Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peg Weaver - Her Story of Mid life passion- becoming a published Mycologist 1960's - 1970

Tom here again, finding images of my mom, in my parents slide and photo collections.  Wonderful chance to share how my dad's passion of photography, complimented Peg's passion for nature and specifically her interest in mushrooms.   Here in her own words from Rememberings of a Eighty-Three Year old Grandma, 1994 p 72-74
Here is how I remember my mom, being curious with a smile.  These waxy looking Hygrophorus are one of the mushroom names I remember from the 60's.  This is labeled 1968.

"My interest in mushrooms began when Pete took colored photographs of some pretty mushrooms at
Pelican in the early 1960's. We wanted to know what they were. Curiosity really started something In the Faribault Public Library I found only two old mushroom books,    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise, M. E. Hard, 1908, and Field Book of Common Mushrooms, W.    S. Thomas, 1936. Two of Pete's photographs were easy to identify, Amanita muscaria and Hypomyces lactifluorum.    With permission to check books out of the Carleton College Library in nearby Northfield, much more and up-to-date information became available. From references I learned about the importance of writing detailed descriptions of fresh specimens (including the use of color charts), microscopic study of spores in making identifications, and drying mushroom collections for future microscopic study. In my reading I was disturbed to discover that Minnesota was not included in citations of states whose specimens had been examined
Pete resurrected the microscope he had had in Medical School so I could see spores. The first ones    I saw were the beautiful, longitudinally ridged spores of Boletellus russellii.    This was fascinating!

After learning of the importance of dried specimens, I dried my collections in the oven of the stove with the door ajar, but had to discard some because the drying was not correctly done, some specimens becoming moldy. After studying at the University of Michigan Biological Station and observing how drying was properly done, Pete made me a great dryer incorporating the unused copper screens from the very high, small sun room windows, windows that couldn't be opened. From Sears I ordered a set of metal strips to assemble with wing nuts and bolts to make a frame to hold the screen shelves. The boys referred to this as "mom's Erector Set". The assembled shelves had an unbleached muslin cover with vents and a moveable front flap, to provide access to the shelves, and, below, a two-burner hot-plate with three heat settings."

"My collections were stored in glass and plastic jars with tight- fitting lids. Pete brought home glass jars from the hospital and office laboratories where they had contained Ethicon foil packets. They were excellent for storing larger dried fungi. A druggist ordered smaller plastic containers. After the specimens were dried and placed in the jars, a few naphtha flakes were added to each to    prevent insect infestation. Printed labels were placed with each collection, attempting to give my collections the same authenticity and appearance as those of other herbaria. A sample label:
Herbarium of M. G. Weaver MINNESOTA FUNGI Fuscoboletinus weaverae    A. H. Sm. & Shaffer Scattered to cespitose on humus in mixed woods (Quercus, Populus, Betula, Pinus res- osusus, P. banksiana and P. strobus,    Sect.
35, Pelican Twp., Crow Wing Co., Minn. 12 Sep 1964. MGW # 1086. det. A. H. Sm.
The containers with specimens were filed by mushroom families and/or genera in unlidded, labeled boxes which I cut down from corrugated grocery cartons, covering the printed sides with Kraft tape and   using the strips left from the cutting as dividers in the boxes. These boxes were stacked on metal shelves. This was my herbarium. The room that used to be the boys' playroom, was now my playroom.  Subi Qasem, the graduate student from Jordan who had spent time with us at Pelican, had recommended a book on mushroom identification by Clyde Christensen, Department of Plant Pathology of the University of Minnesota,    Common Fleshy Fungi.    In addition to that book, I acquired another by Dr. Christensen, Common Edible Mushrooms,    in which he described The Foolproof Four: Morels, or Sponge Mushrooms, Puffballs, Sulphur Shelf Mushrooms (Sulphur Polypores) and Shaggymanes I became acquainted with Dr. Christensen in 1961 when I sent fresh specimens requesting help in identification, learning that these were very young    Polyporus sulphureus with pores so small that I did not see them, even with a magnifying hand lens. After a few exchanges in correspondence, I asked if I might meet with someone in his department to assist in the identification of some of my more interesting and puzzling collections, bringing a few transparencies together with notes and dried specimens. I mentioned that I would like some advice about dried specimens, to see the specimens in their herbarium, to discuss synonymy and the "correct" names according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, as well as information concerning the adoption of "new" genera. He replied graciously that he and Dr. French would be available for an hour or two some Saturday morning. His answers to my questions were most interesting, especially rereading his letter some thirty years later. In a letter dated October 24, 1962, Dr. Christensen stated:
"We have very few mushrooms in our herbarium, for obvious reasons. If pickled in alcohol or other preservative liquids, the mushrooms soon lose their characteristics and in fact are likely with handling to end up just a formless mass of gick in the bottom of the jar. Dried, most of them shrink and shrivel out of shape and are almost hopeless from a taxonomic standpoint. Soon they become invaded by beetles that consume them, unless constantly protected, and that requires more work than it is worth, since the dried specimens are only of limited value anyway. Third, many of the fleshy fungi that were at one time put in the herbarium here were identified by by collectors whose knowledge of the mushroom flora of the state and of other regions was limited, to put it mildly, and so many of them have been misidentified.  As to "correct" names, according to the Botanical Rules of Nomenclature: these rules so far as I can see are just thrown out the window by most of the taxonomists dealing with mushrooms and related fungi - any one of them can - (and usually do) rearrange the species, genera, families, and so on in any way they happen to feel like doing."

