Monday, June 24, 2024

Preserving Memories ~ Disneyland in the Summer of 1955

As I've mentioned previously, I've worked on a large family history project. I've scanned photos, slides, and negatives of various sizes that I inherited from my parents and my maternal grandparents. I have also scanned photos and negatives from my own collection. I'm not finished with this scanning project yet, but I'm taking a break at the moment.

Today I want to share some digitized images that were scanned from medium format negatives that belonged to my maternal grandparents, Debs and Willis (Quillin) Webster. They are photos of a trip they took to Disneyland in the summer of 1955. I have some printed photos from this trip that have an August 1955 date stamped on them. Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955.

My mom's mother, Sarah Vasques Madeira, died when my mom was almost four years old. Her father, Debs Webster, married Willis Quillin a couple years later in 1944. Willis was the only maternal grandmother I knew. And she was a wonderful grandma to my brothers and me. Although technically she was our step-grandma, she was lovingly referred to as grandma by us. So, that's how I will refer to her in this post.

My mom, her parents, her brothers, and grandmother immigrated to the United States from Brazil in the summer of 1952. They settled in the Los Angeles area, specifically Pomona. I think it's so awesome that my mom and her family went to Disneyland three years after their immigration to the USA. And it's awesome that they went to Disneyland shortly after it opened. I wish I knew if they were there on the day it opened or not. But, even if they didn't go on opening day, they were there soon after Disneyland opened, which is very cool. My mom turned seventeen years old on July 24, 1955. I wonder if they went to Disneyland for her birthday. I'm so glad they took photos of their time there.

It's also neat to see what Disneyland looked like in the summer of 1955.

Here they are on Main Street standing in front of the Wurlitzer Music Hall. My mom is the third from the right. She's standing next to her younger brother, Edwin (second from the right). Her other brother is seventh from the right. He's standing in front of my grandma (in the plaid skirt). My mom's grandmother, Helena Rohwedder Quillin, is the sweet lady holding her purse (sixth from the right). Apparently, the Wurlitzer Music Hall closed sometime in the late 1960s. Something else is there now.

Here's another photo in front of the Wurlitzer Music Hall. My grandma (in the plaid skirt) and her mom (my great-grandmother) are standing next to the man in the baseball cap. 

And here's another photo of Main Street. My mom and some of her family were walking on the sidewalk close to the street. My mom is the one with her left arm up and a bow in her hair. Her two brothers are on her left and my grandma is on her right. It's pretty cool to see Main Street back then.

Here's my mom and her family walking along at Tomorrowland. My mom is second from the right in this photo. My grandma is on her right.

It's difficult to see my mom and her family in this photo but it's a pretty cool photo because it shows Autopia on the left. See that Richfield sign above all the people on the left? That was Autopia. I had to look up what Richfield was and learned that it sponsored Autopia back then. My mom and her family are facing away from the camera in this photo and are close to the TWA Moonliner. My mom had a bow in her hair.

Speaking of Autopia, here is a photo of my grandma in an Autopia car. She's in the light car on the left. Interestingly, there wasn't a center guide rail on the track like there is now. Wow!

Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed going down memory lane with me as we visited Disneyland in the summer of 1955 with my mom and her family.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2024 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 29, 2024

Have You Tried The MyHeritage In Color™ Tool?

In 2020, MyHeritage announced their new MyHeritage In Color tool. In just a matter of seconds it can colorize black and white photos. I used this tool to colorize a black and white photo of my mom. She was eleven years old when this photo was taken.

Here is the black and white photo of my mom. By the way, I absolutely love this photo.

And here is the colorized photo.

MyHeritage's tool also includes an Enhance and a Repair feature. You can see those features in the photo at the top of this post. I decided to try the Repair feature on the colorized photo of my mom. Here it is.

I then decided to add the Enhance feature to my mom's photo and here is the result.

