A mystery valentine sent to a Brooklyn address

Faded and yellowed after more than a century, this Valentine’s Day card is hard to read. It appears to have been sent in 1906 to a Miss Tarehin on Glenmore Avenue in Brooklyn—between Brownsville and East New York.


But who is it from? The sender is a mystery, and there doesn’t appear to be any message. The last name of the recipient is an unusual one as well.


A quick Google search uncovers an Anna Tarehin, buried in 1945 in Queens’ Third Calvary Cemetery, which is not that far from Glenmore Avenue.

[Card: NYPL Digital Gallery]

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17 Responses to “A mystery valentine sent to a Brooklyn address”

  1. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    Anna ws 68 years old when she died on Jan 20th, 1945 in Kings County, NY.

    Did Anna treasure this card from a romantic interest? When it arrived in the post, was it clutched to her chest, the signature kissed as she twirled in delight at having received a special Valentine. Oh, if the tiny bit of cardboard ‘n ink could reveal the…

    NO — WAIT…

    This was sent as an endearment; Being a romantic, I’d like to believe it was from someone other than a relative, a long ago school chum or the corner shoe-repairman. The Valentine was carefully preserved by Anna, so it had to have had something more… (And if not, I can dream!)

    The story of the mailing should only be shared between this pair of hearts. Once they cease to beat, we must recognize the glory was THEIRS. Tis’ a tangible reminder of a moment of thoughtful tenderness…and this slice of cardboard and printer’s ink might just deserve a wee kiss once more, as all sweet Valentines do.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks Audrey–good point that someone did save this Valentine, so it must have been meaningful in a way that’s lost to the ages.

      At the same time, someone donated it to the NYPL, where it is now digitized. A relative cleaning out Miss Terehin’s Glenmore Street home, perhaps?

  2. ksbeth Says:

    how wonderful

  3. Alma Carey Says:

    I love it! The Valentine card is beautiful as well……

  4. ianschoenherr Says:

    I think it’s addressed to Miss Margaret Tarehin – Anna’s sister. Both were Newfoundland-born gold-cutters who probably worked in the Auer family’s gold leaf manufactory (and residence) at 525 Glenmore Avenue – one of several such establishments in that area.

  5. Dymoon Says:

    I love getting your blogs.. thank you

  6. Greg Says:

    A second mystery – why is 525 Glenmore Avenue blurred out in Google streetview?

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    How strange…I guess the people who live there now are very privacy sensitive?

  8. tomparrett Says:


  9. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    I am guessing the image of the structure (with as many as 5 to 7 bedrooms and several bathrooms, you can divide how ever you want into rental-units) had been provided for a real estate firm. Since the property had sold not too long ago, by blurring the image, they essentially showed it was ‘off the market’.

    How is THAT for a guess!

  10. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    TRULIA has a blurred image of the bldg. ZILLOW has a clear photo of what was once the goldleaf manufacturers. (AU is the chemical symbol for GOLD / hence the name of the firm.) It is still the orig. red brick with stripes of white stone / 3 story / tall steps with only a minor stoop at the entry. The structure was built in 1910, so it was still a fairly new place at the time of the Valentine’s mailing. Alas, it is not what it once was…and sold for $675-grand in May of last year.

  11. Art History blog Says:

    […] via A mystery valentine sent to a Brooklyn address — Ephemeral New York […]

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