Collecting Focus: Cars

The Turkey Trax Auto Show is this weekend in downtown Forney. That makes this a good time to talk to Don Harris, owner of an extensive collection of classic cars (among other things). Mr. Harris came to Forney when he bought the Farmers National Bank in 1987. He stayed in town after he sold it and now devotes his time to his assorted collections. I asked him a few questions this week.

 

Q. How did you start collecting cars?

The first - a 1963 Ford Thunderbird

The first – a 1963 Ford Thunderbird

A. I just like them. I like history, and I feel like these cars are history and represent a certain time in history.

Q. Do you have a favorite in your collection?

A. My favorite is whichever I’m driving at the time. The first car I bought to keep was a 1963 Thunderbird. After that I just kept going.

Q. Is there a certain type of car, year or model, that you concentrate on?

A. No. I never know what I want until I see it. But I tend to like rare or unusual cars. I don’t want people to be able to say they saw something like that at such-and-such a place. I want it to be unique, something they wouldn’t see anywhere else.

Q. You have a lot of classic cars. Do you buy them already restored or do the restoration work yourself?

A. I prefer to buy them already restored. Restoration work is more of a labor of love than anything else. You have to put more money and time into it than you would ever get back out. I like driving a car more than I like working on it.

Q. How many cars do you have?

A. I think I’m down to 21. I used to have 30 but have sold some.

Q. How do you keep them in such pristine condition?

A. They don’t get driven very often. Usually just around town. My housekeeper cleans the cars 2-3 times per week to keep them in shape. I like everything neat and tidy.

Q. You collect other items, too, like model cars, Coca-Cola memorabilia, and country music memorabilia. You have guitars and clothing from the likes of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. How did you get into collecting those, too?

A. I just collect what I like. Everything I collect is for my own personal enjoyment. Most of the country music items were given to me by friends. I didn’t buy them at an auction or anything. My grandson is a country singer and has his own collection of guitars now.

Q. Are you currently collecting anything else?

A. No. I have some newer-model cars, but that’s it.  If I collect much more I’ll have to get a bigger place.

2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray

A few more classic Fords

A few more classic Fords

 

Mr. Harris will have some cars in this Sunday’s show. The Forney Historic Preservation League will be there, too, to award a trophy to our favorite car. For more information about Turkey Trax, visit Forney’s Economic Development Corporation website or see below.

 

TTrax ad 2014 bigger

As always, we love to hear from you on our facebook page!

Thanks,

Kendall

Heritage Cooking

In 1986, the Forney Heritage Society first published the Forney Heritage Cookbook, subtitled “A Collection of Recipes Used by Forney Folks”. It’s been reprinted a few times by the Forney Historic Preservation League, most recently in 2013. I’ve toyed with the idea of using these recipes as a fundraiser, not just by selling the books (available here!) but by having a bake sale or progressive dinner offering dishes from the cookbook. Not a bad idea. One potential drawback is this: the recipes in this book are solid but, for lack of a better word, normal.

cookbook jpg

Some of the recipes could have been passed down through the generations, but the cookbook itself is only 30 years old. Some recipes which might have been truly “made from scratch” at one time now include boxed biscuit mixes and other shortcuts. Many of the dishes are standard fare for southern cooks, with casseroles, cakes and pies, hot and cold appetizers, and some flair from south of the border.

Now, I don’t want to downplay the recipes in this cookbook. They’re good! I would make these dishes and want to eat them! As a cookbook, it’s great. (Please buy one!) Local families share their recipes, and you can recreate your favorite dishes from the pot-lucks and church suppers of your childhood. But they’re not weird enough to pique a lot of interest. Enter the world of Historical Cookery.

Mount Vernon's cookbook

Mount Vernon’s cookbook

Historical cookery is a food movement which seeks to celebrate and preserve the recipes, methods, and farm-fresh ingredients of yore. Want to recreate a traditional medieval feast? You can do that. 17th century English dessert recipes more your thing? Find some here. Want to know what George and Martha Washington served for breakfast? Buy the book and make it yourself, from hoecakes and honey to distilled whiskey. How about a timeline covering the evolution of food preparation with recipes dating back to BC? Got you covered. 