For some reason, the color of my mom's blouse became discolored in several areas. However, the Enhance feature did improve the photo by eliminating the pixelation in the original photo. The original photo is a rather small jpg file at 146 KB.

What do you think? Which version of these colorized photos do you prefer? Have you used the MyHeritage In Color tool? How did it work on your photos?

I really do like this tool and appreciate being able to colorize black and white photos. It's really fun to see this adorable photo of my mom in color. Thank you MyHeritage!

You can read more about this new tool at Colorize your black and white photos automatically with MyHeritage In Color™

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2024 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

My 12th Blogiversary

Oops! I missed my April 5th blogiversary again!

How has it already been twelve years since I began this blog on April 5, 2012? So much has happened since then.

Here are some things that have happened since I started this blog twelve years ago:

Thank you to my wonderful readers for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving comments over the years. I appreciate your support very much!


Here are my posts from the last year (since my last blogiversary).

My Adorable Grandparents - March 11, 2024

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2024 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Lillian Waterman's Obituary ~ I Have Questions

MyHeritage recently introduced a new newspaper website called The other day I did a search in for Homer C. Waterman, my maternal 2nd great-granduncle, and an obituary for his daughter, Lillian, was listed in the search results. I had never seen her obituary before. It contained some intriguing family history information.

I also found Lillian's obituary on the Library of Congress Chronicling America website. The digital image of her obituary from Chronicling America is what I am sharing today.

Here is Lillian's obituary, dated 29 January 1931, in the Morgan County (Ohio) Democrat newspaper1:

Transcription of Lillian's obituary:

Miss Lillian Waterman Dies

   Lillian Waterman, aged 77 years, mention of whose critical illness was made in this paper last week, passed away at the family home in East Bloom, Sunday evening. For several days preceding death, her condition had been very critical. She was a daughter of the late Dr. Homer C. Waterman and wife of Zanesville, and was born at Middleport, Ohio. For many years she and her brother-in-law Elmer E. Richardson and wife made their home together. The deceased for a number of years had been an invalid, and for the last three years had been blind. Notwithstanding her afflictions, she was bright and cheerful until the last. She was conscious of the fact that she was soon to be taken from this earth---a change which she expressed to those about her she cheerfully welcomed. Surviving are a brother, William Waterman of Rockwell City, Iowa, and a sister, Mrs. Ralph Ebert of Zanesville. Three sisters are deceased---Mary, who was the wife of Willis Helmick of Zanesville; Clara, who died in infancy, and Helen, wife of Elmer E. Richardson, who died last June. Miss Waterman was a good musician, and for some time was church organist at Mt. Zion. She was a member of the Universalist church.
   Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, at the Wesley Chapel church, and interment was made in the church cemetery.

This obituary provides additional family history information and clues including the following:

Name of Deceased: Lillian Waterman
Age at Death: 77
Place of Death: Family home in East Bloom
Day and Date of Death: Sunday, 25 January 1931 (based on date of newspaper article and January 1931 calendar)
Father's Name: Dr. Homer C. Waterman
Lillian's Birthplace: Middleport, Ohio
Surviving Family Members Mentioned:
Brother: William Waterman of Rockwell City, Iowa (his location on January 29, 1931 can be added to his timeline)
Stepsister: Mrs. Ralph Ebert of Zanesville (Jennie Metcalf)
Deceased Family Members Mentioned:
Sister: Mary, wife of Willis Helmick of Zanesville
Sister: Clara, who died in infancy
Sister: Helen, wife of Elmer E. Richardson (Lillian lived with her and Elmer for many years)
Date of Helen (Waterman) Richardson's Death: June 1930
Lillian's Church Membership: Universalist Church
Date of Burial: Tuesday, 27 January 1931 (based on date of newspaper article and January 1931 calendar)
Place of Burial: Wesley Chapel Church Cemetery

There is so much helpful family history information in Lillian's obituary, including married names of her sisters, which is amazing! Here are some things I could do with the information provided in this obituary: order Lillian's death certificate, research Universalist Church records for any mention of Lillian or her family members, research cemetery records, research the lives and families of Lillian's brother and sisters. The obituary also stated that Lillian's illness was mentioned in the newspaper the previous week. I will be looking for that article to see if there is any additional helpful information. 

