Reed Family “Real Photo Postcard” (1910)

Nostalgic photo postcards, known as “real photo postcards”, were popular in the early 1900’s. Kodak even produced a special camera (the model #3A) and added a special postcard developing and printing service that made it easy for anyone to make their own photo postcard. Mailing a postcard was only a penny and the photo postcard itself cost between one and two cents. The postcard below is a “real photo postcard” mailed by Geneva (Eva) Reed, sister of Lewis Reed in 1910. It was mailed to her half-brother Rufus who lived in Point of Rocks, Maryland.

1910 real photo postcard

Postcard addressed to Rufus Reed from Eva Reed. Note the cost of the postage stamp is just one penny.

The photo of Woodlawn Hotel on the front of the postcard was taken by Phillip Reed (Lewis Reed’s brother). Lewis Reed’s photograph collection contains several hundred of these photo postcards dating from approximately 1907-1915. Many of these postcards are rare, one of a kind items and historical documents.

A bit of history about the Woodlawn Hotel: Opened as a luxury hotel in 1889 for Washingtonians seeking to escape the city’s summer heat, the Woodlawn Hotel thrived until the economy and more accessible transportation made Rockville a suburb of Washington rather than a summer vacation destination. The hotel was then purchased by Dr. Ernest L. Bullard who reopened the building, naming it Chestnut Lodge, as “a sanitarium for the care of nervous and mental diseases”. The Bullard family operated nationally famous Chestnut Lodge for 75 years. The building was conveyed to a developer in 2003 with the intention to convert it to condominiums as part of the development of the Chestnut Lodge property. The facade and the chestnut grove from which it got its name were to be preserved. The downturn in the real estate market derailed those plans.

Sadly, a fire on June 7, 2009 destroyed the landmark building that began as Woodlawn Hotel and came to symbolize the psychiatric institution of Chestnut Lodge. Today, the Chestnut Lodge campus is preserved for the community and consists of Little Lodge, Frieda’s Cottage, a Stable and an Ice House, and eight acres of forested lawn.

1910 real photo postcard

Postcard image was taken by Phillip Reed (Lewis Reed’s brother) of Woodlawn Hotel before it became Chestnut Lodge in 1910.

The postcard below reads:

Your letter received. Mama wants the board and stand too, for our board is not any good. Grafton is still in Washington but I don’t know how long he will be there he has about finished painting for this winter. I sent your letter to him today. Did you receive the pictures, and were they small enough for the lockets? I will close love to and from all. Come down when you can. Lovingly, Eva Reed

Uncle Lewis Thompson’s address is 511 G St N.W.

1910 real photo postcard

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Reed Family “Real Photo Postcard” (1910)”

  1. folksnake says :

    Chestnut Lodge had a few moments of glory on the screen and in the literary world as well! The movie Lilith starring a young Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg was shot there in 1963. It’s a pretty good movie! And the 1964 novel (later a movie as well) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden was set there.

    In Lilith, there are scenes shot in and around “old” Rockville that capture some of what it looked like back then.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_(film)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Never_Promised_You_a_Rose_Garden_(novel)

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hi Chris!

      Chestnut Lodge had a real haunted house presence for kids who grew up anywhere near it or who knew about it. I can remember always looking for that creepy old house every time I drove down W. Montgomery Ave.

      Lots of fun facts for those of us who lived and traveled around there.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Jeanne

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