Part of the interest in historical cooking is developing a closer relationship with your food, something akin to the farm-to-table movement. Learn where your food comes from, how it’s raised or grown, and how to prepare it with minimal preservative or additives. But part of this resurgence is due to historical organizations looking for a way to make history interesting by centering learning on a topic people can relate to: food.

Colonial Williamsburg has a program called Historic Foodways which operates demonstration kitchens onsite and incorporates 18th century recipes into the menu at the local hotel and lodge. The website and blog offers a recipe index, videos, and of course cookbooks for sale. The recipes include the original 18th century version plus an updated edition for modern cooks.

“Cooking in the Archives” is a blog and food history project with funding from a University of Pennsylvania fellowship. As described on the website:

“Cooking in the Archives” sets out to find, cook, and discuss recipes from cookbooks produced between 1600 and 1800. This project is situated at the intersection between the practice of modern cooking and the history of early modern manuscript and printed recipe books. Penn’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts holds over 100 recipe books from the early modern era. We believe these recipes belong in the modern kitchen as well as the historical archive. 

The fun part is that they cook the dishes and report on the results. Some are pretty straightforward (cookies) while others have interesting results (fish custard). The Special Collections of the University of St. Andrews also has a blog called “Echoes from the Vault” which showcases, among other items from its archives, historical cookbooks and recreations of their recipes, such as this mincemeat pie bake-off from last Christmas.

Recipe for an Egg Mince Pie from a c.1710 Scottish manuscript in the St. Andrews collection.

Recipe for an Egg Mince Pie from a c.1710 Scottish manuscript in the St. Andrews collection.

Another recipe (one of the winners) from the St. Andrews collection c.1760

Another recipe (one of the winners) from the St. Andrews collection c.1760

These recipes can get pretty complicated as some of the language from hundreds of years ago requires a little work and translation before even understanding exactly what ingredients you need and what to do with them. (Click the photos to see them better.) Others are impressive for their shear size – Martha Washington’s Great Cake has basic ingredients but in huge quantities: 40 eggs,  4 pounds of butter, 4 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of flour, etc. Still more inspire awe just for the inconvenience of making them without whisks, beaters, slow cookers, or ovens with temperature settings.

The recipes in our Forney Heritage Cookbook might not be that exciting, but they sure sound good.  And I can understand how to cook them.

Share your thoughts (and maybe some recipes) on our facebook page, and see below for links to the pages mentioned in this entry plus more.

Thanks,

Kendall

 

 

Links:

The “History is Served” blog from Colonial Williamsburg.

http://recipes.history.org/

The Recipes Project also incorporates historical recipes into education.

http://recipes.hypotheses.org/

The Food Timeline is, in fact, a timeline related to food going back thousands of years. It also includes A LOT of info about how certain dishes came about and why.

http://foodtimeline.org/

Assorted recipes from Mount Vernon can be found here.

http://www.mountvernon.org/search/?q=recipes#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=recipes&gsc.page=1

“Echoes from the Vault” from the Special Collections of St. Andrews discusses much more than food.

http://standrewsrarebooks.wordpress.com/

“Cooking from the Archives” – the adventures of historical cooking from U Penn.

http://rarecooking.wordpress.com/

Gode Cookery is your source for all of your medieval cooking needs. Includes recipes (with translations from Old and Middle English) and “Medieval Cooking for Beginners”, a handy guide for those looking to experiment with historical cookery without the obligation of documented historical sources.

http://www.godecookery.com/

“Feast of the Centuries” blog from a culinary historian includes lots of links and a handy breakdown of recipes by time period and cuisine.

http://feastofthecenturies.wordpress.com/

Digital Volunteers

Have you ever wanted to work or volunteer at the Smithsonian? Maybe read some of the diaries or documents in their collections, see original sketches of patents or experimental designs, or view the field notes of leading botanists or lepidopterists in their own hand? Well, here’s your chance to do all of those and more without ever leaving the house. The Smithsonian has a program called Digital Volunteers which focuses on transcribing the millions of documents in the collections of the Smithsonian and its partner institutions.

