The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE  19735

302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:         Rohlfs, Charles, 1853-1936                                       

Title:               Charles Rohlfs papers

Dates:             ca. 1877-ca.1980, bulk ca.1877-1936

Call No.:         Col. 881

Acc. No.:        06x185

Quantity:        1 box, 1 folder, 5 volumes

Location:        41 D 3






Charles Rohlfs, a furniture maker and actor, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 15, 1853.  His parents were Peter—an immigrant from Denmark who was a carpenter, cabinet maker, and piano manufacturer—and Fredericka Wilhelmina Dorothea Hunte Rohlfs. Peter died when Charles was only 12 years old, leaving him with the responsibility of working to help support his mother and younger siblings, including brother Frank and sister Louise (or Louisa).  At night young Charles studied at the Cooper Union School, where he took classes in chemistry, physics, and drawing.  His real ambition, though, was to be an actor, something he realized in 1877 when he joined the Boston Theatre. 


In 1884, Charles married Anna Katharine Green, a writer whose best known work was an 1878 detective novel entitled The Leavenworth Case, which eventually sold 750,000 copies.  They had three children, Rosamond (b.1885), Sterling (b.1887), and Roland (b.1892).  During their early married years, Rohlfs worked as a stove designer, which took the family to Buffalo, New York, in 1887.  However, he never lost his passion for the stage and so he returned to acting.


In Buffalo, Rohlfs found a new interest: wood working.  Because he could not afford the furniture he liked, he made his own, and family and friends soon requested that he make some for them as well; his new career was launched.  Like Arts and Crafts furniture makers, Rohlfs was inspired by medieval furniture, and also by the style of the Art Nouveau movement.  In adding his own preferences, his furniture resulted in a certain flair that was uniquely his own.  Rohlfs also made furniture hardware, candlesticks, lamps, and chafing dishes.  His work was sold by department stores, including Marshall Field & Co.  Some of his furniture was purchased for Buckingham Palace, and he had displays at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904.  Rohlfs was featured in several magazine and newspaper articles.


By 1910, as demand for his furniture had dwindled, Rohlfs became more active in Buffalo’s civic affairs.  He joined the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club and advocated for better schools and vocational education.  Also, he continued to present dramatic readings, although he no longer acted in plays.


Charles and Anna’s later years brought declining health and the deaths of their two older children, Sterling in 1928 and Rosamond in 1930.  Anna Katharine died on April 11, 1935, and Charles on June 29, 1936. 





Photographs of furniture made by Rohlfs, photos of the interiors of  his homes, diaries or baby books about his three children, diary of a trip to Europe taken in 1890, and play bills and reviews of plays, all documenting the acting and furniture making careers of Charles Rohlfs.  The furniture photos include dresser, bed, wooden screen, clock, tables, and chairs.  As well, there are photos of a coal hod, small boxes, candlestick holders, and chafing dishes, all designed by Rohlfs.  Several pieces of his stationery are found, and an advertisement for a “featherweight lamp for booklovers” (a light which could be clipped to one’s book) made by him.  The interior photos are of two different Rohlf homes in Buffalo.  Views include entrance hall, living room, dining room, library, and bedroom.  As well, there is a photo of Rohlfs and workmen in his workshop.  Two photos are of Rohlfs in costume for a play, and there are several formal studio portraits of him.  The collection also includes some of his notes about plays, as well as the playbills and reviews of his theatrical work.  One playbill is printed on silk.


In 1890, the Rohlfs family (minus Roland, not yet born) visited England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Rohlfs added entries (many brief) to the diary of the trip.  In England, Mrs. Rohlfs especially had the opportunity to meet other authors and even attend a dinner for authors.  Otherwise, the family enjoyed visiting cathedrals, art museums, palaces, going for walks, and gondola rides in Venice.  The children’s diaries record family events, not just events in the life of each child.  Additional details about the European sojourn are recorded in Rosamond’s and Sterling’s books.  The children’s books also include locks of hair, writing specimens, drawings by them, and a drawing of a crib (or cradle) in Roland’s book. 





The papers are divided into photos and non-photos.





The materials are in English.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.


There are photos of most of the original materials in the collection, and those copies must be used first.  The diary of the trip to Europe has been transcribed, and the transcription (attached to this finding aid) must be read first.





Gift of Liza Ortman, a Rohlfs descendant. 





            Green, Anna Katharine, 1846-1935.

            Roloff family.




Actors - Photographs.

Art nouveau - United States.

Arts and crafts movement - Designers.

            Arts and crafts movement - New York (State) - Buffalo.


            Cabinetmakers - New York (State) - Buffalo.


            Chafing dishes.


            Clocks and watches - New York (State) - Buffalo.

            Furniture, Art nouveau.

Furniture design - United States.



House furnishings - Photographs.

Ocean travel.

Photography of interiors.

            Textile fabrics - Specimens.

            Theater - United States.

            Voyages and travels.


            Black-and-white photographs.







Location: 41 D 3


[note: all accession numbers begin with 06x185]


Folder 1: period object photographs


.1         carved chest of drawers with mirror above; mounted on fabric;

stamped on front: Confidential, to be returned, and with Rohlfs’ saw logo;

written on back: Anna K. Rohlfs dresser; 6 ft. long, 175.00, oak, 1 lock for 3 drawers;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.2         carved canopy bed, with steps; mounted on fabric;

            written on back: Anna K. Rohlfs bed, 32, 350.00, [illegible] but with curtains;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.3         tall back chair with leather cushion tied to back; mounted on fabric;

Written on front: “table?”; stamped on front: Confidential, to be returned, and with Rohlfs’ saw logo;

Written on back: 1 – 15.00 [crossed out], 6 – 12.50 each, 90 with 6’ dia. Table, to show back cushion for[?] 1st design – seat[?] of high back chair, 15.00 each;

stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.4         carved tall back chair [later given to Princeton]; mounted on fabric;

            Written on back: 50.00 oak, hair cloth pad seat, 60.00 in mahogany; #57;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo

            [see also .15]


.5         carved octagonal table; mounted on fabric;

Written on back: 49, Ray, 30” hgt., table 90.00, 2 shelves inside, door with copper lock, etc., 32” across top, oak 75.00 [crossed out];

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo



Folder 2: period object photographs


.6         carved screen; mounted on fabric;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.7         coal hod;

stamped on front: Confidential, to be returned, and with Rohlfs’ saw logo;

written on back: [illegible] bowl, 22”, coal hod 22” dia., 20.00, #13, other numbers crossed out, including old price of $15.00


.8         flower holder [vase]; mounted on fabric;

Written on back: flower holder, mahogany or oak, fluted edge tabe[?], 1 packed in box for(?) mailing(?) – each .60, lots of 1 doz. 50¢ each;

stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.9         side chair; mounted on fabric;

            Written on back: 8, “Liberal Dining,” 1 – 30.00, Cornell Frat House, no. 59

stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.10       round table with pedestal base; mounted on fabric;

            Written on back: top 5” 0” dia., oak 95.00, #51;

stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.11       trestle table; mounted on fabric;

            Written on back: 45.00 oak, 65.00 curly ash top;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo



Folder 3: period object photographs


.12       mahogany side board; mounted on fabric;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.13       two small D-shaped jewelry boxes, one with carved lid, both with decorative hardware; mounted on board


.14       large chafing dish, #5;

            Written on back: “Gothic,” 12.00


.15       carved oak chair in front of curtain with fleur-de-lis;

            Written on back: 25, carved oak chair, 44

            [see also .4]


.16       bride’s or blanket chest, carved, with decorative hardware, in front of fleur-de-lis curtain;

            Written on back: Roland Rohlfs wedding


.17       chafing dish; labeled on front: 104 years old chafing dish;

            Written on back: 2 3/8 wide, 51755;

            Mounted on board, has been cut to fit shape of dish



Folder 4: period object photographs


.18       large table lamp;

            Written on back: “last thing manufactured by C.R.”

