Henry (Hank) Waruf and his wife Carrie (Paak) Waruf owned the resort Ramona Palace and Ramona Park, as well as many cottages and their own home, at Long Lake in Portage, Michigan.

Since Carrie is one of the Paak sisters, and her sister Alice Paak DeKorn was my great-great-grandmother, I’ve focused more on the Paaks. But Henry Waruf is a very interesting character in Kalamazoo’s early history.

Adri van Gessel was so kind to do some research on the Waruf family. Henry himself appeared to be a bit of a dead end because the name Waruf seemed to come out of nowhere. But Adri broke through that brick wall and discovered Henry’s origins.

Who Was Hank?

Henry was born Hendrik Walraven on September 7, 1863 at Kloetinge, the Netherlands. Apparently Koetinge is part of Goes. Big shock there since the majority of my mom’s ancestors seem to have come from Goes.

He was married on June 2, 1882 at Kalamazoo (MI) to Cornelia Peek (Carrie Paak), daughter of Teunis Peek and Jacoba Bassa.  Cornelia was born on May 8, 1862 at Lexmond and died in January 1957 at Kalamazoo (MI).  Henry died on November 29, 1945 at Orlando (FL).

I don’t know if Henry was on vacation in Florida, living there part of the year, or if the couple (who had no children) had moved there and Carrie went back to Kalamazoo after his death. I could try to research this through city directories, phone books, etc. The research I have done was mainly through newspapers, and I discovered that, although Henry (or Hank) usually spelled his last name “Waruf,” sometimes it shows up as “Warruf.” Still, it looks to me as if Joseph is the one who changed the family surname to Warruf/Waruf in the United States from the original Walraven.

Henry had one sister,  Maria Walraven, born March 3, 1866 at Goes, but she died before 1870 in the Netherlands.

Henry and Maria were born to Joseph Walraven (Joseph Warruf), son of Hendrikus Walraven and Elisabetha Resch, who was born on October 13, 1837 at Goes, died on December 11, 1910 at Kalamazoo (MI).

Joseph was married on May 21, 1863 at Goes to Melanie de Munck (Mary), daughter of Jan de Munck and Maria Joseph Bataille.  Melanie was born on October 16, 1840 at Goes and died on March 18, 1914 at Kalamazoo (MI). Joseph, Melanie, and Henry immigrated to the U.S. in 1868, when Henry was 5 years old.

A Bataille Connection

Notice the name Bataille. I’ve previously written about a Bataille ancestor in these posts:

An Update on the Bataille Family

A Familial Occupation

How Did Etaples, France, Show Up in My Family Tree?

Hank Went into Business

As I mentioned, “Hank” (Henry) and Carrie (Cornelia) were married in 1882, when he was 19 and she was 20. By 1885, he was advertising a business selling guns in the Kalamazoo Gazette, where it’s noted that he took over the gun shop of W. Blanchard.

Sept 17, 1885 Click the link and scroll to the bottom for the ad. By September 1886, Hank added “gunsmith” to his name on the ads.

I was astonished to discover, in an 1897 Polk Directory, that Henry Waruf owned the gun shop in partnership with Richard “Ro-mine” who I take to be Richard Remine. Richard “Dick” Remine was Hank’s brother-in-law. He was married to Carrie’s sister, Mary, another sister of my great-great-grandmother. Richard was born in 1857 and so was six years older than Hank. I’ve written before that the person who inherited the Long Lake resort was Therese Remine, Richard’s daughter. So there might have been another reason that she was the sole inheritor of that property–because her father had been in business with Waruf. How long were they partners? I am going to guess that Waruf was the true businessman of the two–and an ambitious man.


Richard Remine

Hank Was a Man of Many Talents

Hank shows up often in the Gazette, and I was able to see that he became a talented shooter, a prize-winning breeder of English Spaniels (no wonder my grandfather’s family always had this breed of dogs), and a collector of real estate. He reported regularly to the State Board of Fish Commissioners on the fish in Long Lake.

Here is an article where he literally won all the prizes at a shoot. Sept 7, 1899. There are many articles about the shoots he attended and referreed. He also represented Kalamazoo at a state shoot in Bay City.