In spite of his remarks, I continued drying my collections. Evidently he wasn't interested in using dried specimens for microscopic study. I sent dried specimens with descriptions of the fresh mushrooms to several authorities for identification and was excited and thrilled when I received their friendly and encouraging replies. Most of these people had not studied Minnesota collections previously. Collections were sent to: Dr. Walter Snell and Esther Dick of Brown University, Boletaceae; Dr. Ronald Peterson of Buffalo University, later of the University of Tennessee, Clavarariaceae; Dr. William Denison of Swarthmore College, Pezizaceae; Dr. Kenneth Harrison, University of Michigan Herbarium, Hydnaceae; Dr. Howard Bigelow of the University of Massachuetts, Clitocybe.    Incidentally, I learned that Dr. Denison and Dr. Bigelow were Oberlin College graduates.

Somehow, I learned about a mushroom organization that was to meet at the University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, Michigan in 1963. Pete and I decided to go. Tom, too. We had a wonderful time, going on mushroom forays to see what we could find, having mushrooms identified by Alex Smith, a renowned mycologist, and talking about mushrooms with an interesting group of people. Being housed at the Station involved taking our own bedding, staying in a little corrugated iron cottage with a fireplace, and eating scrumptious food with fellow mushroomers in the large Station dining room.
I discovered that mushroom courses were given at the Station during the summer and was encouraged by Pete and the boys to apply for study there. The application blank I had to fill out asked for a college transcript and references from my college biology teacher. I hadn't studied biology, and if I had had a biology teacher, he would probably have been dead. The best I could do was to ask for references from some of the college profs who had helped me with mushroom identification, explaining my dilemma to them. They were very understanding and cooperative: William H. Snell, Brown University, who had identified some Boletes from Pelican; Clyde M. Christiansen, Plant Pathology Department,    University of Minnesota, who encouraged me to specialize in Minnesota Boletes since little was known about them in Minnesota. I was excited when I learned that I was accepted to study at the Summer Session at Pellston in 1964."

 Peg in the utility room at Pelican Lake, Sunset Beach where she is working on specimens for the dryer..
Peg putting specimens carefully in wax paper for drying after being in the field.  This is on the front porch of the Pelican Lake Cottage in 1965 soon after she completed the 1964 Summer Course at the U of Michigan Field Station with Bob Schaeffer. 
Bob Schaeffer teaching about mushroom taxonomy 1964.  Photo by Peg Weaver

Here, mom, describes what I sense is her intellectual and spiritual awakening about contributing to science, in a humble and good way...
 Peg reflects in Rememberings p 73
"For many years Michigan has been the center of mushroom collecting by outstanding mycologists from throughout the U. S. and foreign countries, so I was surprised to learn that the blond    Crinipellis which I had collected was a new, undescribed species, which Bob Shaffer published as C. cremoricolor Shaffer and Weaver.    The undergraduates said they felt sorry for me when they saw me working in the lab late in the evenings, but I was having a wonderful time! The two and a half months flew by.  When Pete and Tom came to pick me up, we were housed in the Dean of Women's roomy, comfortable residence. During the summer I had shared a one-room, corrugated-metal, cottage with Olive Barlow, a medical doctor slightly younger than I, who was difficult, making disparaging and false remarks about me to her classmates, saying nasty things to me about my friendship with the Shaffers, etc. By giving me such fine quarters at the end of the session, Dr. Stockard, the Station Director, might have been trying to make it up to me for my unpleasant summer roommate I invited Bob Shaffer over in the evening so that he, Pete and Tom might become acquainted. Imbibing wine, we had an enjoyable confab."

p75 "After I wrote to my parents about how happy I was to be going to study mushrooms in Michigan, my mother replied that I should stay home with my family, that I shouldn't leave them even to attend Bible School. (I certainly wasn't interested in attending Bible School.) I was fifty-four years old and my mother was still trying to control me. Tom, the only boy at home, was a high school senior. Pete and Tom said they could manage. They probably enjoyed a summer by themselves.
It was wonderful to go back to school to pursue something in which I was intensely interested. I    was most fortunate to study under Bob Shaffer who was an exceptionally good teacher. Previously, with instruction only from books, I had tried to do sectioning of mushrooms for microscopic study, not being too successful. Also, I had had difficulty interpreting what I saw under the microscope, especially the structure of pileus cuticle.
Four or five times a week a small group would go on forays, sometimes to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, traveling in a state-owned Ford Carry-All. The other students were Tana Burge, Sherm Brough and Rod Cyrus, all graduate students, much younger than I. However, they accepted me, a fifty-four-year-old-amateur, and didn't make me feel uncomfortable. When they learned that I was especially interested in studying boletes, they contributed those they had collected. Jocelyn, Bob Shaffer's wife, and Martha, his five-year-old daughter, accompanied us. "

 1964 Michigan Biological Station -with Dr Bob Schaeffer, Jocelyn and daughter MarthaSchaeffer. Peg Weaver, Sherm Brough and Rod Cyrus.
Continuing on p 75 "Because the Herbarium of the University of Michigan had very few mushroom collections from Minnesota, Bob Shaffer wanted me to send mine This was an opening for me to make a contribution to the knowledge of Minnesota mushrooms. I was thrilled. Consequently I divided each of my collections and made a carbon copy of each description of the fresh specimens, keeping one and sending the other to Michigan with its collection, hoping that the part of the collection I was retaining would someday be housed in a Minnesota herbarium. I invested in a microscope and a drawing instrument to attach to the scope so that I could make tracings of images of spores, pileus cuticle, pleuro- and cheilocystidia and other definitive structures.
Two of my collections were identified by Alex Smith as new species: Fuscoboletinus weaverae A. H. Sm. & Shaffer, from Pelican; Psathyrella rhodosporaWeaver & A. H. Sm., from the Nerstrand Woods area. Although it is considered an honor to have a mushroom named after a person, such as    Fuscoboletinus weaverae, I felt strongly that a name should be related to some character of the mushroom. Alex agreed to let me name Psathyrella rhodospora with rosy spores, "rhodo" being Greek for "rose", although he had suggested naming it    P. calkinsii    after the person who had collected it, Dr. H. E. Calkins, who brought it to me for identification, thinking it might be the pink-spored Pluteus cervinus which is edible. I was surprised that Alex listed me as the senior author, an honor, saying that I had done most of the work on the specimens.