            [note: this is a small photograph]


.121     chafing dish; mounted on linen;

            Written on back: “American,” $15 [crossed out], $18.00, P. Brass, [illegible] handles, 10” casserole, #132

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.122     chafing dish; mounted on linen;

            Written on back: chafing dish,  60.00 silver plated, 50.00 copper plated, on cast brass, handle ebony, height 18”, casserole glazed in & outside


.123     Imperial Chinese candlestick and Martha Washington candlestick; mounted on linen;

            Written on back: #53, “Imperial Chinese,” height 3’ 3”, mahogany and polished brass, carved surfaces dull, other ditto polished, 16.00 [crossed out], 20.00;

            #57, “Martha Washington,” height 25”, with octagonal shell shade, mahogany - brass, trim, 8.00;

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo


.124     “Rushlight” candlestick (#10) and “Eddystone” candlestick (#1); mounted on linen;

            Written on back: “Eddystone” #1, 20” high, 1.00 ea. [older information crossed out: m’hy – 2.50, oak – 1.50;

            Rushlight #10, 22” high, 2.50 ea.;

            #10 has 14” candle, #1 has 8” ditto;

            Some other older information, including prices by the dozen, is also crossed out

            stamped on back: Bliss Bros., photographers, Buffalo



Folder 5: interior photographs of Rohlfs home at 105 Norwood Avenue, Buffalo


.19       view of library, 105 Norwood Avenue, circa1904, looking into hall and parlor(?), can see several chairs, a library table, a coal hod, book case, and other pieces of furniture, as well as pictures on wall and light fixture


.125     view of sitting room, 105 Norwood Ave., circa 1905, focusing on fireplace, also in photo is the screen in 06x185.6, chair, part of a table, light fixtures, etc.; written on back: fire place treatment, #223, plus something that has been crossed out


.126     view of remodeled dining room, 105 Norwood Ave., circa 1909; on view is table, chairs, a bowl on the table, dishes on plate rail around perimeter of room, light fixture, paneled walls, decorated ceiling



Folder 6: photographs of Rohlfs house at 156 Park Street, Buffalo


.21       entrance hall, with chairs, tall case clock, book case, Imperial Chinese candle holder (see 06x185.123), etc.


.127     another view of the entrance hall, almost identical to .21 above, but with a different chair, the candle holder in different orientation, and some other differences


.22       one end of living room, with chairs, table, desk, book cases, coal hod, etc.

            [additional living room photos are in folder 7]


.23       other end of living room, with chairs, pedestal table, settle, fireplace, etc.

            [additional living room photos are in folder 7]


.24       identified on back: Anna Katharine Green’s bed-room, showing bed, dresser, fireplace, etc.; also written on back: property of Roland Rohlfs, 156 Park St., Buffalo, N.Y.


.128     another view of the bedroom above, taken at a different time and from different location in the room; can see talbes, chair, bed, dresser, fireplace, pictures on walls, and view through open door into next room



Folder 7: photographs of Rohlfs house at 156 Park Street, Buffalo


.25       view of the living room, showing pedestal table, chairs, fireplace, part of settle, coal hod, another table, book case, etc.;

            Written on back: Rohlfs living room, crop ceiling 5” wide x about 3 ½ high, bill us

            [additional living room photos are in folder 6]


.26       view of living room, taken from almost the same place as .25 but with some different pieces of furniture (for example, the pedestal table has been replaced by a table with crossed stretchers);

            Stamped on back: E. Strub, photographer, Bufflao

            [additional living room photos are in folder 6]


.129     view from living room into dining room, showing pedestal tables (one in living room, the other in dining room), chairs, bookcases, plates, desk accessories on living room table, light fixtures, etc.


.27       exterior view of Rohlfs house at 156 Park Street, Buffalo;

            Written on back: Rohlfs house front;

            Stamped on back: E. Strub, photographer, Bufflao


.130     a different exterior view of Rohlfs house at 156 Park Street, Buffalo;

            Stamped on back: E. Strub, photographer, Bufflao


.28       dining table and chandelier in situ


.29       cat (with bell around its neck) sitting on crossed stretchers of a table



Folder 8: other photos


.20       workshop of Charles Rohlfs, labeled on back: “The Terrace Shop, Buffalo” (i.e. 198-200 Terrace), ca.1903;

            Left to right: George Thiele, unidentified man, Charles Rohlfs, Roland Rohlfs


.30       interior of Roland Rohlfs’ house;

            Typed on back: Christmas 1930, 225 Ascan Ave., Forest Hills, N.Y., Bosch radio presented to me for aerial advertising we did for them; drawing of me by S. Rasmussem; humidified made by me

            [Roland Rohlfs was an airplane pilot, until injured in a crash.]


.131     outdoor showcase for photograph Elias Goldensky of Philadelphia; the half-timbered façade is set outside a brick building, and has a white canvas tarp behind it; to the left is seen a boy holding part of the tarp in place, while another boy’s head is seen above the structure; written on back: #18, sign not by me, C.R.”



Folder 9: photographs of Charles Rohlfs


.31       on back: Charles Rohlfs as Sganarelle, Act I, Scene I [“The Physician in Spite of Himself”], “Sweet object of my affections, I shall box your ears for you,” season 1895-6, 3” wide [Rohlfs in costume]


.32       on back: Charles Rohlfs as Sganarelle, Act III, Sc. I [“The Physician in Spite of Himself”], “Blunders are never put down to us, it is always the fault of the fellow who dies,” season 1895-6, 3” wide [Rohlfs in costume]


.33       studio portrait of Charles Rohlfs, from The Falk Studio, New York City


.34a     studio portrait of Charles Rohlfs, by Morrall


.34b     folder which contained the photo in .34a, with name Morrall stamped on front


.132     studio portrait of Charles Rohlfs, in folder, by Nussbaumer, Buffalo, N.Y.


.133a-b            copy of front and back of a photograph of Charles Rohlfs costumed for part of Dixon in “One Hundred Wives,” Nov. 1880, original taken by Scholl, Philadelphia, location of original unknown



Folder 10: Rohlfs family photographs


.35       studio portrait of Charles, Roland, and Sterling Rohlfs, in folder, stamped Heckshaw


.36       Anna Katharine Green and Charles Rohlfs with grandchildren Rosamond (held by Anna) and Anna Louise Rohlfs, Vermejo Park, New Mexico, 1925;

            Written on back: Rohfls, Roz & Anna(?) [daughters of Sterling Rohlfs]



Folder 11: Theater career


.37       “The Life and Deeds of “Mister Props’,” by Charles Rohlfs, from Arts Journal, no date, an article about the property man of a theater, two pages only, both illustrated with photos of Rohlfs as Sganarelle


.38a-f   correspondence or notes about “Julius Caesar,” written on Rohlfs’ stationery as an actor, listing his manager as John H. Meech, his New York representative as Geo. F. Atherton, and his business manager as Edward P. Beebe, dated Feb. 1896


.39       one side: Souvenir Programme for Greenes Opera House [Chicago], opening night, second season, August 24th, 1881, with Lawrence Barrett as Richelieu;

            Other side: cast of “Richelieu,” with Rohlfs (name misspelled as Rolfe) playing the role of the Duke of Orleans


.40       poem by Charles Rohlfs, “Oh! For the Fire Divine!” dated April 29, 1879, with a note by him about how he came to write the poem; decorated with added paper



Folder 12: Theater career


.41       notes about “Hamlet”


.42       program, Moore’s Opera House [Des Moines?], for “Othello,” in which Rohlfs (name misspelled as Rolfe) played the role of Ludovico, no date [see also .66, which is another copy]


.43       program, Bastable Theatre [Syracuse], Monday, October 22, no year, Charles Rohlfs in dramatic recital (several pages, in two pieces)


.44       Bastable Theater, Syracuse, season 1894-5 [probably cover for .43; in two pieces]


.45       The Play, Grand Opera House, New Bedford, Mass., Feb. 27, 1893, program for “The Leavenworth Case,” with Rohlfs playing role of James Trueman Harwell, with manuscript note: “opening night of piece, New Bedford, Mass, Feb. 27, 93, C.R.”


.46a-d  clippings, .46a from The Daily Democrat, entitled “Amusements,” with mention of Rohlfs’ role in a production of “Henry IV”;

            .46b, also entitled “Amusements,” with mention of Rohlfs’ role in a production of “Henry IV”;

            .46c entitled “Mr. Barrett and His Company,” with year 1883 added, mentioning Rohlfs as being part of the company;

            .46d entitled “Barrett’s Hamlet,” with favorable mention of Rohlfs;

            In all these clippings his name is spelled Rolfe


.47a     Boston Theatre, March 6, 1878, cast for “King Lear,” with Edwin Booth; Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) played the role of an old man


.47b     Boston Theatre, March 14, 1878, cast for “Merchant of Venice” and “Katharine and Petruchio,” both with Edwin Booth; Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) played Balthazar and Pedro


.48       program for “Hamlet,” May 4, 1883 (year penciled in), with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in role as one of the actors (for the play within the play); added to cover: Cinn. [Cincinnati] Festival

[see also .68 and .73 for programs for other plays presented at same festival]



Folder 13: Theater career


.49a-h  notes on “Richard III,”  “Macbeth,” “Othello,” “Hamlet,” and perhaps some other plays; includes list of plays performed at Chelsea Academy of Music, 1877 and the Boston Theatre; one page of notes dated Feb. 7, 1879


.50       notes on Iago; a list of “gutturals,” some beginning with TH (thence, this, etc.) and others with Z (zephyr, zealot, etc.)


