Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: S is for Shore

My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 

is for Shore.  Katherine Elizabeth Shore.

Katherine Elizabeth Shore was yet another friend of my grandaunt Violetta Davis Ryan from their college days at the Normal School in Harrisonburg (later Harrisonburg Teachers College, then Madison College, now James Madison University).  No doubt she lived in Spotswood Hall, judging by the location of many of Violetta’s photos. 

When I read in the yearbook that Katherine lived in Burkeville, I was surprised she didn’t attend the Normal School in Farmville (now Longwood University).  After all, Burkeville is less than a 30-minute drive away.  But after looking for her in the census records, I am guessing her family might have moved to Burkeville after she had already enrolled in Harrisonburg.

Katherine Elizabeth Shore 1923
Katherine Shore
Katherine moved quite a bit in her early years.  In fact, she and her sister were born in the same city where I grew up:  Portsmouth, Virginia.  In 1910 the Shores were living in Portsmouth.  Her father was a streetcar conductor.  By 1920 they relocated to Columbus, North Carolina, where Katherine’s parents both worked in a retail store.  Yet the Normal School School Ma’am yearbooks of 1922 and 1923 note they were residents of Burkeville in Nottoway County, Virginia. 

In college, Katherine was a member of the High School Club, typical for girls planning to go into secondary education.  She also joined the Elizabeth Club for girls who shared that name, whether first or middle.  She was remembered for being “Not too serious and not too gay, but at all times a good pal.”  In the description under her graduation picture, words like “steadily” and “reserved” capture the quiet personality of one for whom “Avoiding unnecessary excitement is [her] chief occupation.”

Katherine Elizabeth Shore 1923
Katherine Shore
scanned from the School Ma'am 1923

In the times when Katherine and Violetta were studying to become teachers, a 2-year degree entitled the graduate to teach anywhere for seven years.  A 4-year degree was a life-time certificate to teach.  Violetta earned her two-year diploma in 1923 and put in her seven years before returning to school for the 4-year degree.  But not Katherine.  As soon as she graduated, Katherine went straight to the State Normal School in Farmville.  She earned her BS degree two years later in 1925. 


Katherine Elizabeth Shore 1925
Katherine Shore
scanned from The Virginian 1925









In 1930, Katherine boarded with her aunt and uncle, the Cobbs, in Swain County, North Carolina, along the Tennessee border.  There she taught in the public high school as did her cousin Jacob and another teacher from South Carolina. 

It doesn’t seem that she stayed there much longer though, at least according to the multitude of mentions in the Burkeville social columns – unless she was doing a lot of weekend travel.  It seemed if there was a Bridge game, Katherine was there. 

from Genealogy Bank
Richmond Times Dispatch Jan. 1931


from Genealogy Bank
Richmond Times Dispatch Nov. 1932
from Genealogy Bank
Richmond Times Dispatch Apr. 1933
("Gay Bachelors" probably had a
different meaning in 1933.)




Unfortunately, in 1934 Katherine was sick enough to be admitted to a hospital in Richmond.  I wonder if she had some long term condition.  In 1940, she was back home in Burkeville with her parents where she had lived at least since 1935.  She was not working.  Katherine Elizabeth Shore died in 1945, only 39 years old. 

from Genealogy Bank
Richmond Times Dispatch Jan. 1934








The sagacious among you sedentary spectators should slip on over to the A to Z April Challenge to scrutinize some scintillating and sardonic selections that will surely leave you feeling satiated.


19 comments:

  1. Isn't funny that a bridge game would be published in the paper-I guess the paper was the first PEOPLE magazine.

    Do you know if Violetta kept in touch with any of these girls?

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    1. You've been to Burkeville. Who would have thought it was such a mecca for Bridge-playing socialites? My favorite is the Tuesday Club meeting on Monday.

      No, I don't know if Violetta kept up with anybody.

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    2. Yes, a Tuesday Club held on a Monday is a hoot!

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  2. Wendy, you are doing great with friends of the family. I don't think I could do a month's worth of family friends.

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    1. Having all these photo albums helps.

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  3. A pretty lady who is all business in her photos! What a perfect adventure.

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    1. She does look like a serious one.

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  4. She sounds a lovely lady who only lived a short life.

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  5. Bridge was such a huge event back in the day. My parents were both avid bridge players and tried many times to teach us to play but it never stuck. I think it will become almost an extinct game when the long time players are no longer with us.

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    1. I have a "Bridge" post coming up for Sepia Saturday, and as I was writing it I had the same thought as you - that it could soon go the way of the dinosaur. I play. We used to have a club of 4 couples until one of the husband's died, and we just couldn't kick our friend out and replace her so we've done nothing since. I do miss it though.

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  6. Katherine Elizabeth Shore sounds like a lovely lady who lived a short life. Bridge was quite a popular game at that time.

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    1. At one time everyone owned a card table. Not so much anymore.

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  7. You mentioned Harrisburg, I assume in PA. My husband has family that lives there.

    Kimberly
    Blogging AtoZ "Things My Husband Has Broken"
    http://AMomsPointOfView.com

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    1. Oh sorry Kimberly, I said HarriSONburg, which is in Virginia. Lots of people make that same mistake. Thanks for the visit!

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  8. I remember reading about 'Bridge Party's' in the Society Page of small town papers. It was quite the weekly social event, and getting your name as a hostess or player was a big deal. I never made the roster for a bridge party...the only hand I could play was the 'dummy hand'. I was sad to read that she died so young. The hospital stay was a good indicator that she had a terminal disease. I wonder what her death certificate would reveal.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I remember seeing a column in our local newspaper about the game of Bridge in which the writer dissected a hand discussing how to play it. Strategy.

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  9. There's an Elizabeth club? Where? I've never heard of such a thing before.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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    1. YES! You could have been president. It must have been THE thing in college of the 20s to have clubs organized around names that were popular like the Mary Club, Frances Club, Louise Club, Elizabeth Club. It wasn't just at the Normal School in Harrisonburg because there were such clubs at the Normal School in Farmville too.

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