The award-winning dogs owned by Henry show up in publications by the American Kennel Club, The Field Dog Stud Book, and The Fanciers’ Journal. I traced the beginnings of this sideline to a Gazette article that mentions that Hank was going into the business of raising hunting dogs and had brought in a fine pointer from Lowell with a pedigree going “way back.”  Click the link for the article–right side about 1/3 down.Feb 28, 1899.

In 1919, there is a newspaper article about the houses that Waruf was selling. These houses were all on the north side of Kalamazoo. I know that he also owned all the cottages near the resort at Long Lake, so he was used to being a landlord. I wonder if he had been renting out all these houses or if he was flipping them. I suspect he had been renting the houses. Here is the article. April 2, 1919

Finally, on August 30, 1904, Kalamazoo Gazette published a cute story. A Gazette reporter climbed the water tower at the asylum. This is the tower that my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn built (click here). From that vantage point he was able to see all the way to Gull Lake in one direction and Long Lake in another. He mentions a great many notable people and what he claims he saw them doing at the time. About Waruf, he wrote, “‘Hank’ Waruf shining up his guns at Long Lake for the duck season.” The details in the article conjure up a Breughel painting, so I find it a little impossible, but definitely amusing. Here is the article: Aug 30, 1904



Here are some images I have previously published on The Family Kalamazoo:

Henry and Carrie (Paak) Waruf

Henry and Carrie (Paak) Waruf

Waruf home Sprinkle Road

Waruf home
Sprinkle Road

Ramona Palace, Long Lake Portage (once Vicksburg), Michigan

Ramona Palace, Long Lake
Portage (once Vicksburg), Michigan

I’ve written about the place and the people here:

I am not a car expert by any means. I hope I never have to identify a getaway car, for instance. I can give a description of details, but I can’t identify the make or year of a vehicle. My husband can. I am amazed sometimes at how he can tell me a year of a car when it sees it way down the street. But I am not asking him the questions I have because the answers lie in the early history of the American automobile–and I doubt he knows much about those first cars.

So I ask you: is this first one a Model T car? Or is it something else? And what year might it be? Sometime in the 20s, I believe.

The car is driven by my great-grandfather, Frank Klein. That’s my grandmother sitting shotgun. In the back is her sister Helen and her mother, my great-grandmother. Their house in Elmhurst, Illinois, is behind the car. That looks like a sawhorse on the left. I wonder what is underneath and why it’s there.

Here’s a photo of what I think is a different car. Notice the different roof, headlamps, etc. Do they both have the same double windshield? I can’t figure out the background/setting at all. I love these “motoring” outfits. What kind of car is this?Do you have old photos with cars in them? How did you determine what kind of car?


I’m sorry that I went on hiatus without mentioning it. I will be back, but it will be a little while before that happens. In the meantime, I thought I’d let you know that I published a book of poetry. Like my posts, there is nostalgia in many of the poems. In case you hadn’t heard about it, April is National Poetry Month. Here’s your chance to support our national poetry ;).

You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking through the book image.

There are reviews at this link, as well.  These are the advance reviews from the back cover:

“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes.  Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss.


Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Streets in Their Own Ink



In her haunting first collection, Luanne Castle has created a space where “the sounds/of the schoolchildren/and the traffic/grind down/to nothing” and where the reader is invited to experience the lasting echo of our primal human past. Who makes our toys, and why? Which toys and in whose likeness?  With startling imagery and a keen eye for the subtler shapes of violence and redemption, Castle asks us to consider and re-consider these questions. Like a “world of broken mirrors waiting” the poems call us back to ourselves, our childhoods, and the potential rewards of prayer and reflection. I find both hope and despair in these pages, where “every day the world subtracts from itself and nothing/is immune,” and every object contains a voice and a story. This is a fierce and beautiful book.


Caroline Goodwin, author of Trapline



Luanne Castle’s new collection, Doll God, is sublime.  The manner of these poems– that they embrace the doll and bring to it humanity and divinity–is something to behold.  The voice in these poems is tender, visceral, and wonderfully human.  Ms. Castle has forged a vision that feels like something you want to dance with, dress up, talk to like a child, but with an adult’s sensibility.  I love these poems with my whole heart because they make me feel both childlike and grown, simultaneously.  Doll mistresses, primordial conches, Barbies, infuse these poems with tremendous humanity, and they delight with purpose, sadness and joy, and an incredible range that will leave you breathless.