.51       casts of characters for “Merchant of Venice” and “David Garrick,” both starring Lawrence Barrett, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in both plays as well.


.52       cast of characters for unnamed play (lead role of Daniel Bartlett played by B. McAuley), with roles played by Charles Rolfe (i.e. Rohlfs); the name Louise Rolfe is also marked – this is probably his sister; Coldwater, Mich. is penciled on the list


.53       cast of characters for an unnamed play (lead role of Raphael Duchalet played by Lawrence Barrett), with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the cast; list printed in St. Paul


.54       Academy of Music, Brooklyn, November 29, 1886, cast for “The Veteran,” with Charles Rohlfs in the lead role [see also .59]


.55       cast of characters for “Lady of Lyons,” starring Lawrence Barrett, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) having a part


.56       Wagner Opera House, no place, September 24, 1881, cast for “Julius Caesar,” starring Lawrence Barrett; Rohlfs is not listed, but the name Henry Martin has a mark next to it; printed on trade card for Wentworth & Davis, jewelers, stationers, no city


.57       newspaper clipping: “Musical and Dramatic: The Novelty – the Benefit Performance on Behalf of the Family of the late Louis Mallette,” in which Charles Rohlfs participated (name spelled Rolfe)


.58       newspaper clipping: “Park, ‘Freaks,’ Ada Cavendish,” with a good notice about Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the play “Freaks,” evidently staged in Brooklyn


.59       newspaper clipping: “The Kemble Dramatic Society: It Opens its Season with Wallack’s Play of “The Veteran’,” with cast of characters, Charles Rohlfs in the lead role [see also .54]


.60       Boston Theatre, March 22, 1878, casts for “Ruy Blas” and “Don Caesar de Bazan,” both starring Edwin Booth, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the second play


.61       Haverly’s Fifth Avenue Theatre, February 13, 1882, program for “Pendragon,” with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) [note: the program is folded, the inside has the name of the theater and an ad for Haines pianos]


.63       cast of characters for “Hamlet,” starring Lawrence Barrett, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) as Rosencrantz


.64       cast of characters for “Yorick’s Love,” starring Lawrence Barrett, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) as Philip


.65       cast of characters for “The Jerseyman,” starring B. McAuley, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) as Warren Meredith, performed in Sandusky, Ohio, no date


.66       program, Moore’s Opera House, printed in Des Moines, starring Lawrence Barrett in “Othello,” with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) as Ludovico;

Written on back: a joke heard in a German play

            [.42 is another copy of this program]


.67       notes on how “to rouse interest in a new star” [of the theater stage]


.68       program for “Othello,” May 3, 1883 (year penciled in), with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in role of Gratiano; added to cover: Cinn. [Cincinnati] Festival

[see also .48 and .73 for programs for other plays presented at same festival]


.69       dried flower


[.70      see oversize folder]



Folder 14: Theater career


.71       newspaper clipping: “Amusements: ‘Richelieu’ – Lawrence Barrett,” 1882, Rochester (penciled in), with favorable notice of Charles Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in his role as the King


.72       Park Theatre, Boston, December 15, 1882 (cover for program?)


.73       program for “Julius Caesar,” April 30, 1883 (year penciled in), with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in role of Pindarus; added to cover: Cinn. [Cincinnati] Festival

[see also .48 and .68 for programs for other plays presented at same festival]


.74       dried flower associated with above program


.75       Boston Theatre, Boston, March 25, 1878, cast of characters for “Danites,” with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the role of S.M.


.76       Boston Theatre, Boston, March 13, 1878, cast of characters for “Richelieu,” starring Edwin Booth, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the role of a secretary


.77       Boston Theatre, Boston, March 16, 1878, cast of characters for “Brutus,” starring Edwin Booth, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the role of a messenger


.78       Boston Theatre, Boston, March 18, 1878, cast of characters for “Richard III,” starring Edwin Booth, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in the role of Bishop of Ely


.79       Daly’s Theatre, Bill of the Play, New York City, February 25, 1882, with cast of characters for “Odette,” no listing for Rohlfs


.80       newspaper clipping: “Lawrence Barrett,” with reviews of his plays, with favorable notice of Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in his role of Louis XIII in the play “Richelieu”


.81       Pillot’s Opera House, February 17, 1883, cast of characters for “Francesca da Rimini,” starring Lawrence Barrett, with Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) in role of Rene;

the program was printed on silk by W. H. Coyle and perfumed with Fleur de Alba, manufactured by Florentine Perfumeries of Chicago



Folder 15: newspaper and magazine articles


.82       photocopy of photograph which appeared in article entitled “Buffalo’s Most Noted Novelist,” showing the Rohlfs’ dining room in the house on Norwood Avenue; picture is captioned “A Corner in Mrs. Rohlfs’ Beautiful Home in Norwood Avenue


.83       “Charles Rohlfs: A Celebrated Artist in Furniture, of International Fame,” written by William J. Hartford, p. 194 of Successful American

            [article on other side is about Henry Miller of California]


.84       The Honey Jar, vol. 15, no. 5 (August 1910), including an article “Charles Rohlfs, Laborer,” by Deshler Welch

            [The Honey Jar was published by the Honey Jar Company of Columbus, Ohio]


.85a-b  a loose copy of the above article (removed from the original publication)


[.86      see oversize folder]


.87       “Little Known Husbands of Well Known Wives,” from Illustrated Sunday Magazine, May 9, 1915


.88       “Personal Glimpses: A Little-Known Husband,” from The Literary Digest, May 29, 1915

            [almost identical story to that in .87]



Folder 16: newspaper and magazine articles


[.89      see oversize folder]


.90a-d  letter from Charles Rohlfs to the editor, Buffalo Courier, May 20, 1927, about political indifference and a new city charter


.91a-b  “Tercentenary of Moliere,” by Charles Rohlfs, from Buffalo Saturday Night, March 11, 1922, two copies, attached to one is a little blurb about Rohlfs and Anna Katharine Green Rohlfs


.92       “The Back Stairs,” by Edith Natalie Stark, from Buffalo Enquirer, July 19, 1923, an interview with Rohlfs in which he speaks not only of his own work but also of his wife’s


.93       “My Adventures in Wood-Carving,” by Charles Rohlfs, from Arts Journal, October 1925


.94       “Estheticism in a Business Office,” photo with extensive caption, featuring furniture made by Rohlfs, from Arts Journal< Nov. 1925


.95a-b  “Men You Ought to Know,” by H. P. Jarvis, from Buffalo Courier-Express, September 5, 1926, including Charles Rohlfs, Seth Clark, and Robert C. Palmer


.96       letter from Charles Rohlfs to the editor, Buffalo Courier, October 7, 1926, “Right of the People”;

            On same sheet: photo of Charles Rohlfs reading the Declaration of Independence, published in Buffalo News, July 6, 1926


.97       “Peter Cooper in Science,” a brief article about Cooper and the Cooper Union School which he founded, from New York Sun, February 13, 1936



Folder 17: newspaper and magazine articles


.98       obituary of Charles Rohlfs


.99       “Stickley Furniture Revival Seen,” from Buffalo Evening News, January 13, 1966, with mention of Rohlfs and Elbert Hubbard


[.100    see oversize file]


.101     Allentown House Recommend for Designation as City Landmark,” about the Rohlfs home at 156 Park Street, Buffalo


.134     “An Artist Who Works in Wood,” by Marsha Houk, from Women’s Home Companion, June 1902, p. 26 [photocopy], an article about Rohlfs



Folder 18: printed ephemera


.102     advertisement for “Featherweight Lamp for Booklovers,” a lamp which could be clipped to book covers, made by and available from Charles Rohlfs, 507 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, ad includes photo of lamp and photo of man using lamp for reading


