A pile of antique Victorian Era paper scraps including a handmade Valentine from California.

A Victorian Era Handmade California Valentine

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A pile of antique Victorian Era paper scraps including a handmade Valentine from California.

Collecting antiques is collecting stories. If you read my last post, you will know that my mom dropped a box of paper stories on her dining room table yesterday and let me sort through them. I made piles of Easter cards, piles of Victorian Valentines, piles of calling cards, and countless other stacks of colorful paper. Then, there was a small stack of things I set aside to share here on Faedra. The scraps that made it into this special little pile are not rare. They are not the pieces that are worth the most money. I set them aside because they are pretty or tell a sweet story.

This adorable handmade Valentine is my absolute favorite of all. It was handmade by a man “in the far west” for his sweetheart. He cut pretty Victorian scraps and used them to adorn a poem he wrote for his gal.

The poem itself tells of separation. The man, living in California, begs his lady to “take the California overland today.” This is a reference to the California Limited, a train whose track stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles. I found a card for this very train tucked into the box with this Valentine, so perhaps the man got his wish!

An antique card featuring the California Limited train traveling through the Joshua Tree Desert
An Antique Card showing The California Limited train Traveling Through the Desert
A handmade antique Victorian Era valentine from a California man begging his sweetheart to take the California train to see him.
A handmade antique Victorian Era valentine from a California man begging his sweetheart to take the California train to see him.
A handmade antique Victorian Era valentine from a California man begging his sweetheart to take the California train to see him.
A handmade antique Victorian Era valentine from a California man begging his sweetheart to take the California train to see him.
A handmade antique Victorian Era valentine from a California man begging his sweetheart to take the California train to see him.

I’ve transcribed the poem for you:

Here I sit in the far west

Wishing for the girl I love best

Of myself she is a part

Not to have her will break my heart –

What care I for this fine weather

If we cannot dwell together

Sun may shine and flowers may grow

I would give them all for my little No. No.

For my heart will know no rest

Until I fold you to my breast

have pity then, make no delay

Take the California overland today

Isn’t this the sweetest? It’s no wonder that gal hopped on that train! This little ribbon-bound Valentine is one of my favorite Victorian scraps in my collection. It connects young California to the Victorian Era – two of my favorite romances!

What do you think of this adorable Valentine and poem? Leave me a comment below!

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