This is the website:

https://transcription.si.edu/

 

The main goal of this initiative is to make the collections more accessible. Transcription and data entry enable original documents to be searchable and machine-readable. A scan or a photo of a document posted online doesn’t necessarily make that document useful. Researchers need a way to find out if that document contains information they are looking for, be it a name, a place, or a topic. Transcription makes the whole text available to researchers and also preserves the content of the document in case the original is damaged or destroyed. Transcription also serves to preserve original documents by making them available in a digital format, thus limiting the number of people handling them.

Don't even try to read this. It's 18th century Dutch.

Don’t even try to read this. It’s 18th century Dutch.

Another way transcription preserves historic documents, as listed on the “About” section of the website, is to make them more readable “for future generations as practices like cursive handwriting are less emphasized in school”. That sentence makes me a little sad. I understand that students type papers instead of writing them by hand, thus making penmanship seem more quaint and less necessary. But has it become so utterly obsolete that students can’t even read cursive handwriting anymore?

(Disclaimer: I have had personal struggles trying to read 19th century missives or census ledger entries that contain exceedingly flourished capitals and leading s’s. So I sympathize to a certain extent. Still, I think students should be able to read and write, not just type and text. Don’t even get me started on emoji.  But I digress.)

A page awaiting transcription

A page awaiting transcription

I’ve spent a little time as a Digital Volunteer myself. The website lets you browse projects by theme or by institution. Lately I’ve seen mostly natural history journals and field notes, but there are also business ledgers, journals, and a numismatic collection. You can even transcribe the small labels identifying individual bumblebee specimens in the United States National Entomological Collection. There is something for everyone, and transcribing a document you find interesting certainly makes the work more enjoyable.

There’s a “Tips” page with transcription basics and specific how-to’s for the more technical documents. Volunteers simply click on a page, transcribe, and click finish, at which point it is sent to a peer reviewer then eventually a Smithsonian staff member for approval. You do not have to register or log in, but unregistered users must complete captcha codes with each page submission.

It takes a little while to get the hang of it as there is some basic coding involved ([[underline]] or [[strikethrough]]), and some of the natural history collections in particular contain scientific names of plants or animals and foreign place names. One of the helpful hints provided is to include [[good guess]] or [[?]] when you can’t make out a word. You can also save a transcription to let someone else complete it if you get stuck. The project is crowdsourced with many, many contributors doing the work.

Visit the website if you want more information or to try your hand at transcribing a page. As I mentioned, some are easier than others. Remember when you’re doing online research of historical documents or old newspapers for school, work, genealogy, or general amusement, someone had to transcribe those documents, too. There aren’t enough hours in the day (week, month, year) or workers on staff for museums to complete all of these tasks themselves, which is why we so much appreciate help from volunteers like you.

Speaking of volunteers, the Preservation League will have a table at the Volunteer Fair which is part of the Forney Arts Council’s 2nd Saturday on September 13th. See their website or facebook page for more information.
Don’t forget to visit us on facebook, too!

 

Thanks,

Kendall

 

Questions about Cottonseed

If you read the Forney Messenger, you saw Don Themer’s article on the Forney Cotton Oil and Ginning Company that operated in the first part of the 1900s. I had learned about the mill and other early industries in Forney as I researched the history of the town when I began working at the museum.  As I read Don’s article, though, it occurred to me that I wasn’t really sure what cottonseed oil was or how it was used. My grandmother may have picked cotton in the fields of northeast Texas, but my city/suburban upbringing insulated me from knowing exactly how food and fiber crops are grown and manufactured into the products in my house. So please humor me as I try to educate myself on at least this one subject.

First, a primer on cotton itself. From a seed the cotton plant progresses from seedling to bud to blossom, as most plants do, after which the blossom falls away to expose a closed green boll. Inside this boll are the seeds and fibers which gradually mature until the fibers grow so large that the boll splits open.

Life cycle of a cotton plant

Life cycle of a cotton plant

The lock is not all fluffy and soft, however, because the seeds are in there, too.