.103a-f             letterhead stationery for Charles Rohlfs, 520-522 Ellicott St., Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A., decorated with his saw logo




Folder 19: photographs of museum objects


.104a-b            photos of tall carved back chair given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs; the photos are not identical (same chair as in .4 and .15)


.105a-b            photos of tall chest of drawers given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs


.106a-b            detail of tall chest of drawers depicted in .105a-b, showing carving on side



Folder 20: photographs of museum objects


.107a-b            photos of rocking footstool given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs


.108a-b            photos of tilt-top table given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs


.109     photo of large table lamp given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs


.110     photo of chafing dish given to Princeton University by Roland Rohlfs


.111     photo of tall case clock given to the Metropolitan Museum by Roland Rohlfs, front view


.112     photo of tall case clock given to the Metropolitan Museum by Roland Rohlfs, angled view



Folder 21: correspondence


.62       part of a letter, probably from Rohlfs, to Messrs. Colsen[?] & Hudson, Aug. 15, 1912[?], about dissatisfaction with their work on kitchen


.113a-b            two pages entitled “The Rohlfs of Buffalo,” written by Charles Rohlfs and submitted to Cornell University for publication, but never used; written on yellow business stationery with address: Charles Rohlfs, 617 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A;

            [Rohlfs had designed some furniture for one of the fraternity houses at Cornell]


.114a-c                        letter, Charles Rohlfs, Buffalo, to Sterling Rohlfs, no place, April 14, 1926, about a bridle bit, including a drawing of the bridle bit, and a metal template for the bit;

            The letter is written on business stationery, with the address 617 Main Street, and including his saw logo


.115     transcription of Charles Rohlfs entry in Who’s Who in America (year not given)



Folder 22: oversize items


.70       program, Booth’s Theatre, [New York City,] October 14, 1881, with cast list for “Othello,” including Rohlfs (spelled Rolfe) as Ludovico


.86       article, “Over-Equipped and Undertaught,” by Wm. Hawley Smith, from Industrial Arts Magazine, April 1915 (vol. 3, no. 4, p. 145-148); a commentary on Rohlfs’ report to the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce’s Industrial Education and Vocational Bureau; “Milwaukee, Wisc.” written on p. 145


.89       article, “By Bread Alone?” by Wm. Hawley Smith, from Industrial Arts Magazine, January 1917 (vol. 6, no. 1, p. 1-4)


.100a-c                        article, “Charles Rohlfs: In Step with a Different Drummer,” by Eve Warner, New York-Pennsylvania Collector, November 1986



Folder 23: copies of photos: furniture and room interiors, acc. 06x185.1-.30


Folder 24: copies of photos: furniture, interiors, house exterior, acc. 06x185.104-.112, .121-.130


Folder 25: copies of portrait photos and materials about theater, acc. 06x185.31-.37, .39, .42-.45, .47-.48, .51, .54-.55, .60-.61, .63, .65-.66, .68, .70, .73, .75-.78, .81


Folder 26: copies of articles and stationery, acc. 06x185.82-.83, .87-.88, .93, .102-.103



Volumes on shelf:


.116     Good Things from a Chafing Dish, trade catalog published by Gorham Manufacturing Co., 1890; with date 1891 written by Rohlfs; includes pictures of chafing dishes made by Gorham, but mainly recipes


.117     baby book or diary for Roland Rohlfs, begun February 10, 1892;

            Diary kept in album stamped “Autographs”; the album was given to Charles Rohlfs by his mother on his 21st birthday, 1874; includes locks of Roland’s hair and sketch of his crib; at back of volume: notes about plays; most of pages are blank


.118     baby book or diary for Rosamond Rohlfs, begun August 31, 1885; notes Sterling’s birth on May 18, 1887, but diary mostly about Rosamond; includes lock of her hair and a specimen of her handwriting; includes entries for 1890 trip to Europe; ends after August 31, 1892


.119     diary of a European vacation, 1890; most of passages written by Anna Katharine Green Rohlfs, but some by Charles Rohlfs; includes drawings of swords and other weapons (evidently as inspiration for stage props), a CR monogram, and a sketch of a frame on a painting in Italy.  The family visited England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.  Written on the inside of the back cover are notes for a story.

            NOTE: Extremely brittle; USE TRANSCRIPTION FIRST (see below)


.120     baby book or diary for Sterling, born May 18, 1887; includes: two locks of his hair (with a childish sketch next to the first one), a paper engine “cut out by Sterling without pattern or drawing, aged 5 years,” a letter to Santa Claus dictated by Sterling in 1892, a drawing of a science lab, additional cut-outs also done at age 5 (some mounted, some loose), and some math problems; includes entries for 1890 trip to Europe


Rohlfs’ Diary of a European vacation, 1890 (acc. 06x185.119)


Note: The diary is very brittle, and the edges are breaking off.  In some instances, letters are missing from words, but when it is obvious what a word should be, the word has been entered without indicating that a letter is missing.  Some punctuation has been added and some capitalizations regularized.


[Inside front cover]

Drawing of two swords, a battle ax, a mace, and a decorative handle; one sword is labeled “Macbeth, etc.”  The label next to the mace is illegible.  Also a drawing of a stylized C.R. monogram,



April 21st 1890           Left Buffalo on the D.L. & W.  The children well.  Pleasant journey.  Found that it paid to take a stateroom.


22nd         Arrived at The Continental in time for breakfast.  Sterling a trifle ill, probably owing to the excitement.  At 10 p.m.[sic, means a.m.] Judge Daly called.  Later Louise came in.  At 5 p.m. Judge Daly calls again bringing flowers and candy for the children.


23rd          Louise calls again.  At 4 p.m.  I attend the Player’s Club, meet Mr. Gilder, Daisy Smith and Mrs. Field.  In the evening we go to Daly’s Theater, arriving late but getting much enjoyment out of the performance Rosina Vokes.



[missing]day, 24th            Charles takes children to Brooklyn to see Dr. Moffat, Miss Grimstead and Elizabeth.  I take lunch with Mrs. Avery at the 5th Ave.  Annie Dorr arrives at the Continental.  The children play hard and Rosamond takes cold.


Friday 25th           A serious day.  R wakes with one of her bad attacks.  I take her into my bed, being myself very tired and weak.  Give her ipecac and belladonna.  Mrs. Belcher & Hilda call.  Great concern for R.  Annie Dorr does everything.  Louise calls again.  Send for Dr. Gilbert.  Approves of my treatment.  She does not improve.  Send for Dr. G again.  Comes twice in the night, very sick child.  Annie Dorr proves herself an angel of light.


Saturday 26th     Rosamond still

[p.3] ill.  Impossible to break up her[?  word is missing] painful breathing.  We nevertheless start for the steamer.  Go on board.  Find Geo. Stonebridge there, Frank, Louise, Miss Grimstead, Mrs. Matteson, Sidney & Annie.  Rosamond continues ill.  We call the ship’s doctor and he advises against our sailing.  We immediately quit the ship for Orange, Annie taking Sterling in advance.  One trunk remains on ship.  Dr. Seward prescribes for R.


Sunday 27th         Rosamond gives her first sign of improvement by thrusting one foot and then the other into my hand.  Continues to brighten through the day.  Little[?] Saint Cecilia.


Saturday May 3rd               Rosamond being much improved, in fact in her usual health, we leave Orange for the steamer [-ship crossed out and replaced by –er]


Aurania, Cunard line.  The day is fine and our first impressions of the ship are favorable.  Mrs. Belcher and her little son see us off.  Letters on board from Mr. Chester and Judge Daly.  At quarter to three the ship sails.  We prepare[?] to be ill at six o’clock, but the ocean remains quiet and to our great astonishment presents the appearance of a lake in quiet weather.  At six the fog bell rings, also late in the evening.  The night is calm.


Sunday             An ideal day.  The sky is blue, the sea calm, we rejoice in the unexpected delight of a perfect day at sea.  At half past ten we attend service, the rest of the day we sit on deck and bask in the sunshine.  Meet Mr. & Mrs. Edmund Russell.



Monday           An exquisite morning.  The sea! The sea!  Charles rises early and goes on deck.  I lie somewhat later.  All our meals are enjoyable. Each moment is a delight and when evening comes we sit and watch the moon break its way through a belt of horizon cloud.


