Beatrice Fox Auerbach’s guest books represent another unique and interesting part of the collection. (They also happen to be another personal favorite.) The four guest books collectively span the great majority of Mrs. Auerbach’s adult life. Beginning in 1914, three years after Beatrice Fox and George Auerbach were married, the books continue until just two months before Mrs. Auerbach died. Each guest book contains a complete array of signatures, messages, poems, and sometimes even illustrations that pay tribute to the gracious hospitality for which Beatrice Fox Auerbach was known.
Mrs. Auerbach’s guest books begin a few years after her marriage when she was living in Salt Lake City, Utah. The importance of family in Mrs. Auerbach’s life is quite evident in her guest books. There are frequent entries in the guest books from her many family members, including her sister, brothers-in-law, children, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles. In fact, Mrs. Auerbach’s mother, Theresa Stern Fox, is the first to sign her daughter’s guest book, which emphasizes the importance of family in Mrs. Auerbach’s life. An image of this first page of Mrs. Auerbach’s guest book is represented at left. (As with all the images in this entry, click on it if you would like to see it in more detail.)
If there was an award for the most creative entry by a member of the family, the award would have to go to a December, 1944 entry by Mrs. Auerbach’s grandson, George Auerbach Koopman. Not even five months old at the time, George really left his mark on the guest book, quite literally in fact! Judging by the handwriting, the entry itself was written by George’s mother, Georgette, but there is no denying that the handprint was made by George himself. This one was definitely one of the more interesting entries in all the guest books!
Many people signed the guest book with only their signatures or with a few lines of gratitude, but others left more creative messages, often in the form of poems. Beatrice Fox Auerbach’s brother-in-law, Herbert Auerbach, left this poem in her guest book after a visit.
Poems weren’t the only way people expressed themselves creatively in the guest books. Many times, folks would draw little illustrations to go along with their messages or signatures. None of the other illustrations, however, can compare to those left by Marj and Huck.
An example of one of their illustrations is represented here.
The last entry in any of the guest books is dated September 9, 1968, just two months before Mrs. Auerbach’s death. Once again, it reinforces the singular importance of family in Mrs. Auerbach’s life as the entry was written by her cousin, Hortense Plaut Bozsan.