing and cheerful expressions, and Myersville was no exception. Dora’s postcard depicts a spring or summer scene, but snow fell the day it was mailed. On the back, she wrote about sending Cutsail a “chance book,” probably a raffle book. Dora, whose last name is unknown, said she hoped that Cutsail would have success with the raffle, and then suggested that if Cutsail wasn’t interested, the book could be passed along to a friend.
In 1924, Myersville was a new town, having been incorporated only 20 years earlier. It was a relatively busy community with stores, banks, warehouses, doctors and craftspeople. In 1904, it had a population of 150 (compared to 1,626 today), and installed its first set of electrical lights in 1915.
On the postcard, Dora also mentioned traveling back to Hagerstown. While she doesn’t specifically say how she would get there, she probably intended to ride the trolley. In those days, Hagerstown and Myersville were connected by the Blue Ridge Trolley, including the Myersville & Catoctin Railway, also known as the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway.
In 1924, Cutsail was 26 years old. She later married Howard T. DeGrange, and she had two sons and five grandchildren before she died at age 67.
This postcard and many others can be seen in the Historical Society of Frederick County’s Archives and Research Center at 24 E. Church St. Take a tour of the Museum of Frederick County History, at the same address, and look for a true 19th-century Valentine in a “Hands on History” scavenger hunt.