Tuesday           Still nature smiles.  The red funnels of the steamer burn scarlet against a cerulean sky.  We are sailing well towards the south and wraps are superfluous.  It is a dreamy day broken by an hour of icy wind which seemed to bespeak an iceberg near by and in the afternoon by the passing of a steamer near enough to us

[p.6] for a sight of the water re[illegible] at her prow.  It was this morning that we went to the bow of the ship and stood where there seemed to be nothing between us and the great infinity of sea and sky.  One comes the nearest to feeling like a bird, in this position, of any that we poor mortals can take.  Another evening with the stars and another moonrise through clouds.


Wednesday      A taste of rough weather.  The ship changes her course and rolls finely.  I enjoy it notwithstanding the slightest touch of seasickness.  Go on deck in the evening.  A glorious sight, the sea one mass of phosphorescence.  A happy day.



Thursday         A calm sea again, but gray.  Sterling & Rosamond enjoy a great deal of attention.  Sterling said today, “There is something in my head that eats.”  An entertainment in the evening at which Charles reads The Tragedy of Sedan.


[Friday – crossed out]


Friday              Sterling does not forget Mary.  He asks for her still.  He however amused me very much by saying in the night “Mamma, I think I like you” as if not quite sure.  The sea is still friendly.


Saturday          Our voyage is drawing to a close.  We try to enjoy

[p.8] every hour.  Today we wrote letters to Sidney, Mr. Chester, Annie Dorr, & Mrs. Wayland.  We sighted the flashlight called The Bull at 10 p.m.


Sunday             In Queenstown at 4 a.m.  Service at 10:30 a.m.  Arrive at Liverpool at 6 p.m.  Reach North Western Hotel at 8 p.m.


Expenses on steamer, 8 days,

fares    £36

fees      £1, 13 s.

[word extras crossed out]

Expenses on arrival, transfer of luggage, cabs, etc.


Liverpool * page 600


Monday           Remained at hotel till 1 p.m.  Then took train for Chester. Hotel at Liverpool good but expensive.


Expenses         Hotel for ½ day           19 s.

Luggage fee                                         3 d.



Fare to Chester            5 s. 3 d

Insurance                     6 d.




Monday 12th                           Settle at Queen Hotel.  In the afternoon take the children for a walk on the walls.  See the river Dee, meet Captain Dulton [or Dutton] on the walls. Glimpses of quaint homes.  It sprinkles and we return home.  Later Charles and I stroll into the city again and unexpectedly light upon the cathedral which we enter.


Tuesday 13th                          A rich day.  We take the children first to the old church of St. John the Baptist, the original walls of which were supposed to have been erected by the son-in-law of Alfred the Great (9   ).  The pillars supporting the main roof and which

[p.10]date back to the 13th century are huge cylindrical stone.  The place has a desolate empty look but is highly interesting from its antiquity.  The stained glass windows represent the chief events in the history of Chester.  Outside the ruins of the old walls are hung with ivies and yellow and red flowers.  The day is superb and as we stroll on we arrive at the river’s edge, and seeing the boats there, conclude to take the trip to Eaton Hall, seat of the Duke of Westminster.  The row up the river is delightful and the sight of one of the great interiors of England affect us with a sense of grandeur never before experienced.  We

[p.11] lunch at a place called [?] [part of page missing] Ferry and upon our return to Chester walk through Watergate St. where we se the house of God’s Providence* and other quaint structures.  We were twice amused today.  First by the sight of a piggy going to market in the same wagon with his mistress and secondly by the question of the woman at the Ferry, “And do your children speak English?”


Wednesday 14th                  We take another walk on the walls, going this time to King Charles’ tower, the Water Tower, old Derby House from the dining room of which Earl Derby was

[p.12] taken to his execution after vainly endeavoring to secrete himself in a hidden passage between the upper ceiling and roof.  We also saw the old Roman bath and drying room in the cellar of a commonplace stationer’s shop, and the remains of a crypt in the back room of an ironmonger’s.  All of which being done we decide to leave Chester and accordingly take the train at 3 p.m.


Expenses in Chester for 2 days.

Hotel               £3, 5 s., 2 d.

Car fares, &c.  18 s., 6 d.

Railway fares to Leamington for 2 ½ tickets   19 s., 5 ½ d.




            Arrive in L. at 7.  Take board at Miss Phillips’ house.


Thursday 15th                        Send letters to Mrs. Belcher, Mr. E. Wilson, Louise, Mr. Chester, Mr. Folsom, Mrs. Marshall & Mr. Sellstedt.  At 3 p.m. we took the tramway for Warwick.  The castle was on view and we enjoyed to the full the sight of the historic pile.  The children and myself went part way up the tower, but Charles ascended to the top.  We saw Queen Anne’s room, the Green room, the Cedar room, the state dining room and the Banqueting hall.  In Queen Anne’s room was a portrait of Queen Anne and from the windows of this apartment we saw the famous cedars of Lebanon brought from Palestine in the days of the

[p.14] Crusades.  In the Green room were portraits of King Charles First by Vandyke, Henrietta Maria and Earl of Shrewsbury.  The cabinets in all these rooms are exceedingly choice, and the paintings are most of them by Rubens or Vandyke.  In the banqueting hall we saw the double handed sword used by Guy of Warwick, and it was here that Sterling was put in the great porridge pot belonging to the same great warrior.  This room is in use and we saw on every side evidences of family life.  The children were chiefly interested in the peacocks of which there were a great number in the court yard.  A white one perched


[first line at top of page is missing] attracted my attention.


Friday 16th                               A busy day.  Early in the morning we started for Kenilworth.  At the depot Nelly Buckley joined us and speedily convinced us that she would make a good nurse for the children.  At Kenilworth we took a cab to the ruins.  Afterwards lunched at a little cottage opposite and then taking train to Coventry visited St. Mary’s Hall which is renowned for being the spot from which Lady Godiva started on her famous ride.  The quaint old houses scattered here and there interested us very much.  We longed for paper and pencil to perpetuate them.  We saw more than one old inn such as we

[p.16] have read of.  After a trip to Nelly Buckley’s house, which was quaint as an old curiosity shop, we took the cars again for Leamington.


Saturday 17th                         Stratford on the Avon.  We come by cars, walk to Shakespeare’s birth-place and see it under very favorable auspices.  Rosamond and Sterling sit in the chimney nooks on either side of the fireplace, probably in the very places Shakespeare sat as a child.  We visit next the church were [sic, i.e. where] his remains are laid and are surprised to find that the celebrated bust in the wall above his tomb is colored.

            From Stratford we


ride to Oxford [part of page missing] up our abode at the celebrated Mitre Hotel.


Expenses at Leamington

            Board for 3 days                     £3        13 s.    6 d.

            Trip to Warwick Castle                      5 s.

            Trip to Kenilworth & Coventry           14 s.    8 d.

            Trip to Stratford [no amount registered]                                

            Incidental                                            13 s     3 d.

            Railway to Oxford                              8 s.      10 ½ d.



We took a guide and rode about this historic place.  We were chiefly impressed by the memorials of Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer, the quadrangles of New College and Magdalen [Merton crossed out].  The chapel at New College with its famous stained glass de-

[p.18] signed by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the old walls a thousand years old that surround the quadrangle in New College, Addison’s Walk, Magdalen College, the Cloisters and Founder’s tower of the same, and last but not least the Grove where within a stone’s throw of the High Street deer are quietly browsing under huge old elms.  I must not forget the chapel of Trinity College with its recumbent effigies of the founder and its exquisite wood-carving by Grinling Gibbons.  Its ceiling too, representing the ascension of Christ. 

            Later we visited St. Mary the Virgin’s Church.  It was here Cranmer made his recantation.


and [part of page missing] he stood.  Also it is here that Amy Robsart is buried.  The porch is a beautiful specimen of Italian art.

            This is Sterling’s birthday.  [note: Sterling turned 3 on this day.]


[rest of page written in pencil]


Monday           This morning we took another walk through High Street.  Entered Christ College and Cathedral, enjoying the last extremely.  We could not see the banqueting hall but took a peep into Bodleian Library.  At noon we started for London.


Expenses in Oxford for 2 days. [note: no amounts were entered into the expense table below]


            Minor – cab fares, etc.           

            Railway fare for 2 ½





Entered at Paddington Station.  Went to railway hotel.  Charles called upon the Conways.


Tuesday 20th                          Search for lodgings.  Mrs. Conway calls.