Although Bob Shaffer had difficulty in convincing me that I should publish, I agreed to co-author two articles for the Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science where we published lists of Minnesota species, noting when and where each was collected and the herbaria in which it was deposited. To get the correct identifications of some of my more puzzling collections I was able to send them to authorities in specific fields, many of whom had never seen Minnesota specimens previously. In their publication  these authors then cited Minnesota collections which they had examined. Minnesota was on the mycological map! "

More from Peg p 76-78 of Rememberings " became concerned about what would eventually become of my herbarium, my many collections of Minnesota mushrooms being well documented with dried specimens and detailed descriptions of each collection. Since Dr. Christensen and Dr. French, Plant Pathology Department of the University of Minnesota, had expressed no interest in my herbarium, I tried to find a good home for it. Though I would prefer that it remain in Minnesota, feeling that Minnesota collections should stay in Minnesota, in
1969 I wrote to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago to inquire if it would accept my collections for deposit. I knew that it had fungal collections, since the world-renowned mycologist Dr. Rolf Singer did his work at the Field Museum. Dr. Ponce de Leon, Curator of Cryptogamic Botany, replied that they would be very happy to receive my collections, since they lacked Minnesota specimens.
In the meantime, Tom had described by herbarium to Don Lawrence, Botany Department of the University of Minnesota. In 1970 three University of Minnesota botany professors, Don Lawrence, Cliff Wetmore and Dave McLaughlin, came to Faribault to see it. Prior to their visit, I spruced up my herbarium with better labeling of the boxes containing my collections.
After their visit, I received word that the Botany Department of the U. of Minnesota would like to receive my 2,500 collections. Following is an excerpt from the letter I received from Eville Gorham, Professor and Head of the Botany Department:
As an acknowledgment of the diligent effort which you have expended in the preparation of your fine herbarium over the past eight years and as a tribute to your scientific contribution to the knowledge of the fungus flora of Minnesota we would like, it if meets with your approval, to recommend your appoint-ment as a Research Associate in the Department of Botany, without salary. Such an appointment, renewed annually, would provide all the privileges of a regular faculty member, including the library facilities and the use of research equipment when available, and eligibility for membership in the Campus Club.
I felt this was quite an honor and accomplishment since my only botany courses were six hours of mycology with a grade of A at the University of Michigan Biological Station. Subsequently I was invited with my family (Pete and Tom) to a dinner in my honor at the Faculty Club of the University, which was attended by Botany Department faculty members and their wives, Dave and Esther McLaughlin, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Lawrence, Dr. and Mrs. Eville Gorham, Dr. and Mrs. Clifford Wetmore, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Ownbey, and Dr. Thomas Morley.
Our Faribault yard seemed to be a good habitat for mushrooms, especially for about fifteen different species of Lepiota.    We ate only one species, L. rhachodes, a rather large mushroom which appeared frequently under our blue spruce trees and, over the years, furnished many delicious snacks. Other edible mushrooms from our yard: sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus), shaggy mane (Coprinus comatus), and fairy ring mushroom (Marasmius oreades).    We tried the non-poisonous scaly polypore    (Polyporus
) but didn't like its taste.
We weren't very venturesome about eating mushrooms, but, in addition to those listed above, from time to time we ate: from Faribault and Nerstrand Woods State Park, Coprinus comatus, morel (Morchella esculenta),    meadow mushroom    (Agaricus campestris);    from the Pelican Lake area, chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius, a rather rare delicacy),    Cantharellus cornucopiodes, oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea),    Steinpilze (Boletus edulis), Hydnum repandum, Morchella angusticeps. Armillaria mellea was frequently so abundant in the fall that we dried quantities to use in hot dishes.
Pete took beautiful photographs of many mushrooms. Frequently we would go to Nerstrand Woods State Park and nearby areas, coming home loaded with photographs and mushrooms to describe and dry. Collecting was always done on summer trips to Pelican. The spruce bog on Lake George, in Cass County north of Pelican, was a fun place to collect because of the unique habitat, distinctive species and the lack of sand on the specimens. Pelican collections were so sandy that it was almost impossible to free them of the grit. For microscopic study even one grain of sand under a cover glass is disastrous.
Because it was difficult to find a place to stay when we wanted to go on over-night collecting trips on short notice, in 1967 we bought a small travel trailer, with eating nook, gas range, refrigerator, sofa. which was transformed into a small bed at night, and toilet. For our shakedown journey we traveled to St. Croix State Park on the St. Croix River, east of Hinkley, Minnesota, where we found a delightful camping spot under pine with well-spaced lots made for trailers and with electrical outlets. Bathroom facilities were close by with flush toilets. We saw our first deer early in the evening since few lots were occupied in early June. Deer again appeared near our trailer the following morning. We enjoyed well-marked nature trails with abundant sweet fern, which we hadn't seen previously in Minnesota. I collected some different mushrooms, Cryptoperous volvatus and Pholiota carbonaria,putting them on the small dryer Pete had constructed for use in the trailer. For snacks we found puffballs    (Lycoperdon spp.), Boletus edulis (Steinpiltz) and Marasmius oreades (fairy-ring mushroom). Another trip was made to St. Croix St. Park in the trailer for a field meeting of the Minnesota Academy of Science. Finding time for mushroom collecting, as usual we found some species new to me. Mushroom collecting is such fun --- something new and exciting may turn up.
