A closet shelf on the western side of the Homestead attic holds a simple red cardboard box. Within the box is a flaxen sheet accompanied by this note:
May 7th 1985
Dear Bertha and Ted,
The years slip by so fast. It’s three years since my house in Maryland was sold and I put a few things aside including this flaxen sheet which Mother left with me some years ago. Her note is attached to the sheet.
It may or may not have any value to you for the Homestead but at any rate I want you to have it to dispose of as you see fit.
I trust you are both well.
With best regards,
At the bottom of the note Bertha had written: Joan & Herbert M. Kritzler.
With a little research we find that Herbert’s full name was Herbert Mather Kritzler. His father was William Kritzler and his mother was Mary Neubauer. Mary’s father was Michael Neubauer and her mother was Sarah Cornelia Mather (1849-1899). Sarah’s father was David Banks Mather and she was a first cousin of Stephen T. Mather.
Herbert’s mother’s note reads: “flax grown by Mathers Woven by Mathers into this sheet 148 years ago in 1930 when Aunt Annie gave it to me.”
Aunt Annie presumably was Sarah’s sister, Ann Eliza Mather Weed. She and her husband, James Weed, as well as Michael and Sarah Neubauer are buried in the Mather Cemetery.
Certainly Herbert knew the right person to entrust with this heirloom as Bertha’s stewardship continues to enrich our understanding and appreciation of the Homestead’s history.