A mountain lake on a post card from Virginia’s Eastern Shore? The Daily Times reports that used to happen a lot.

old post card of Exmore, VA

Postcard of Exmore, Virginia, in front of the real Exmore (photo by Jay Diem, courtesy DeMarVa.com)

Post card companies simply had an artist create a scenic picture and printed the card with different towns on it. People didn’t get around then as they do now and most didn’t know the difference.

“(A postcard) sent April 27, 1953, to Mr. W.D. Bryant of Chicago, Illinois, featured artwork including cows grazing, a rock wall and a bit of a landscape incline, above the words, ‘Greetings from Assawoman, VA.,” Daily Times reporter Ted Schockley writes. “But Assawoman, in northeastern Accomack County, has no rocks for walls and no inclines.”

One postcard company, NYCE Manufacturing Co. out of Vernfield, Pennsylvania, offered “25 choice designs” of auto and road scenes. Local businesses would buy those postcards to sell whether they matched the town or now.

You can find vintage postcards from various communities at OldPostCards.com.

Read Ted Schockley’s story about the postcards and what people wrote on them at delmarvanow.com