My family history records already include information about Lillian's parents and her siblings, Helen, William, and Mary. But I did not know anything about her sister Clara, who died in infancy. In Lillian's obituary, another sister is mentioned as Mrs. Ralph Ebert. This was Lillian's stepsister, Jennie Metcalf. Lillian's mother, Sarah Rathburn, died in 1874.2 Lillian's father, Homer, married Nancy (Kenison) Metcalf in 1877.3

I have questions about Lillian's sister, Clara, who died in infancy. Was she the daughter of Homer and his first wife, Sarah, or Homer and his second wife, Nancy? Where was Clara born? Where and when did she die? What was her cause of death? In what cemetery was she interred? I have done some research to find Clara on Ancestry, FamilySearch, Find a Grave, and BillionGraves, but haven't found her yet. I will continue my research efforts to find Clara.

Obituaries and newspaper research in general are valuable family history resources. What family history discoveries have you found through your newspaper and obituary research?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2024 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved 

1 Library of Congress, "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, database with images, Morgan County Democrat (McConnelsville, Ohio) ( : accessed 19 March 2024), "Miss Lillian Waterman Dies," obituary, 29 January 1931, p. 1, col. 2, image provided by Ohio History Connection, Columbus, Ohio.
2 "Ohio, U.S., Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Index, 1810s-2016," database with images, ( : accessed 18 March 2024); Mrs. Sarah A. Waterman, citing Gallipolis Bulletin, 25 February 1874, p. 3, col. 1, Bossard Library (Gallipolis).
3 "Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, ( : accessed 14 March 2017); H. C. Waterman and Nannie Metcalf, 16 September 1877.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Preserving Memories ~ My Adorable Grandparents

For several months I've been working on a large family history project. I've been scanning photos, slides, and negatives of various sizes that I inherited from my parents and my maternal grandparents. I've also been scanning photos and negatives from my own collection. 

I finished scanning all of my parents' and grandparents' slides and have lately been focused on scanning photos and negatives.

Some of the images I've scanned from my parents' and maternal grandparents' collections have been new-to-me images. In other words, I don't remember seeing them before. So that has been fun!

Today I'm sharing a new-to-me image of my maternal grandparents, Debs Warren Webster and his second wife, Willis Quillin Webster. I remember Willis very well. She married my grandfather when my mom was a little girl. Debs' first wife, Sarah Vasques Madeira (my mom's mother), passed away when my mom was almost four years old.

This adorable photo of my maternal grandparents was scanned from a medium format negative. It looks like Debs and Willis were on a trip.

The negative envelope did not provide a location for my grandparents trip, but there's a hint on the chalkboard on the building in this photo. The word Crannell is written on the chalkboard. And Crannell is also on the side of the building behind my grandfather, and it's in the sign above the chalkboard. I did a Google search for Crannell and it's a "former settlement in Humboldt County, California" and used to be a "company town for sawmill workers of the Little River Redwood Company."1

I'm not sure what kind of building this was, but I think it may have been a store. On the side of the building behind my grandfather, I think the word Store is under the word Crannell, but Store is partially hidden by my grandfather. What do you think?

Check out that old phone booth near the entrance of the building and check out my grandparents car! So awesome! I'm not an expert in vintage cars, so I did a Google image search for the car and it looks like it was a Renault Dauphine.

I just love this photo of my grandparents! It looks like it could have been an advertisement in a travel brochure.

I'll share more photos from my scanning project in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2024 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Wikipedia (, "Crannell, California," rev. 18:33, 29 November 2023.



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