Saturday, March 16, 2013

Upcoming Event : Camp Letters, 1942-1945, March 25

The Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society (VBRGS) is pleased to host  Camp Letters: 1942 – 1945,  to be presented by Robert V. Nightingale, Monday, March 25, 7 p.m. VBRGS programs are presented in the community room at the Webster Memorial Library, 200 N. Phelps St., Decatur, Michigan.

Camp Letters is a compilation of over 200 letters and other documents from Mr. Nightingale’s grandmother Alice to his grandfather Bruno Stiller, while he was in the Alien Enemy Internment Camps during World War II. Bruno was a German national who immigrated to the United States after the First World War. At the time of his arrest, he and his American-born wife Alice ran their family restaurant in Prairie View, Illinois. They had three children and were expecting a fourth. The book details Alice’s struggle to keep the restaurant in business during wartime, care for her children and keep her husband’s spirits up during his imprisonment.

Bob came into possession of the letters after his Aunt Alice Stiller died in 2010. They were found in boxes marked “Camp Letters” in her home. No one in the family was aware of their existence until they were found after her death.  Several family members wanted copies of the letters but after scanning dozens of these letters into his computer and trying to read the handwriting, he realized they would be much easier to read if they were made into a book.
 For the presentation on March 25, Mr. Nightingale will talk about the making of the book, tell some family stories, show the wood craft that his grandfather made in the camps, and will read some of the more endearing excerpts from the book and answer questions.
Immediately preceding the program will be general announcements and updates from the Local History department of the Van Buren District Library.

VBRGS programs are are free and the public is invited to attend as guests of the society. For more information please contact Ann Flora at 269.684.1353, email questions to or visit their website at  

 Nameless Picture of the Day
 unknown woman
Photographer - P. S. Edwards, Photo Artist, Lawrence

Can you identify the woman in this carte-de-visite photograph, taken in Lawrence, Michigan?  Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.   

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