Cottonseeds by the handful

Cottonseeds by the handful

Separating the seeds from the fibers is a difficult and time consuming process if done by hand, which is why everyone learns about Eli Whitney in school. Ginning uses rollers to separate the fibers from the seeds. Although Whitney didn’t invent the process (people had been ginning cotton in India and China for centuries), the gin he patented included “teeth” or combs which enabled mechanical ginning on a much larger scale.

The fiber, of course, is processed into textiles and other things. But what happens to the seeds? For a long time, nothing. Some was used for planting or animal feed, but cottonseed was considered a useless byproduct that was a nuisance to dispose of. When animal fat and whale oil became scarcer and more expensive to purchase in the 1850s, some enterprising businessmen tried to develop cottonseed oil by crushing the seeds. But cotton is stubborn and makes you earn everything you get out of it, and so, of course, it was very difficult to separate the seed meat from the hull. By the time a reliable huller was invented, cottonseed oil was able to enjoy only a brief year or two of use as lighting oil before it was replaced by new petroleum products.

A new company called Proctor and Gamble began buying cottonseed oil as a supplement for lard in its candles and soaps. P&G bought so much it essentially cornered the market. With the onset of electricity, however, candle sales dropped dramatically, leaving the company with a lot of cottonseed oil and not much to do with it. Its engineers expounded on the edible liquid cottonseed oil that Wesson Oil had developed years before and hydrogenated it to create a solid lard substitute.  Crystallized Cottonseed Oil, trademarked Crisco, hit store shelves in 1911 accompanied by a vast marketing campaign which included cookbooks (with Crisco in every recipe) and eventually radio cooking programs.

Crisco ad from 1914

Crisco ad from 1914

Cottonseed oil became the most popular plant-based oil in the United States and was used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, salad dressings, and other products in addition to its main use as a cooking oil. But as cotton prices dropped during the Great Depression, farmers switched to other crops. When cotton production declined so did cottonseed oil, and soybeans took over the top vegetable oil spot in the 1940s.

But the possibility of a resurgence lingers. Cottonseed oil is cheaper than other products like canola and olive oil and is thus gaining popularity in processed foods. And as with any other food these days, specialty organic cottonseed oil producers are entering the mix, like this company which offers flavor-infused varieties. Others have begun converting cottonseed oil into a biofuel like ethanol. Only time will tell if that will prove profitable. Still, it’s come a long way from a useless byproduct, no?

Visit the National Cottonseed Products Association website for more cottonseed facts.

Share your thoughts on cotton, cotton gins, cottonseed oil, or any other subject on our facebook page.

Thanks,

Kendall

Bountiful Bois d’Arc

Horse apples. Hedge apples. Monkey balls. I’m talking about the fruit of the bois d’arc tree, or osage orange. We have a lot of bois d’arcs around Forney (we pronounce it BO-dark). Last week our webmaster Tracy brought in some horse apples that she cut from a tree near White Rock Lake. They don’t usually ripen and fall to the ground until autumn.

Tracy's harvest

Tracy’s harvest

Bois d'arc tree

Bois d’arc tree

Bois d’arc trees don’t really look like much. They’re kind of brushy and non-descript. But they played an important role in Forney history (before there actually was a Forney) as the area’s earliest agricultural commodity.

As settlers arrived in this part of Texas, one important natural resource was timber. Hardwoods such as ash, walnut, pecan, bois d’arc, and oak flourished in the bottoms of the East Fork and had value as fuel, furniture, and wagon parts.

The bois d’arc was especially prized for being very dense and rot-resistant which made it ideal for building materials such as fence posts, railroad ties, foundation piers, and street pavers. Early settlers traded the wood with Indians who used it to make bows. The thorny trees could be used as windbreaks or hedgerows along property lines before barbed wire. As early as the 1850s, John M. Lewis was harvesting and selling the seeds for that purpose.

In the 1880s Forney shipped bois d’arc to Dallas to build its downtown streets. In downtown Forney, portions of the sidewalks along Bois d’Arc and Center streets were paved with bois d’arc, too. William Cisel, known as “Bois d’Arc Bill”, was Forney’s largest dealer while James A. Bolding’s Forney factory made bois d’arc walking sticks to sell at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

You still can find older houses in northeast Texas with bois d’arc fence posts or foundation blocks, the wood having lasted a century or more. Cattle, hay, and cotton eventually overtook bois d’arc production as a staple of the Forney economy.

