During the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, postcards were an extremely popular form of communication. From purchased souvenir cards to custom photos printed on postcard-backed paper, postcards were the Instagram of their day — a quick snapshot and short message shared with someone far away.
Now, in an era where digital communication has all but eclipsed traditional mail, postcards serve another purpose: They provide a valuable image of life in a previous era, preserving vistas and locations long since vanished.
This postcard (contributed by collector Joe Seiter, also a member of the FTHS board) was mailed from Wanamaker in 1910, and shows the “New Bethel Church” and cemetery. This is a previous incarnation of the New Bethel Baptist Church, a 36 x 50 foot brick building constructed in 1866 at a cost of $4,000, located along present-day Southeastern Avenue in Wanamaker. The structure was torn down in 1917 and replaced with the current church building.