Matthew Lippman, author of American Chew


The alumni department of my alma mater, Western Michigan University (yes, the one in Kalamazoo, OF COURSE), published a nice interview of me here.

My heart is with my blog peeps while I’m gone. See you soon!


Here is a photograph that I feel I might have a lead on:


We see that there are three females in the photo above. Is the woman in the next photograph the woman on left of the photo?

I ask this question because Grandpa identified this woman as Cora DeSmit. The photographer is the same for both photos.

Cora DeSmit was a daughter of John and Mary DeSmit. Mary was Richard DeKorn’s sister. Cora might have been born in 1888, and she passed away in 1953 (or 1954).  I have still not really investigated the DeSmit family. I believe that there was an oldest sister, Jennie, 1875 to 1908. So the oldest woman in the photograph could be Jennie. But if Cora is the middle of the three sisters in the photograph, that doesn’t fit with my preliminary information that shows these two other DeSmit sisters:

Frances Gertrude DeSmit was born 22 Nov 1883 in Kalamazoo and died 15 Jan 1980 in Kalamazoo. She was married to Charles Reeves and then Jacob Flipse.  I’ve actually written about her here and here. I met this woman when she was elderly. 

Then there was also Gertrude, 1889-1903. She died of “acute rheumatism with endo carditis.”  Could this have been Rheumatic Fever? She was only 13 years old.

So let’s say this photograph of the 3 was taken in 1902. Jennie would have been 27, Cora, 14, Frances 19, and Gertrude 12 or 13.

The configuration of sisters could be Frances, Cora, and Gertrude (before Gertrude passed away).  Why wasn’t Jennie in the photograph then? Jennie didn’t marry until she was 30 years old, in 1905. Or is it Jennie in the photograph? If it was, where was Frances? Frances married Charles Reeves in 1902, so maybe this photograph was taken around the time that the girls’ sister Frances was being married?

If the youngest girl here is truly Gertrude, imagine the sadness of these sisters not long after the photograph was taken–to lose their youngest sister. Then Jennie died five years later, magnifying their sadness.

Here is another photo from the box of my family photos. Now this photo begs the question: was she actually a member of my family? I have found photographs in our collection that are not of relatives. I wrote earlier about Tom Richmond and his family, neighbors of my relatives. Tom was the butcher. Also, we have a photograph of Dutch Arnold, the saloon keeper.

There are no clues on the photo. Grandpa didn’t know who she was, but it’s likely that she was from Kalamazoo. I would love to have someone claim this photograph of their relative!!

Any clues you can see in the photograph?

If you tuned in last week (here), you saw a photograph of a woman in a Pilgrim-style bonnet and black dress. The photographer was based in the Dutch towns of Utrecht and Den Haag (The Hague).  Thanks to a Dutch reader, Hubert Theuns, I learned these facts associated with the photo:

The photographer, Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen, was born in Utrecht 18.11.1861 and died in Hilversum 05.01.1936. Photographs from the period 1886-1915 can be found athttps://rkd.nl/nl/explore/portraits#query=cjl+vermeulen&start=0&filters%5Bcollectienaam%5D%5B%5D=RKD%20%28Collectie%20Iconografisch%20Bureau%29

In the Dutch province of Zeeland there is a society for the preservation of traditional costumes. The secretary of that society identified the traditional costume as the traditional costume of Cadzand, a small town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In 2007 Cadzand had about 800 inhabitants. I believe this information may be useful to you.

I was thrilled with this information. The thought of a costume native to a small town–and owning a family photograph of that costume–was beyond anything I ever expected.

A couple of days later, I had a thought. What if I was wrong and this photo wasn’t the only one by this photographer in my archival boxes? So I searched and searched. And then I found. This photo:

Compare it with the photograph of the woman. Different table, but the screen and the carpet are the same. The chair might be the same. Now we have clothing that looks more fashionable for the period.

Craziest connection between the two photos: the book held by a woman above and by the woman below! The same book? What is the meaning of holding the book? Is this a stylistic tic of the photographer or does it have Victorian meaning, something like the language of flowers?

Do you think these photos were taken at the same time? Part of a family group? Could the woman below be the mother of the three above?



Here are the backs of the photos in case they offer any clues:


Note that they both have the 3 digit telephone numbers. According to the research of Hubert Theuns:

The telephone was introduced at The Hague on July 1, 1883, and at Utrecht in February 1883. There used to be local telephone directories, but I have not (yet) found any on the internet. National telephone directories were published as from 1901. The collection of national telephone directories from 1901 till 1950 are being digitalised by the dutch national library, but unfortunately this process has found delays. Only the national directory of 1915 is available on the internet, and shows that the photographer in 1915 in Utrecht had the same three digit number as mentioned on the photograph, but that his number in The Hague already had four digits.

That leaves quite a range of time that the photo could have been taken. It definitely is pre-WWI; that is one thing I know. But are the styles 1890s or after 1900? It seems to me that the skirts are becoming “slim,” so maybe closer to 1910?

Well, Hubert has been busy at work and has been able to narrow down the time period even more. This is what he wrote yesterday:

New developments. I contacted a local history circle in Zeeland (without being a member) to have the photo put up at their website for identification. I got the reply that they contacted a museum in Nieuwvliet, devoted to the regional costume of Cadzand. The museum replied that the scan of the photo is not detailed enough and requested the original photo. . . .
I also contacted the museum on communication (devoted to the telephone) in The Hague about telephone directories. The librarian informed me that the archive of the municipality of The Hague has a collection of old telephone directories of The Hague. This morning I visited the archive and consulted their collection of “Adresboeken” for The Hague and Scheveningen.
C.J.L. Vermeulen was listed for the first time in the Adresboek, 47th edition, year 1898-1899, but without telephone number.
In the books 1899-1900, 1900-1901, 1901-1902, en 1902-1903 he is mentioned with telephone number 774 (as on the photo).
In the book 52the edition 1903-1904 the telephone number is 1873.
On the basis of the information the photo must originate from 1899-1902, with a possible extension to 1898-1903).

Isn’t that something?! Now we know that the photograph had to have been taken between 1898 and 1903, most likely between 1899 and 1902. Hubert’s sleuthing is beyond compare!

For me, there is no comparison between the two photographs in interest. The woman in the bonnet has a compelling expression and handles the book as if she cares about books. The young woman holding the book doesn’t seem to care at all about it. She does look uncomfortable–as if she would rather change into her everyday clothes! I’d guess it was her sister, standing, who wanted them to wear matching fashionable dresses.

My gratitude to Hubert Theuns is boundless. I could not have imagined such a detailed answer to the questions of the lady in the unusual outfit.

UPDATE:  This photograph has been identified as to the clothing and location it is from.  See the update at the bottom of the post!!

This one is no doubt my favorite of the unidentifed photos in the archival storage box.

Look at her outfit. She looks like a pilgrim, doesn’t she? Or maybe Emily Dickinson with a pilgrim bonnet on?


Look at the book in her hand. What is it? A Bible? A hymnal? A prayer book? Surely there is significance to the text.

This is one of my few photos from Utrecht. Did I have family there?

Well, Alice Paak, my great-grandmother, was from Lexmond, which is south of Utrecht, so you could say that that branch of the family comes from the vicinity of Utrecht.

I can’t figure out the relationship. Also, Alice and her siblings were blue-eyed blondes.

Here is the back of the photo in case it offers any clues:


UPDATE: Reader Hubert Theuns has commented below with the following information which adds a lot of information to this photograph.

The photographer, Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen, was born in Utrecht 18.11.1861 and died in Hilversum 05.01.1936. Photographs from the period 1886-1915 can be found athttps://rkd.nl/nl/explore/portraits#query=cjl+vermeulen&start=0&filters%5Bcollectienaam%5D%5B%5D=RKD%20%28Collectie%20Iconografisch%20Bureau%29

In the Dutch province of Zeeland there is a society for the preservation of traditional costumes. The secretary of that society identified the traditional costume as the traditional costume of Cadzand, a small town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. In 2007 Cadzand had about 800 inhabitants. I believe this information may be useful to you.

FASINATING information. I had never heard of Cadzand, but now I will do my research. It doesn’t look too terribly far from Goes–and both towns are in Zeeland.



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