In addition to frequent day-time visits to Nerstrand Woods State Park, only a few miles from Faribault. several trips were made for overnight stays in our trailer to relax, get away from routine and collect fungi. Frequently we would see other Faribault folk out there for the weekend with their trailers, Mane and George Luedke, the Gerald Sears and the Milton Umbreits.
Pete and I took the trailer to Itasca State Park for a five-day stay in the crowded public campground. Dr. David French gave us a tour of a new building on the shore of Lake Itasca where mycology courses were taught, seeing its offices, laboratory and library. He then took us in his truck to his favorite fungi hunting grounds, followed by an introduction to his wife, and coffee at their Itasca home. Because of several weeks of dry weather, mushroom collecting was poor, though I did find interesting species which I had never collected before. Rhodotus palmatus   
Another summer I arranged with Dr. French to collect with him at Itasca and have space in his laboratory for my microscope. Pete and I took the trailer so I would have a place to stay, parking it the Biological Station Campground where Dave (French) had reserved a parking space for me.
This Campground provided electrical and water hook-ups and a "bath house" nearby with showers (which kept me happy and refreshed in the hot weather), wash basins and toilets. I stayed for a week when Pete returned to pick me up. Sometimes I ate with the students and faculty in the mess hall of the Biological Station. More often I fixed something to eat in the trailer, the weather being so very hot (often 90 in the trailer) and humid, I didn't feel like getting dressed to go anywhere.
Collecting was excellent. I found many species which were new to me,    Lactarius indigo, Ripartites tricholoma, Suillus acidus, Melastica chateri and many Clavariaceae. After Dave asked if one of his graduate students might use my microscope, he wanted my calibrations for measurements. I gave him the calibrations I used with oil-immersion lens and was shocked to learn that he did not use oil-immersion to study spores, only high-power. I use oil-immersion entirely for spore examination, lower magnification being inaccurate for making measurements and for determining spore ornamentation. Dave provided a place where I could set up my large dryer, which I was glad to have and kept it loaded. The Station didn't have dryers, relying on air-drying, for the few collections which were saved. I guess they didn't mind moldy collections.
Also staying at the Campground were Bob and Helen Marie Hoffman and Judy MacIntyre, who invited me for supper. Visiting with Judy, I learned that she was doing research on Loons and that she was a Carleton College graduate. Many years later after we had moved to Pelican, I read an article on loons that she had authored in the National Wildlife Magazine.    Both the Hoffmans and Judy had become acquainted with Tom when he attended a summer session at the Station.
Since both Dr. Christensen and Dr. French encouraged me to work on the Boletaceae, because little was known about their occurrence in Minnesota, in 1966 I prepared a key for identification of species which might occur in the State. I was most grateful that Dr. Walter Snell and Dr. Esther Dick of Brown University provided much needed assistance for this project. In letters, Dr. Christensen and Dr. French expressed their appreciation for what I had accomplished. "
 Again in the words of Peg Weaver in Rememberings P 102-3
"In the fall of 1977, the Alexander Smith Great Lakes Foray for mushroom people was held at the Biological Station of the University of Minnesota at Lake Itasca State Park. Seeing mushroom friends again was a treat: Alex and Helen Smith with daughter, Nancy Smith Weber, from the University of Michigan; Dave McLaughlin, my cohort in the Department of Botany at the University of Minnesota; Ingrid Bartelli, a vivacious gal from Marquette, Michigan, whom we had enjoyed at several Michigan forays; Joe Amirati, a specialist in the genus Cortinarius, who had identified some of my collections. We became acquainted with others: Elwin Stewart, Mary Palm and Gloria Warner from the Plant Pathology Department of the University of Minnesota; Harold Burdsall, M. J. Larsen, Clark Overbo, Walter Sundberg, and Europeans, Andreas Brezinsiki, Oliver Monthoux Henry Dissing (a
specialist in Helvella).Collecting at Itasca was excellent, finding several species of Hygrophorus that I had not previously collected. These were easily identified by Alex Smith who had published a book on this genus. Accompanying us to Itasca was the faithful, portable large mushroom dryer that Pete had made many years ago. Eating with the mushroomers at the Station, we enjoyed comfortable sleeping quarters at Nicolet Annex of Douglas Lodge. While collecting we had our first ever view of a great horned owl. Combining nature hobbies is natural -- ornithology and mycology in this instance.

In October of 1977, Dave McLaughlin and Steve Clement arrived in a University of Minnesota station wagon to pick up my herbarium for deposit in the Herbarium of the Botany Department of the University of Minnesota, a more secure location than the upstairs of our garage where it had been stored after moving it from Faribault. Having my collections at my finger tips to compare with newer collections, I was both sad and proud to see my herbarium transferred. 
 Pete Weaver's photo of the U of M Van at Pelican Lake garage in Oct 1977.
Dave McLaughlin and Steve Clement loading up the van at the cabin. 

 Dave McLaughlin and Peg Weaver with van ready to drive away with her collection....

My mom worked with Dave McLaughlin of the U of Minnesota for the next several years,  and ended up being the primary author of this special publication of a key to the mushroom flora of Minnesota.
Here is the inside of the publication from the Bell Museum of Natural History on the U of M Campus.   August 1980. 

