Skip to main content

Lena Pomeroy Galanis Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SC 00893

Scope and Contents

Lena Pomeroy began her diary on July 31, 1924, when she was just 15 years old. It is a small one, written at the beginning of a composition book that is approximately 6" X 8" in size (15.24 cm X 20.32 cm). She numbered the pages of her diary. When she started it, she was pregnant, and going away from her home in Bartlesville to “the Mother Lee Home.” She made her last entry on December 5, 1924.

The diary entries consistently show how much she missed her family. They also reflect her parents’ steady love and support during this time. Lena wrote often about the letters she was sending home and the ones she was receiving. She noted the kindness of some of the nurses who helped her during her pregnancy. She described meals provided to her, and some of the prenatal care given her; however, the entries suggest that - as a teenager in 1924 - she knew little about pregnancy and child birth. As she moved into the latter part of her pregnancy, she frequently wished that she would “get sick” soon, an apparent euphemism for going into labor. She was eager to get back home. After the birth of daughter (on October 9), she reveals a new and growing attachment. Her first entry declared, “I have a darling little baby girl. She is so sweet and fat. Oh I do love her, she is my very own blood and flesh.” In the weeks that followed, she wrote about the times she had her baby with her, how much she wished she could keep her (“I would give anything if I could only keep her”), and her desire to retain a lock of her hair and a photo of her. She wrote about occasions when people came to see the baby, apparently as prospective adoptive parents. She described the day she left and said good bye to her baby, it being “the saddest moment of [her] life.” Her final entry, made after she was back at home, noted a letter she had written to Dr. Childs in early December, asking “. . . how my precious little darling girl is.” She later wrote that he had answered after Christmas, saying the baby weighed 13 1⁄2 pounds and got enough things at Christmas “for 4 children.”

After the numbered pages of her diary (81), near the back of the composition book, there are entries from another phase of her life. She wrote verses of Christmas songs and popular songs and some school cheers. In some places she recorded jokes and rhymes. At the very back, she turned again to the time of her baby’s birth. She wrote about “Baby Beulah Mae” and the events around her birth.

The composition book, showing her name and address, was used for school geography and history lessons. However, she also used part of the book to describe a trip to Arizona, writing on the inside and back cover, in the margins of her school work, and on blank pages near the back.

The Two Menus: The Galanis family apparently ran the “Blatz Bar and Cafe” in Bartlesville for many years. These are two menus from that business, years unknown.

Dates

  • circa 1922-1924

Language of Materials

English

Physical Description

The papers in this collection consist of (1) a diary she kept, when she was 15-16 years old; (2) a school composition book; and (3) two menus from a “bar and cafe” in Bartlesville.

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Lena Pomeroy (later Lena Pomeroy Galanis) was one of five children of Fletcher and Beulah May Pomeroy. She was born on September 4, 1908, and grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She married George Galanis ON April 8, 1928. Together, the couple ran the Blatz Cafe in Bartlestown until George's death in 1954. Lena died on September 15, 2000.

Extent

0.02 Linear Feet

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2009.379 was purchased on 9/4/2009. Acc. 2009.488 was purchases on 10/22/2009.

Related Materials:

Lena Pomeroy Galanis's mother, Beulah Pomeroy kept diaries from 1926 until the 1940s. They are at the Southern Methodist University Library.

Physical Description

The papers in this collection consist of (1) a diary she kept, when she was 15-16 years old; (2) a school composition book; and (3) two menus from a “bar and cafe” in Bartlesville.

Processing Information:

Accessioned and processed in September and October 2009 by Ute Schechter. Enhanced description in March 2019 by Robert Browne.
Title
Guide to the Lena Pomeroy Galanis Papers
Author
Finding Aid Authors: Ute Schechter with enhanced description by Robert Browne
Date
2009-09-04
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository

Contact: