Ellis Island. Thirty-four year old Adriaan Bustraan and family (five boys, one girl, and one six-month pregnant wife) left Wemeldinge for Antwerp on April 4, 1892. There the family boarded the Waesland of the Red Star Line bound for New York. They arrived at Ellis Island on April 20, 1892. Ellis Island was brand-new, having replaced the Castle Garden immigration station as America’s front door just that January. The steerage manifest for that trip confirms that the officials there were not always accurate. Little Cornelius is listed as a three year old female, Cornelia.
Waesland. The Waesland was a 25-year old vessel with a capacity of 1,620 passengers, of which 120 were first class and 1,500 third class. It had previously been the Russia of the Cunard Line and had been retrofitted for the immigrant trade. “The day of embarkation finds an excited crowd with heavy packs and heavier hearts, climbing the gangplank. An uncivil crew directs the bewildered travellers to their quarters, which in older ships are far too inadequate…” Below is a picture of the Red Star dock in Antwerp.
Daniel Bustraan. My grandfather Daniel was the fifth of Adriaan’s six adult children. His first born, Adriana (or Ada), died in 1917 of pneumonia a year after her birth. His third child, Daniel John (in the uniform), is my father. They proudly stand together outside his house in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
Land of Opportunity. Is there any doubt why the Bustraans came to America? This undated photo is noted with, “Clara and Dan Bustraan 1st House, Lodi, N.J.” They were married in 1913, meaning that in a little over 20 years, the immigrant Daniel went from being the son of a landless Zeelandish farmhand to full-fledged member of the American middle class. He’d already been working for the Paterson Parchment Paper Company for five years.
Baseball. This is the Union Athletic Club of Lodi, New Jersey. Daniel Bustraan is the dapper young man wearing the boater to the far left in the back row. The year is not noted, but I have Daniel’s diary from 1908 wherein he recorded eight Union Athletic Club victories and two losses. Daniel was 18 years old in 1908.
Daniel was always a big baseball fan. That same diary notes on October 8, “Went to New York and saw final game between N.Y. and Chic. N.Y. lost score 4-2.” His diary entries were terse. According to published reports, nearly 250,000 fans showed up at the old Polo Grounds to watch the disputed replay of the famous September 23 ‘Merkle game’ between the Cubs and Giants. Professional baseball had most likely not had a game before this filled with as much built-up drama, tension and emotion. The gates were closed at 1:30 for the 3:00 game, but still fans tried to storm the gates. Firemen with high pressure hoses knocked down fans who tried to scale the walls. Nearly 40,000 fans watched from Coogan’s Bluff, telephone poles and other vantage points. A newspaper the next day reported seven men had been ‘carted away, raving mad.’ Two fans were killed when they fell from a pillar on the elevated subway platform. Later admitting he had nothing on the ball, Christy Mathewson lost, 4–2, to the Cubs, giving way to Hooks Wiltse in the 8th; Three Finger Brown relieving Jack Pfiester in the first, got the win.”
Grandpa! A quarter million people! Fire hoses! Raving madmen! Two deaths! Christy Mathewsonand Mordecai Three Finger Brown! And all you did was record the score?
He must have been a Giants fan.
Family Pictures. Any family pictures out there? Contact me.