 NAMA, the North American Mycological Society met at Bemidji MN on the campus of Bemidji State University in 1995.  The theme is to honor Women in Mycology - Note that Margaret Weaver from Marrifield (sic) is listed as a guest mycologist on the far left of the program..
 Here is Peg at the NAMA gathering with Dr Dave McLaughlin on her right and Pat Leacock on her left.  Note the collecting basket and fleshing fungi in front.
 Elsie and Harry Knighton from Ohio are early members of the Amateur NAMA with Peg at the gathering in Bemidji in 1995 .    I remember meeting them in the early 1960's when I went with my parents to Pellston Michigan and met them there.  

 Later on I found out through Dave and Esther McLaughlin that several of my fathers photos are on the on line reference for the U of  M.  In addition there are several photos on this poster as well. (Read the small print under 12 of these has PH Weaver below it....including the sulfur shelf....

And Peg Weaver, Aug 2007 obit printed in the Minneapolis Tribune  Aug 23 2007

Margaret Weaver, 97, was a mushroom expert

The amateur naturalist was honored by the North American Mycological Association in the 1990s.

By Ben Cohen ,Star Tribune

Margaret Weaver of Eden Prairie had a fondness for and curiosity about the natural world that led her to become a local expert on fungi and the discoverer of three species of mushrooms.
More than 30 years ago, she found Suillus weaverae , the one named for her, near her family's Crow Wing County cabin.

Weaver, 97, died in Eden Prairie on Aug. 10.

Weaver, an Ohio native who had lived in the Twin Cities, Faribault or on Pelican Lake near Brainerd since the 1930s, became interested in mushrooms while hiking in the Nerstrand-Big Woods area northeast of Faribault in the 1960s.

The mysterious appearance of mushrooms fascinated her, said David McLaughlin, professor of plant biology at the University of Minnesota and curator of fungi for the Bell Museum of Natural History. After approaching experts at the university, she found that little had been done in the documentation of native Minnesota fungi.

The amateur naturalist began reading all she could about them, sometimes translating French and German works about fungi. In 1964, she took a graduate field course at the University of Michigan, which at the time was a hotbed for mushroom research. As a student there, she discovered a new mushroom.

McLaughlin said her academic work was scholarly, although she was an amateur. "She has been a real contributor to what we know about documenting Minnesota mushrooms," said McLaughlin. "She was very devoted."  In 1980, Weaver and McLaughlin published a 90-page key to some of the fungi of Minnesota for the Bell Museum.
She was honored by the North American Mycological Association in the mid-1990s, and was active in the state association.
Before Weaver  became a scholar of mushrooms, she and her husband, Dr. Paul Weaver, who took many pictures of fungi that are in the Bell Museum collection, collected stamps from around the world and communicated in Esperanto in correspondence around the world.

Her husband died in 1982. Weaver was a graduate of Ohio's Oberlin College, an art history major and a singer. In the 1930s, she worked at several colleges in Ohio.  She moved to Faribault in 1939 with her husband, who practiced medicine there. She served many civic organizations, including the Faribault school board, for 12 years.

Greg Larsen of Denver, a family friend, grew up in Faribault. He recalled her learning to speak Russian, making a living room rug with a nature motif, and singing at events in Faribault.

"She was a commanding singer, a soprano," said Larson, an educator. "When she got an interest in something, she would go into it quickly and deeply."

She is survived by three sons, James of Sudbury, Mass.; John of West Bend, Wis., and Thomas of Bloomington; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Ben Cohen •

Monday, February 24, 2014

Glessner Family Travels - 1924 Ohio New York Reflected in Margaret Glessner's Post Card Collection and later writing

From Rememberings of an Eighty-Three Year Old Grandma, Margaret Glessner Weaver 1994 p17 "Several times our family drove to Cedar Point, Ohio, where my father and Uncle Lewis attended a convention for druggists. Our route took us through Sandusky, Ohio, then onto a concrete road through the sand out along the shore of Lake Erie. We stayed at a big, resort hotel where Uncle Lewis, Aunt Peach, my cousins, Bob and John stayed, too. Swimming was fun in the waves, wearing bathing suits with short sleeves and short, straight skirts reaching almost to our knees. Women put on thin, rubber bathing caps with little ruffles around the edge. The roller coaster looked like a good time, but one ride was enough for me, making me very queasy. Much more enjoyable was the Crazy House, with its mirrors that made me look funny, and a very large, rotating, flat disc (like a large Victorola record) which spun me off rather gently. My father took chances at a booth and won a Kewpie for me, a small chubby doll with a topknot of hair.

p18 "When I drove to Canada with my Grandparents and Aunt Mary, we toured the Thousand Islands bylaunch, seeing the beautiful island estates. In Montreal we met my parents, who had come by train to attend a druggists convention. Among the places we visited was a Catholic Cathedral, where I was frightened by an old French-speaking woman shaking her finger and scolding me for being in the Cathedral with my head uncovered. Returning to Ohio through New York State, we visited Watkins Glen with its spectacular waterfalls and East Aurora (the home of Roycroft shops founded by Elbert Hubbard), where Aunt Mary and I shared a spacious, rustic room in a hotel."

For background on Watkins Glen and the natural park area....,_New_York
 Front of post card Margaret sent on her trip with her Glessner Grandparents, Len and Emma Chappelear Glessner to Montreal.
 Margaret's post card Aug 5, 1924 to her parents after receiving a letter at the General Delivery window at the Watkins Glen Post Office..
 Here is Margaret's card sent Aug 1, from Chautauqua NY asking for mail to General Delivery Watkins Glen and Ithaca NY.  
The front of the card at Chautauqua NY sent by Margaret...
For current information and to see what this tower looks like today See..

