If it’s the first Wednesday of the month, it must be postcard week!

Here’s a nice view of “The Mountains from Clarksburg.” It might even be an accurate view, unlike the images shown on many of the “Greetings From [Your Town Here]” cards, since you’d think a generic card would try harder to show some of the promised mountains. (Nothing against our lovely Blue Ridge!) Though Clarksburg has recently been developed, there are still views like this to be had in the area.

The card is postmarked Burdette, Md, 1912. Burdette was a small community near Boyds and Clarksburg, with a post office, school, and hotel. Addressed to Miss Rose Dawson, Rockville, Mont Co, Md., the message reads:

Hello Rose, Guess you miss Miss Hepburn lots don’t you? Really I don’t miss her half so much as I do the girls, especially “tu.” Ray W.

Rose Kiger Dawson (1896-1979) grew up in South Dakota, and moved back to her father’s home, Rockville, in 1911. (Her arrival dress has been featured here before.) She attended Rockville High School, a.k.a. Montgomery County H.S.; today it is Richard Montgomery H.S.

The first yearbook or annual published by the school came out in 1927; for earlier years, we have to rely on other sources for tidbits about school life. Though the postmark is too blurry to get the exact date, this card has a “school’s out for summer” vibe to it; in fact the message reads, to me, a lot like the kind of thing you write in your friend’s yearbook, hoping to keep yourself in their mind for the few months before school starts again.

“Miss Hepburn” was Alice E. Hepburn, one of the teachers at Rockville High School in the 1910s and early 1920s. I haven’t found too much about her, though she appears in faculty lists, annual reports, and the occasional “Society” article, and in the 1920 census can be found boarding with another teacher in Rockville. One presumes that she taught French, unless Ray W. was being particularly coy. Depending on how you read the message, either Miss Hepburn and Rose had a nice teacher-student bond . . . or they really didn’t.

Above: Members of the Rockville High School faculty, circa 1914.  Though not all of the people have been identified, Miss Hepburn is in the back row at the far right.

As for Ray W., for now he is lost to history, though one assumes he lived in Montgomery County. Perhaps he and his family spent the summer at the High View House Hotel in Burdette?

[edited: to remove mistaken reference to a train station]

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