Wednesday                  Search continues.  Take a cab and see something of the city.  Awed by its immensity.  Decide finally upon lodgings in Blomfield [sic] Terrace.  Take up our abode there at 6 p.m.


Thursday         Mrs. Stannard (John Strange Winter) calls.  We did not see her, being on a shopping tour when she arrived.

[note: John Strange Winter was the pen-name of Henrietta Eliza Vaughan Stannard (1856-1911), an English novelist.]


Friday 23rd           [no entry]



Saturday          Took the children to the Zoo.  Mrs. Henderson called.


Monday 26      Mr. and Mrs. Russell call.  Charles hears Irving[?] in The Bells.


Tuesday 27      Nellie comes.  Charles, the children and myself take a preliminary ramble through Piccadilly, the Strand, Fleet, &c.  Get my first glimpse of great St. Paul’s.  Cross London Bridge.


Wednesday 28             Go on a business tour.  Visit Bank of England.  The inner court & fountain.  Go to the Consulate, St. Helen’s Church, and Crosby Hall.  Ride

[p.22] to the Legation.  First ride in Underground Railway.  Return home and start afresh making calls on Mrs. Stannard and Mrs. Henderson.  In the evening we accompany the Russells to Madame Blavatsky’s. 

[note: Madame Blavatsky was a founder of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society.]


Thursday         Remain at home to rest.  A note from Andrew Lang saying he would soon call.  Letter from Mrs. Belcher.

[note: this may be the writer Andrew Lang, best known for his books of fairy tales.]


Friday.             Westminster Abbey.  Call from Mr. Lang.


Saturday          National Gallery.  Call from Mr. Curtis in the evening.


Sunday             Go to Balham to visit Mrs. Katharine Mac[part of page is missing]



Monday, June 2nd        Attended a cricket match with Andrew Lang.  The Russell reception in the evening.


Tuesday           St. Paul’s, Temple and Temple Church, the Cell in the Wall.  Up the Thames to Chelsea where we visited the house in which Carlisle died.


Wednesday      National Portrait Gallery.


Thursday         We view the Tower.


Friday              All the day spent in shopping but little bought.


Saturday          Reception at Mrs. Stannard’s.  (John Strange Winter).


Sunday             Meet Justin Mc-




Monday 9th          Cut out mantle.  Go to the Russells in the evening.


Tuesday           Attend the Townsend wedding at All Saints.  Meet Mrs. Corbett, Mrs. Parke and the Grovesnors [sic, possibly means Grosvenors].  Rosamond is with us.  Call on Mrs. Marshall and then finish up our shopping.  See the Daly Co.


Wednesday      Take a trip to Haslemere.  Ride in lover’s lane.  A happy day for all its disappointments.


Thursday         Furnival’s Inn, British Museum


Friday              Lincoln’s Inn, Ely Chapel, Great St. Bartholomew, Smithfield Market, London Wall, lunch at Crosby Hall, Guildhall and its pictures.



Saturday          Parliament buildings, Westminster.  Encounter the Prince of Wales in Piccadilly.  Rotten Row.  Call from Mrs. Parke.


Sunday             Very fatigued.


Monday           Not well.  Mrs. Crommelin’s tea at 5.  Meet there Mrs. Cashel Hoey & Fergus Home.  Received call from Mrs. Costelloe.


Tuesday 17th                          Still not well but attend the salon in the evening.


Wednesday                  Tea at Mrs. Corbett’s.  Meet Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. & Miss Grosvenor of Buffalo.


Thursday         Attend a session in the House of Lords.


Friday              Ill.


Saturday          Ill but go to Balham

[p.26] to Mrs. Macquoid’s garden party.  Meet there Mr. Sharp & one of the editors of the Atheneum.  Also Miss Helps, daughter of the late Sir Arthur Helps.  What she said of George Eliot.


Sunday             Ill enough to rest.


Monday           Ill.


Tuesday           Ill.  Have Dr. Schofield.


Wednesday      Dr. Wilberforce Smith.  Mrs. Gowing’s tea.


Thursday         Meet Mr. Walter Besant.  Mrs. Defries tea.

[note: Walter Besant was a novelist.]


Friday              Very ill at the doctor’s.  Recover and go to Mrs. Hoey’s tea.


Saturday          Become worse and finally send for third doctor.


Sunday             A sick day.


Monday           Begin to mend.


Tuesday July 1 Mrs. Henderson’s tea.


Wednesday                  Still better.  The Fair.


Thursday                     Call on Mrs. Leslie.



Friday July 4th                      Had a view of the Queen this morning.  The children also saw her as she rode from the Paddington Station.  This afternoon I called again on Mrs. Cashel-Hoey.


Saturday                      Call on Mrs. Parke in the evening.


Tuesday                       The authors’ dinner.  See seating diagram in scrapbook.

[half of page is blank]


[p. 28 is blank]





Thursday July [date left blank]            Leave Victoria Station for Dover.  Mrs. & Miss Coues there to bid us good-bye.  Leave cars at Canterbury.  Walk through the park and rambling narrow streets to the Rose Hotel.  After a good meal, visit the Cathedral.  Children are with us.  Walk through the Close afterwards, then visit St. Martin’s Church where there is a font supposed to be used by St. Augustine to baptize Queen Bertha.  Take the train again and ride to Dover where we sleep.



Friday              Leave Dover at 12.15 for Ostende.  A quiet passage yet all are ill but Nellie and Sterling, who sleeps through the passage.  Reach Bruges at 5.  Our first experience with French.  Wooden sabots.  Long cloaks.  Go

[p.30] to the Hotel du Commerce.  Landlady and servants all drawn up in a row to receive us.  A good hotel.  Stroll in the evening.  Chimes from the Belfry.


Saturday          The chimes, silvery as they are, kept me awake.  We visit the Cathedral, the Hotel de Ville, see the great fire-place in the Palais de Justice, and traverse through the markets and amongst the market women spreading their wares in the open street.  We are charmed with the quaint aspect of everything, the narrowness of the streets, the pointed facades varying in height, width and color, but similar in formation.  We get pleasure out of the sudden


turns, the unexpected nooks, the vivid tiles, the brilliant coloring of roof and walls.  Red roofs and cream-white or white-washed walls against a blue sky.  In the afternoon we looked into the shops, bought a pin of local manufacture and photographs, then visited Memling’s statue and walked along the canals.  The latter add much to the picturesqueness of the town.  There is a peculiar clack-clack heard in the streets.  It is the sound of wooden shoes.  The children have been into several churches today.


Sunday             The children go to church and Charles & I visit the Notre Dame, where we behold the tombs of Charles the Bold and

[p.32] Mary of Burgundy.  Pictures of Van Oost and the Mater Dolorosa of Van Eyck.  We afterwards stroll along the canals.  In the afternoon I rest and in the evening we walk about again and see one or more of the old stone gateways.


Monday           We start for Brussels, stopping at Ghent.  Walk through the latter place, visiting the Cathedral; here we found buried the wife of Charles the Bold at the Back of the altar in the ambulatory.  Were chiefly interested in three old houses back of the fish market.  The skipper’s house, the staple house.  Saw the Marché de Vendredi where the Auto de Feé of the Duke of Alva took place.  Old house on corner.  Being hungry we bought gingerbread and chocolate, and ate at a little table in the street.  Arrive in Brussels & put up


at the Hotel de Saxe.  Rooms on an inner court.  Charles & I ride in the tramways in the evening, and see much of the town.  Theatrical performances in the street.  Little Sterling slightly ill.  Buy some lace.


Tuesday 29      Walk to Cook’s for tickets.  Start for Antwerp.  Put up at the Hotel Hollande.  Near the quays.  Visit the Cathedral.  Lace-like spire.  Statue in front of the Hotel de Ville.  Rubens’ great picture “The Descent from the Cross.”  Carved figures of saints at each confessional.  Assumption of the Virgin.  In the evening, walk on the Promenade by the river.  Children like it. 


Wednesday      Visit Plantin’s old house and printing establishment.  Saw a man making copies of portraits in old [sic; a word seems to be missing] who had no arms.  He used his feet as other men would use their arms for the same[?] work.  Great treat.  Ride

[p.34] on tramway to Ahrend but buy nothing.  In the evening we ride again and go through the more aristocratic streets.


Thursday         Leave for The Hague.  Put up at Hotel Paulez.  After lunch visit the old prison where we stand in the very room where De Witt was imprisoned.  Walk through the Builtenhof and stroll about generally.  In the evening ride to Scheveningen and there listen to a concert.