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Margaret Glessner's Post Card Collection - 1920's

 During the final 20 years of her life, Peg Weaver, born Margaret Mary Glessner June 3, 1910, shared more and more of her childhood memories.  In her 1994 memoir Rememberings of a Eighty-four Year Old Grandma, she described her childhood experiences. When possible I will use her own words in reflections here and also the writing on the cards themselves.  She had a Post Card Collection from her childhood that had cards going back to about 1910.  Her parents likely gave her the ones from the relatives in California...the Chappelears around LA.   Then the common 1 cent post cards that were the common way to communicate before instant messaging and email of the past 15 years....
Harry Chappelear Glessner, Margaret Glessner's father, traveled extensively by rail in developing his business with his father, Leonard Cowles Glessner, founder of the Glessner Medicine Company in Findlay Ohio. Here is the La Salle Hotel in Chicago where he wrote to his wife, Inez as "Mrs Harry C Glessner" mailed Sept 30 1920, when Margaret was 10 years of age.

 "Had a pretty busy day - ate at the Madarin (sic) Inn tonight.  Rushed all day.  Having wonderful time.  Harry"

I looked up the Mandarin Inn in Chicago and found reviews that in that time on Wabash  From his collection 

The University Club on Michigan Ave  

Sept 9, 1920 "We ate lunch at the University Club today.  Seeing "aphrodite" tonight. Be good, Daddy"  Harry C Glessner to Margaret Glessner age 10.
View of Lake Michigan, Municipal Pier Tower in 1920's Card sent by Leonard C Glessner "Grandpa" to his granddaughter Margaret.
"We didn't go bathing today, a little too chilly.  Tell Daddy saw Mr Seiffe and he is on the job and is watching Vick's.    Will leave in an hour or so. Lovingly, Grandpa"

 From Peg's Rememberings, p 9 "One summer I visited Frances and her parents at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, where they were spending most of the summer Strictly vegetarian foods were served, featuring such concoctions as "nut meat loaf' and "nut gravy". Frances and I played pool in a large recreation room on the top floor and enjoyed swimming in an outdoor pool. Frances and her family had to move to East Liverpool, West Virginia, when we were in grade school. Many, many years later, when I was working in Columbus, Ohio, I had lunch with her at the Miramour, a fancy eating place."

Here is an Aug 1923 email from Minne Owen, Frances Owen's mom, when Margaret visited her best friend Frances.  "Dear Inez,  Your daughter arrived all O.K.  Ten last night - and she and Frances have been on the go all day.  It is a find place for children, and we will take the best care of her. Have enjoyed all your letters.  Love Minn

The main building of the Battle Creek Sanitarium pictured on the front of the card mailed as below

July 1923 post card describing the visit of Minn Owen at the Sanitarium.
The success of the place went down hill after the 1929 Stock Market crash...

In 1922,  Frances Owen and her family visit Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods, by Colorado Springs CO. 

 June 23 1922 "Dear Margaret, We certainly are having a wonderful time. We saw both of these today. We are at Colorado Springs,  Frances Owen.."

Here in Rememberings p 18, Peg reflects on her youth and travel to Chicago "My mother and I would sometimes accompany my father on his business trips to Chicago, driving on the two-lane Lincoln Highway which was designated with red, white and blue stripes circling the telephone poles. Our route took us through Ottawa, Lima, and Van Wert in Ohio, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Elkhart (where Conn band instruments were made), South Bend (with the gold dome of Notre Dame University).    1 Gary and Hammond in Indiana, through the poorer working class homes and factory areas. Although the two-lane roads were paved, no Interstate Highways existed.
In Chicago we usually stayed at the La Salle Hotel. For a treat we once had reservations at the fancier Drake Hotel on the shore of Lake Michigan, but it was so very windy and cold on the lake shore that we returned to the La Salle. My father often took in a baseball game. Sometimes we would join him in the hot afternoon sun. More often my mother and I would shop at Marshall Fields, visit the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Art Institute, where I admired a painting by El Greco, or the Shedd Planetarium, where the stars were projected onto a dome-shaped ceiling. One evening we all went by trolley to Ravinia for the outdoor presentation of Verdi's opera    Aida.    At the spectacular Chicago Theater (a movie house), the pipe organ was raised from the orchestra pit to show off the virtuosity of an organist under a spot-light. "

1924 Marshall Fields in Chicago when Peg was 13 a card from her dad, who met with a Mr Watson for lunch.    Later in the 1950's my mom's mom, Inez Glessner would take me here as a kid as well.  It was a very city like experience for a kid from rural Minnesota to visit Marshall Fields and the Museum of Art....

 Card sent to Margaret in Findlay  "Were you ever in here?  Got here alright - ate lunch with Mr Watson...-  Lots of love, Daddy"

 Downtown Detroit in 1923. 
 Personal message from Edyth, who with Jack visited Detroit in 1923.   Note the incomplete address in Findlay that made it to Mrs Harry "Inez" Glessner anyway.

Monday, February 10, 2014

1967 -1974 Denizens of Pelican Lake - Weaver and other Families along the South East Shore Peg and Pete Weaver's Legacy

 More Stories from the 20th Century, Told by Peg and Pete Weaver through their writing and photography Legacy -   Ohio natives, connecting to the Prairie and Lakes Region of the Heartland

I found more slides from my dad's collection, organized by my mom recently.   I understand dad, Pete Weaver purchased a Zeiss Ikon Camera in 1959 just before Peg's blooming interest in mushrooms where he learned to take close up photos.   In addition to nature photos, he took many around his cottage at on Sunset Beach.  Peg did the reflections through her writing in Rememberings.

