Cora Thomas was born in the year 1879, the daughter of Debra and Michael Thomas, a family which originally came from Wales.
In 1900 she went to house-keeping by marrying Bryson Glotfelty, son of Jonas Glotfelty and Rebecca Specht.
The Glotfelty lineage went all the way back to Solomon Glotfelty. He came with his father, Casper Glattfelder of Glattfelden, Switzerland, mother and other family members to the New World somewhere not long after his birth in 1738. Casper Glattfelder was born in 1709. Somewhere in time Solomon's last name was Americanized to Glotfelty. Anyone with that last name comes from Solomon....and is somehow related to me.
Their marriage was unique in a number of ways. First, because Debra Thomas lost her husband, Michael (Cora's father) and Jonas lost Rebecca (Bryson's mother). Somehow---and I'd like to know that story!---the two decided it would be a good idea to raise their families together, so they became a "Brady Bunch" type family.
The portrait above is of Cora and Bryson with a couple of his sisters, a cousin and a family friend, probably taken not long before their marriage. I see no wedding ring on Cora's hand, which is resting on the shoulder of the young lady sitting next to her, which I think would have been one of his sisters.
So yes, Cora married her step-brother. Unique! (No blood relation, of course!)
Also unique in that they had a grand wedding with engraved invitations, a fancy church wedding, many gifts and many guests. Some of those gifts have been saved and treasured through the years and I'm happy to own a few today.
My Grandmother, Blanche Brenneman Glotfelty, gave me these pressed glass pieces from among Grandma Cora's wedding dishes a long time ago:
They are what collectors call EAPG, or Early American pressed glass. The large bowl on the left is a banana bowl in a very common pattern, one you often see in antiques shops. The other is a berry dish with some gold flash on it. I have a couple of those.
The biggest prize, however, is this chocolate slag glass berry set:
My mother has owned this set since I was just a little girl. I remember wondering again and again about it, since it was always placed high up on the highest shelf in the cupboard and hardly ever used, so out of place with all of her late 50's and 60's style every day dishes. Once in a bit she would take it down and let me hold it, telling me that it was probably some of Grandma Cora's wedding dishes and that it had been given to her by Grandma when she was a young wife.
I always marveled at the unique peanut butter swirly color and the old Victorian-type patterning. For sure it was one of the things that created inside me a love for antique glass and dishware. Once grown, I searched and searched for things that would have been in my grandmothers' homes. I have found Shawnee pottery, which was in my Grammy's house; a jewelry box made like a Swiss chalet that was in my Great-Grandma Brenneman's house. For years my cupboards were full of jadeite and jade-green Fire King dishware, just like Grammy had.
But NEVER did I find anything like that berry bowl set!
Recently, my mother decided to give it to me.
Mom looks so much like Grandma Cora....
The other day, I posted these photos on my Facebook page and wow! the wonders of Facebook.....Dana Jones popped up and identified them as chocolate slag glass. That I was pretty sure of! It was the ray pattern on the bottoms of the bowls and the swirlies around the edges of the bowls that revealed even more!
The set was made by the Indiana Glass and Tumbler Company and is known as Greentown Glass. This pattern is called Leaf Bracket and it was extemely popular in 1900. In fact, the company made over 28,000 of these berry bowl sets to be sold in stores that year.
Sounds like it was a hot item for them, and probably something coveted by many young brides!
Mom and I were on the fence wondering was this from Cora's wedding dishes or something she got later, but the info from Dana seems pretty conclusive that indeed, these were wedding gifts.
Grandma Cora ran a boarding house and fed her guests very well. She was known far and wide for her baking skills.
This prim-style sign is the one that hung outside of her home in the 30's, before the original house burnt down. A fire began one hot summer day by spontaneous combustion and began on the top floor of the three story house. It burnt slowly, but they were unable to put it out. No one was hurt, and all the men and neighbors came running to try and remove as much from the house as they could. Nearly everything from the first two floors was saved.
I am so happy to own that sign. And I just realized, these pieces of glassware that I now own would have had to have been carted out of the house as it was burning, too....or they would not have been around to hand down the line.
A new house was built soon thereafter on the original foundation, so that the basement of the old house remains under the new one:
All down that back porch, it hung thick with Concord grape vines from which Grandma made the best grape juice and jellies. When I grew up, I learned how to make juice like she did, but I had to buy my grapes.
Oh! how I love a grape arbor....and I do know why.
This is all that remains of all of Grandma's grape arbors:
Beautiful Roselawn Farm remains and is lovingly cared for.
Jonas Glotfelty and Bryson Glotfelty moved their families to Roselawn Farm in the 1920's, as the story goes. Previous to that they lived in Maryland, down by the Deep Crick area....and to this day Jonas' house remains there. It's been renovated by someone who bought it. It is now a very upscale bed and breakfast house.
The Glotfelty family has lived on Roselawn Farm for now over 90 years. It belongs to my Uncle Dave now, and one day will belong to his boys....and maybe one day, to their children, I hope.
These are the chestnut trees that grow down the lane. My Uncle Dave is a furniture maker who has made the most beautiful tables and other pieces. My mother's long dining room table with spoon feet was made by him. He had a shop in one of the outbuildings where he made...what else? Chestnut Lane Furniture.
Apple trees grew on the other side of the lane. Just beyond them to the back right, is where Grammy had her large garden. It was one of the places she loved best. No wonder that I love a garden, too!
We kids used to collect the chestnuts and Grammy put them in the turkey stuffing. Let's just say it was an acquired taste. You ate them or you picked them out of the stuffing! But it sure made it a 'family thing'. ;-) We kids loved to eat them raw!
Oh.... how the years fly by! It seems like yesterday that I picked up those chestnuts in the lane. Some of the most sentimental and happiest times of my life were spent on that farm.
We lost Grandma Cora in the mid 60's, but not before she told me a boatload of her stories. And OH! what a story teller she was! Here she sits, content in her home by the stone fireplace in what is now, my Uncle Dave's living room.
He and my Aunt Jerry have been marvelous custodians of the place. Grandma was in her 80's when this photo was taken.
Across the driveway is the little white bungalow house that Bryson Glotfelty built for Naylor, his son, his wife Blanche, and their growing family: Phyllis, Kathy, Dave and Ed.
Inside this doorway my Grammy always waiting with arms full of love and a nearby plate of cookies... or some other yummy thing she had made.
She lived to be a rich 95 years old, passing away in January 2011. Now my Uncle Ed and his family own her home. I am glad it is still in the family. I am not sure I could bear to think of anyone else living there.
Things do not remain the same forever.....that's the way of things. We must expect and accept it, sadly; death is a part of life and so is loss and the change that comes along with it.
Yes, the berry bowl set sure is fine, I am so delighted to own it. In the long run, though, it's just stuff--important stuff, but just pretty pieces of glassware. There is nothing in this world....NOTHING.....like my childhood memories and the love I had from my grandmothers.
I just want to say thanks, too, to Uncle Le for all the wonderful photos he has been posting from his archives of many pictures of our family. He has gone back from the time he married my aunt Kathy (my mother's sister), all through the years. Uncle Le has gone to a tremendous amount of work and it has meant the world to me and so many of the rest of us.