[note: Cornelis de Witt was imprisoned in 1672.  His brother Johan visited him on August 20, and both were killed by a mob.  Both de Witts were involved in politics.]


Friday              See the Picture Gallery.  Rembrandt’s “School of Anatomy,” Murillo’s “Virgin and Child,” Rembrandt’s “Simeon in the Temple.”  Afternoon Scheveningen with the children.



Saturday – The Queen’s Birthday


Sunday             A restful day.  The Hotel Paulez the best hotel we have struck.  The Queen’s birthday celebration enabled us to get a good insight into the Dutchman’s holiday character.  They sang and made merry but of the thousands who thronged the city none were disorderly.  Fried cakes about 2 inches in diameter called “poffertjez” were eaten in booths fitted up for the occasion (portable); a band played in the square adjacent the hotel during the afternoon & in the grand old woods at night and liberal illumination.  The young men and women (hundreds of them) in different parties linked arms

[p.36] and wandered up and down the streets singing a national hymn or song.  It was monotonous toward midnight but agreeable enough to hear when connected with the day and the honest delight of the people.  The children enjoyed seeing the simple entertainments provided for the people.  Dutch “Punch & Judy” show called “Puffe Kaste,” trained mice & monkeys, merry go round, etc., etc.  Took them to prison room where De Witt was confined.  Ros seemed to take in what the young Dutchman tried to tell his by following his pantomime in explaining the instruments of torture.  She finally made grimaces and shrugs, saying


“Let us go.  I’ve had enough of this.”  We purchased a green toned modern Delft plaque here.

            Left by train for Amsterdam Aug. 4, stopping over at Leyden about 2 hours.  Saw the striking “Stadt House” front and the picturesque “Borg.”  Arrived at Amsterdam about 2.  Stopped at “Hotel Adrian,” comfortable rooms and good table.  Found German to be of much service.  Kate & self took street car tour – had first ride in a street car that was not one.  It looked like one at a distance but on approach it proved to have rubber tired wheels and required no tracks.  It was not easy riding.  Went to Rijksmuseum with Kate.  Saw Rembrandt’s great picture of the Arquebusier Company. 

[p.38]  It produced no great effect upon us.  Saw few others of his, all remarkable.  Saw also three of Jos. Israel’s & Benj. Constant’s “Theodora,” Mesdag’s “Open Sea,” a beautiful sunset cloud & still sea pictures.  In the afternoon Nellie, Ster.,  Ros & self went to gallery but only Ros & Nellie could enter since Sterling was too young to be admitted.  He & self waited in lower corridor but having a little business to attend to here[?], he had an opportunity to see some doll’s houses on lower floor.  The next day I went alone to fix things in my mind & having caught a glimpse of the “Arquebusier” picture at a distance the day previous, I saw it that way again.  The effect was startling – dazzlingly beautiful.  Took Kate & Ros to museum in afternoon to see that picture again.  We were more than repaid


for the trouble.  We saw also some etchings of Van Dyke, Rembrandt, Rubens, etc., beautiful old Delft plaques, old Chinese china, Tuscan earthenware plaques, and the most exquisite ivory carving that has fallen under our notice, namely two zephyr like lanterns & an oval basket, all large pieces together with an ivory blanket or mat.  The things at this museum are more beautiful than numerous.  Ros seemed to enjoy seeing the things – she was much taken by Mesdag’s “Open Sea,” saying “That’s the way the sky looks when I am in bed.”  We caught a glimpse of the canal system at Leyden but “the thing itself” is at Amsterdam.  They are fresh compared to those of other Holland cities.  The houses are similar in appearance but delightfully varied in finish.  This applies especially to the gable ends.


            We thought that the children would cease to be an object of curiosity in Amsterdam, but on the contrary, their close fitting caps & long dresses with short waists & their serious merry ways caused numbers to flock after them.  A policeman was compelled to disperse a crowd from before hotel one day.  Some followed them to hotel to inquire about their nationality.  I made a sketch for an Englishman who wanted his children dressed the same.  The beauty of it all is that both Ros & Ster are totally unconscious of the cause of so much attention. We left the old city much pleased with it and regretting that new residences are being built & old places being removed to be replaced by the less beautiful modern structures.

[note: see photo of children on p.9 of the book The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs]



            Arrived at Cologne on Thursday at about 2.  Kate did not go out until evening when it was growing dark.  We walked by a few places mentioned in “Baedecker’s Guide” & finally got where we could see the towers of the “Dom” or Cathedral.  The sight was a revelation of wondrous grandeur.  It does not appear possible that the mind of finite man could have conceived so marvelous a work or that men could have reared it, yet there it stands towering in majestic beauty far above our heads, speaking monumentally of how close akin is the soul of man to his maker and showing how near God permits some of his creatures to do things that to his less gifted people

[p.42] seem almost like the work of his own hand.  It impresses me [or one] as a great natural phenomena [sic] might that is now and always has been and must endure until the creator bids its existence cease - Niagara Falls, and thunders into an abyss.  The Cathedral of Cologne rises from an abyss into the azure above, outstretching and uplifting its exquisite proportions and infinite grace into the upper world of beauty, purity and peace.  I cannot write of the impression it produced upon us without it calling up a feeling of sadness.  We looked at it as long as possible on leaving this morning, Aug. 9, for Coblenz, on the Rhine steamer


“Deutscher Kaiser.”  We purchased a photograph of Queen Louisa of Prussia, the original of which we saw in Museum (at Cologne).  The painting is beautiful in the extreme.  We saw other striking works of art at Cologne Museum, viz. Cromwell & his favorite Daughter (she dying), Translation of Moses, “The Smith[?]” (barbaric), “By the waters of Babylon we sat down,” “Wrestlers” (Swiss[?] scene).

            Today Aug. 9, we sailed up the river and enjoyed the scenery very much after leaving Bonn.  Drachenfels, Roland’s Arch & the picturesque & mountainous country about.  Coblenz is very “smelly” (surface drainage).  Our hotel is well located (“The Anchor”) for viewing Ehrenbreitstein & the bridges as well

[p.44] as the others parts of opposite shore.  Children enjoyed trip.


Aug. 10            Walk with the children in the park that runs along the short of the Rhine.  They play with pebbles and are very happy.  Bright silver globes.  View to left.


11th                              Sail to Mayence.  A day beyond compare.  Castle after castle, hill after hill.  A slight rain, lovely, lovely time.  In Mayence Charles & I stroll through the narrow streets, coming upon old prisons and picturesque spots a stone’s throw from the modern avenue that flanks the Rhine.  The old towers.  The Cathedral, the sit down in the small park.


12th          Another walk and start for Heidleberg [sic, i.e. Heidelberg].  Pass Hesse,


Darmstadt.  Reach Heidleberg late, Rosamond out after dark.  Hotel full, go to another, take a walk and ride in street cars in the evening.  Disappointed in town.


13        Visit the ruined schloss.  Find it magnificent.  Start for Baden.  Find Abbie at depot.


14th          Settle down for a long stay.  Pine forest.  Walks.  Castles.


16th          Attend a tea given by the Baroness Robindorff at the Schirnhof.  Meet several barons and counts.  Games, beer & ice cream.  Gentlemen all ask to be introduced.  German custom.



20th      Call on Mrs. Brandt, an Austrian lady, at her charming villa.  Figs!  Rose.  Dogs.  View of Strassburg [sic] Cathedral.


22nd         Tea given by Abbie.  Mrs. Parker, Madame Santa Maria, the children act so prettily.


26th          Birthday party at the Seaman’s, a Russian family.


27th          Go to Stuttgart.  First night spent away from Rosamond.  Hard storm.  Grand sunset & rainbow.  Pleasantly received in S. by Mr. Lutz.


28th          Walk with Mr. L to visit his wife.  In afternoon ride to Canstadt [i.e. Cannstadt] through a bower of trees.  Visit Miss Jalabi[?].  See the Al-


hambra Palace of the King of Wurtemberg.  Return to S by train.


29th      Take early train for Nuremberg.  Spend afternoon in rambling over the old place under the protection of an umbrella.  See the Bridge, the old roofs, with windows in tiers, the Berg, its prison, well, and Ethelberta’s tree.  The two chapels.  Hohenzollerns burial place.  The shop werhe Albert Durer drank beer, Albert Durer’s house, Hans Sachs’ house, &c, &c.  Bought toys for the children.  A good hotel.