From  Rememberings of an Eighty-tree Year Old Grandma, by Margaret Glessner Weaver 1994

"One by one our best friends left Faribault. Frances and Brad Craig moved to San Antonio, Texas, where Brad was to head Texas Military Institute. By Berhow received an offer which was too good to turn down, to be Superintendent School of the School for the Blind at the Vancouver, Washington. How I hated to see Marde Berhow, my very best friend, leave. Marge and Ed Silvis joined us in their farewell party when we gave them silly and practical going-away presents and shed tears. Then, Marge and Ed left to go to Viet Nam, a position with the U. S. Information Service. (This was before the Viet Nam War.) Helen and Wayne Hultquist moved to Anoka, then to West Bend, Wisconsin, then back to Anoka. Our bestest friends were gone. Always hating to leave Pelican to return to Faribault, we decided that when Pete retired we would winterize the cottage, sell our Faribault home and move to Pelican. " p88
 "We drew our own plans for remodeling and I was the architect in residence, staying at the lake while the work was being done in case there were questions about the amateurly drawn plans. We were fortunate to get the Sander brothers to do the carpentry, Archie, Clarence and Cecil. They did beautiful work and were very pleasant to have around. Realizing that in these days digging a basement would require using a backhoe, and since we didn't want trees uprooted and the land surrounding our cabin torn up by heavy machinery, we decided to skip a basement to accommodate a furnace and to install electric baseboard heat. Electric heat would be expensive; so would digging a basement and installing other heat.
The cottage remodeling was done in three stages. Stage I: building a two-story garage (1972) to provide storage space when everything would have to be moved out of the cottage for the second and third stages. From pictures of Swiss chalets in a National Geographic magazine, I designed face-boards for each end of the garage and cottage roofs. A two-car garage was to house a second car for emergency, in case Car #1 wouldn't go. We soon learned that the battery of the emergency car, our four-door Plymouth, wouldn't function without use, so sold it to Tom.

The following year (1973) Stage II : the sleeping porch was torn down, bedrooms and living room remodeled, adding the necessary insulation in the walls and ceiling. Because the original cottage roof, with too many angles and only a slight slope, encouraged leaks, the new plans called for a rectangular dwelling and a roof with a steeper incline. Two small bedrooms provided ample    closets with rods and shelves, eliminating the need for chests of drawers to simplify cleaning. We decided not to change the front porch, leaving it insulated for summer use, only, the heavy, shutters replaced by windows from the former sleeping porch. Now I sometimes wish that the porch had been incorporated in our remodeling plans in some way so that there was more living space. Except in the summer, I am cramped to have supper guests and to work on projects. The living room was enlarged, extending it beyond the wall which supported the roof making it necessary to install a support beam. This beam was long and in turn needed support, which was given by an attractively turned cross-piece from our Faribault grape arbor. A new back entrance was necessary, since the old one was sacrificed for a shower stall.  " 
Peg in the new living room, with minimal furniture in 1973. Grape arbor support seen at right margin.Also looks like a cigarette in her hand here.  She and my dad, did not quit smoking tobacco, I recall until my fathers doctor confronted him in the mid 70's, when he was 60=something. 

In 1974 the final stage, Stage III: a drain field and septic tank installed (after getting a permit to put it in the old driveway near the Relyea lot line), the kitchen and bathroom remodeled with an abundance of cupboards. Putting in a new door between the kitchen and the porch necessitated removal of the door frame which had annually (more or less) recorded the new heights of our growing boys. Their final heights were: Jim - 6'3"; Jack - 6'4"; Tom - 6'9"; dad - 6'3"; mom - 5'8 34". The old door frame was incorporated in Jack's cottage when he built. An insulated toilet bowl and tank took care of the problem of fixtures sweating in hot, humid summer. When the new fiber-glass shower stall soon became rust-stained by the water from our well, I was surprised with the recommendation of Turtle Wax as an effective, nonabrasive cleaner. From Sears we purchased a new stove and refrigerator. Although the refrigerator had been sitting in the remodeled living room for at least a week, the space made for it in the kitchen was inadequate, the molding around the door next to it having to be removed to squeeze the refrigerator into the allotted space.

1975 photo by PHW, Peg knitting on the old Eicher daybed, that Pete's grandfather, Henry Eicher created in Ohio.  The "H" for Henry was Paul Henry Weaver's middle name. (Note Bond Street Tobacco below the toaster.  In 1978, at age 68, my dad had a bout of angina and heart arrhythmia after which he quit smoking his pipe, at the same time Peg quit smoking her Phillip Morris cigarettes.  See p 104 Rememberings.

My parents loved to watch and record nature.  Not only the birds...the weather too.  Here is Peg looking at the read out for a anemometer, wind measuring device that was mounted on the peak of the roof during the remodeling.   I remember little twirling cups and it worked for some 10 years or so.  This is in 1975 prior to Peg and Pete's moving up from Faribault. Note the bright red pitcher pump on the sink.  This is from the pre electricity days when they had indoor plumbing in 1947, one pump at the kitchen sink (here) and one in the bathroom that filled the tank behind the toilet.  I think the Weaver's had the first cottage on the beach without an outhouse.....