30        Return to Stuttgart.  Mr. & Mrs. L at station.  Give us a ride around Stuttgart and

[p.48] up on the hill.  Return to Baden and find the children well.


31.       Rosamond’s birthday.  Five years old.  Cake with candles.  The three Taylor children.  Peasant doll.  Basket for doll.


Sept. [5 crossed out]   Commence[?] III act of play.  Leavenworth Case.


Sept. 5th           Walk to the Sburg[?].  Taylor children lost.


Sept. 7th           Walk to Frenisburg[?]. 


[Sept.] 9th       Tea at Mahlers.


Sept. 10th         Tea at the Brandt’s.  Ride there with Baroness Robendorff.


11th      Tea at Mahler’s. 


12th      Ride down street with Charles. 


13th      [ditto marks for above statement] and children to buy shoes. 


14th      Walk in woods, teach children texts.  Seeman’s.       



15th      Start for Triberg.  Splendid day.  Wonderful ride.  Farmer’s houses.  Falls at Triberg.  Children seen coming out of forest. 


16        Ride to Zurich.  Falls of the Rhine.  Fine town.  Painted buildings.  Narrow but clean  streets.  Quaint houses with projecting roofs.


[at bottom of page: pencil drawings of chimneys or towers and a sailing boat, with different colors of sails noted, labeled Venice, Oct. 6, ‘90]



The Rathhaus[sic, i.e. Rathaus].  Houses in which lived the patriot Zwingle [probably means Zwingli, a leader of the Reformation who lived in Zurich].  The Lake.  A Swiss wedding.  Rows of fine shops.  Auntie Libbie.


Sterling Padua Oct. 10, ’90 [This written next to two circles, perhaps drawn by Sterling.]


17th Sept.         Ride to Lucerne.  Pilatus.  First view of Rigi.  Bridges with pictures inside.  Towers, 7, all different, some colored.  View from window.  Children dine in little room adjoining.  Charles & I walk and see Ratthaus [sic, i.e. Rathaus].  Children with us.  Thread the narrow streets.  The buildings similar to those in Zurich.  In evening price wooden box and plaques.


18th      Pleasant hotel.


Church at end of street with twin spires very slender.  Walk over bridge, Pilatus has his collar on.  Come back through streets.  Stroll up to where the towers are and visit Thorwaldsen’s [sic, i.e. Thorvaldsen] Lion.  Hear music at night.


19        Buy placque [sic], start for St. Gotthard’s.  Sail on lake.  Fluellen.  Lunch.  Walk with children.  Chapel.  Sterling & holy water.  Ride in cart.  Pear tree.  Ride up the mountains & reach dreary Goschenen.  Greeting to Sterling.  Stranger on cards.  Walk with lantern. 


20        Ride to Rhone Glacier.   


21        Morning in the valley, snow hills in the distance.


Queer eating.  Sit in room in afternoon. 


22.       Ride into Italy.  Mist than driving rain.  Get out of cars at Lugarno [sic, i.e. Lugano].  Reach Como.  Walk into village, see Cathedral. 

[the above entry in ink in written on top of an entry in pencil, which reads:  Sails.  Checkerboard.  Black horse on Orange.] 


23        Try to sail on lake but it rains too hard.  Ride to Milan.  Buy amber beads. 


24th      See the wonderful Duomo.  Walk through Arcade, visit La Scala. 


25th      Ride to see Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”  Traverse various streets.  Shop windows. 

26.       Good hotel.  Get up early & ascend to top of Duomo.  Cannot see Alps.  Visit



Picture Gallery.  Mail arrives. 


27th      Walk to see old statehouse.  Buy brasses & gloves. 


28th      Vespers in Duomo. 


29th      Start for Verona.  Hotel on Adige.  Visit the piazza di Signori.  Tombs of the Scaligeris. 


30th      Juliet’s House & tomb.  Amphitheatre.  Lunch at café, meeting children, Castel de San Pietro.  Theatre of old Romans.  Leave for Venice.  Our arrival.


Wed., Oct. 1    Palace of the Doges, San Marco, Baptistry, Piazza.  Ride in gondola from Blumenthals through small canal.  Walk through the Merceria at night.  Ices on the piazza.


Thursday         Steamer ride on

[p.54] the canal.  Serinata.  Mandolin playing on the canal. 


3rd        Gondola ride, Blumenthal’s, Glass works, Grand Canal, Gondolier.  Small sails -  checkerboard - horse on orange. 


4th        Visit the Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs.  Commenced copying play, L. Case.


 5th       Doge’s Palace with children.  St. Mark’s.  In the afternoon walk to St. Maria Fomiosa.  St. Barbara, St. Gido[?] & Paolo.  Chapel half burned.  Statue Bartolomeo Corleoni – chimneys – sketch – walk through to Blumenthal’s.  Ride home down the Grand Canal. 


6th        Copy – Fine Arts Academy.  Gondola ride in the small canals.  See Tintoretto’s house.  Ghetto – Grand Canal – small canals again.  Leopoldi Paulo.



Buy picture for Ros.  To Frari, see Canova’s tomb.


7th        Write.  To Lido in the afternoon with the children.  Sea-horses. 


Wednesday, Oct. 8      Walk to Contarini Palace, charming time.  Campo & Court, staircase.  Blumenthal.  Ride home in gondola.  In evening buy photographs.


Thursday         Ascend the campanile.  In the afternoon ride in gondola with children around the Giudecca, into small canals, the Grand Canal, again into small canals, getting out at Piazzaetta.  Walk to Saviati but buy glass on the piazza.


Friday, 10th     Start for Padua.  Charming ride to station.  Arrive in Padua, go to hotel

[p.56] and then start out for a walk.  Buy chesnuts [sic, i.e. chestnuts] in market place.  See Il Salone, piazza, arcades, arena.  Walk to cars.  Ride down to park surrounded by statues, meet children, leave them again & go into S. Guistina.


Sat. 11th           Ride to Ferrarra.  [sic, i.e. Ferrara]  See Este Castello, Savonarola’s statue, chocolate, façade of cathedral, campanile, Ariosto’s house.  Go on to Bologna.  Good hotel, fine rooms.  Walk in the evening and stand under the Leaning towers.  Saw a funeral, men carrying candles.


12th      Arcades & courtyards are the features here.  Went to cathedral, Leaning towers, a pile of chapels, one of them round, and to the picture gallery.  A Raffelle [sic, i.e. Raphael] & Guido Reni.  Children



[top line is mostly missing] afternoon visit palace & the Cathedral again.  R.[?] whose self[?] is developing wished me very much of a goodnight this evening.


[rough sketch of a  framed picture, labeled “frame in Bologna Gallery”]


Fences in Italy like gravestones.  Grapes supported by stone slabs.  Loggias in Florence, overhanging roofs to gables in Zurich.  Courts in Milan.  Arcades in Bologna.


13th      Ride to Florence.  In the evening walk to see the Duomo & Giotto’s tower.  Palazzo Vecchio & the Loggia.


14th      Write.  Enter Duomo and Baptistry.  Cross the Ponte Vecchio. 


15th      Visit the consul, library, and walk through the Via.  [two illegible words]



16th      Walk along the Arno, buy photographs, see the court of Palazzo Vecchio.


17th      San Lorenzo & other churches.  Finish the play. 


18th      San Novello.


 19th     Attend church with Rosamond.  In the afternoon, visit the Chapel of the Princes, in San Lorenzo.  Cross to Boboli Gardens.  Ride to Porte Romana & thence home.  See Casa Guidi.


(nine months away)


[Inside back cover: appears to be an idea for a story; many words difficult to read]


Belle[?] lone[?] astonished his[?] father[?]  Fred in his room.  Father was so [illegible] for him, but not of life – Suicide.  whose[?] drink goes down to mother’s pic-ture - drunk it there, moonlight on it - thinks – eyes cup [words crossed out] on table – broods again – Noise at window – Annabel comes in – pants – sees wine – goes to it.  Fred’s struggle – stops her – talk – she begins to love him – goes back – Fred pours it out drop by drop – retires.  Morning light.


Goes down with father to courthouse.  Sees D. Attorney – tells of will – sees Annabel in other room – eye on clock – hopes against hope – clock strikes – must speak to father – seen telling him – father totters out – given in charge of Agnes.


Fred tells his  sl[illegible]