 " MORE PELICAN DOINGS In 1974 Jim and Jack made their first trips to Pelican with their families when Valerie and    Kristin were about six months old. After arriving at Pelican, Jack promptly drove down to our place to show off    his new daughter, his car with trailer attached becoming stuck in the spur to the Relyea's driveway. Tom to the rescue in his secondhand Studebaker truck, pulled the vehicles out. At first Jim flew with his family from Massachusetts to the Brainerd airport where we met them for their two weeks' vacation.    Now he finds it a better bargain and more convenient to fly to the Twin Cities, then rent a car to drive to Pelican." p87

Val and Chris Summer of 1974 on a quilt on the Sunset Beach Floor, photo by PHW

"When we remodeled our cottage, we were very glad that the boys had their own places at Pelican, so we didn't have to consider making our place large enough to try to accommodate the boys and their families on vacations. With their own quarters they can enjoy their vacations doing what they want when they want, not needing to worry about how it fits in with our plans, and vice versa."

Gradual Development of the Palmer Property by the Three Weaver Brothers, beginning in 1967

From 1967 - 1977 The Three Weaver Brothers Worked out a way to share the 90 acres, 1000 ft of Lakeshore and two cabins, Big Palmer, first built by the Haeberle's of Faribault in 1912, and graduatlly remodeled after Haeberle died at Pelican in the 1940's by the Palmers.  And upper Palmer, built as a guest house over the ice house after Lower Palmer (with 100 ft of lakeshore ) was sold off to Bill Hokans, a Minneapolis police officer, in the 1950's.  

After each receiving gifts of Detroit Edison stock from their investment wise grandparents, Harry and Inez Glessner, 1967, the three Weaver Brothers, Jim, Jack and Tom chipped in money to purchase the Alden C and Edyth Palmer Property a mile east of the Sunset Beach Lot, Pete and Peg settled on.

Pete Weaver, captured the family in photos during this time, that are credited here, along with a few by this author.......

Neighbors to the East at the time of purchase, included 1) Dave and Winnie Leonard with their two teenage children from South Minneapolis, Jim and Terri, who carried the legacy of "Pappy" Frederick Jenkins, who first build the Leonard Old Cabin in 1913.  He worked at St James School in Faribault MN whereas Fred  Haeberle worked at Shattuck School in Faribault.   And 2) Lois Bargen, who had with her husband, built a log cabin at the far end of the Leonard/Jenkins property, and to whom the Leonards eventually sold a 100 ft lot. 

Lois Bargen in her kitchen in the log cabin.  

Here is Winnie Leonard, with Melanie, Peg and  Jim Weaver supporting the Weaver's on their newly acquired property, telling stories and encouraging the family to sort and clean up the place.

The first visit by Jack and Nellie, with Harold Williams, Jim and Melanie with Bunny Brick joining in was in the fall of 1967.

Early on, here in 1973, we brought families from the shore who had common roots together to share stories over slides and beverages.   Here is Winnie Leonard a native of Faribault, sharing stories with Ken Relyea, a Faribault neighbor of the Weavers, and also  part of the Kiekenapp clan who shared the cabin next to the Weavers on Sunset Beach, lot 12.  Ken had married Ruth Kiekenapp and was a rabid outdoorsman here smoking a cigar in the Palmer Big Cabin when we had big USGS maps on the wall. Hosts Melanie and Jim Weaver.  Photo by PHW
Peg Weaver, Ruth Kiekenapp Relyea , Winnie Pinkham  Leonard and Melanie Weaver,  PHW
Melanie, Jim and Tom Weaver (this author). Flash photo by PHW 1973, in the large Palmer cabin.
 In 1972 Peg and Pete's long time friends the Agerters visited and we showed them around the digs. Here Pete photographed Peg, me Tom Weaver with camera in hand, and Peggy and Ken Agerter.
 Here I am in the fall of 1972 with my mom, and Ken Agerter in the background.
In front of the large Palmer Cabin, the author is here with my slide camera with the sandy soil and Pelican Lake water behind.
 Jack and Nellie Weaver in the big Palmer Cabin with Melanie Weaver nursing Valerie on the couch, Aug 1974
 In the fall of 1974 the family gathered at the large Palmer Cabin for a Wedding Celebration on Aug 31, to celebrate the Marriage of  Tom Weaver and Sue Johnson, who had legally been married in Minneapolis on May 31, 1974.  The celebrant at both ceremonies is Rev Tom Maurer whom Sue and Tom met at the U of M Program in Human Sexuality when Rev Tom was a regular faculty.  The first ceremony was done in Rev Tom Maurers office at the U of M Research East Building on University Ave with Jim Flax and Cece Ridder as witnesses, who were also students at the U of M>
 Aug 31, 1974 Wedding Celebration and resharing of vows L - R Joan Murray, Susan Johnson, Rev Tom Maurer, Jim  Weaver, Tom Weaver -

 L-R  Ralph Johnson, father of bridge, Joan Murray, Sr Siena art teacher of Susan's Little Chute St John's Susan Johnson  Rev Tom Maurer, Jim and Tom Weaver
Rev Tom Maurer, Tom Weaver, Peg Weaver, Paul Rosel, Jim Weaver (with Box of TS cupcakes) 

Paul H Weaver, Rev Tom Maurer, Greg Larsen, Kris Weaver, Lois Hanggi, Jack Weaver, Hanggi daughter, Peg Weaver

Winnie Leonard with Terrie and Jim Leonard with Paul Rosel at the wedding Aug 1974.
Lois Bargen's father, Bede Armstrong from Illinois in his 90's, Lois Bargen and a son with long hair of Nancy Bowes Armstrong, with Frank, Nancy's boy friend  in front and Winnie Leonard at the large Palmer cabin.