Today, bois d’arcs still make good hedge trees but don’t enjoy the popularity they did before wire or metal fences became the norm. The wood has a very close grain and an attractive yellow-orange color that darkens to brown. A very dedicated woodworker may make carved bowls or guitars using this dense species.

As for horse apples, some people swear that they repel roaches and spiders when thrown under the house or stored in a closet. The fruit isn’t technically poisonous to humans but is considered inedible. Deer and hogs might eat them, though, and squirrels will dig at them to get to the seeds.  When cut, horse apples exude a milky, sticky sap that many find irritating to the skin, and thorns on the bark and branches of the tree can prick pretty good. So, why would anyone bother messing with them?

 

To use the vibrant green coloring in a centerpiece or floral display.

To use the vibrant green coloring in a centerpiece or floral display

 

To cut, dry, and include in potpourri.

To cut, dry, and include in potpourri

 

To complement Halloween decor.

To complement Halloween decor

 

Or you can do what my family did as kids, namely throw them at the fence, the house, or even each other to see if they would burst.

If you’re feeling crafty, check out these websites for inspiration:

Decorated Chaos

eHow

Garden Guides

Don’t forget to wear gloves for  sticky protection. And if you find yourself in a horse apple fight you better be quick on your feet. Those suckers will leave a bruise.

 

Tell us your bois d’arc and horse apple stories on our facebook page.

Thanks,

Kendall

Paranormal Tours of Historic Sites: Campy or Creepy?

I subscribe to a museum list serve, and one of the recent headlines was this:

New Online Course – Paranormal Investigations in Museums and Historic Sites

This caught my attention because I happen to know that a nearby site which shall remain nameless has been approached by a medium to do a reading on their grounds. Much discussion has ensued, but it seems to boil down to this: is publicizing your historic site as potentially haunted campy or creepy?

Ghost Hunters of Texas

You can view it as a fun way to raise your site’s profile and encourage more visitation. The paranormal investigators aren’t likely to find anything except recordings of vague noises and the occasional cold spot. Post it on You Tube and you’re able to reach a wider audience of a (usually) younger demographic that otherwise might not have any interest in you or local history.

Or you can view it as not-so-fun but borderline dangerous. A community with a strong religious foundation and vocal congregations might frown upon the idea of toying with the afterlife for any reason, much less as a ploy to increase visitation. Family members of the “spirits” involved in your site could also take offense to any suggestion of wrong-doing, mistreatment, or evil deeds perpetrated by their ancestors. Publicity could lead to more awareness but also more vandalism and break-ins.

Plus, you could anger the ghosts if, you know, your site is actually haunted.

What I found so interesting about the description for the online class is that it’s marketed to both historic site administrators AND paranormal investigators. The investigators describe the techniques and equipment they use, generally how they perform their investigations and why, and what they hope to find when they visit a site.  Museum professionals describe the policies they have in place for using the site, which can cover anything from where to park and unload the equipment to insurance and liability for any damage done to the grounds. A chance for both sides to get on the same page, as it were.

Some sites allow investigators to work only once (for a fee) and view it as an interesting experience. Others regularly offer ghost tours, overnight stays, or promotional videos of previous investigations as part of their marketing and outreach programming.

Then there’s the question of what happens to the audio and video the investigators record. Do they have permission to use it for a You Tube video or TV show? Does the historic site get to review the videos before they air? Is there any fact-checking involved, such as studying archival records of previous property owners, or can the investigators say (or suggest) whatever they want about what they encounter at the site? All of these are specific questions the historic site needs to address in its Terms of Use policy and review with investigators before signing a contract.

I don’t plan on taking the course. To my knowledge there are no rumblings of ghosts or spirits in or around our museum. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But anyone interested in the class can learn more about it here:

http://paranormalmuseumclass2.eventbrite.com

For information on haunted places in Texas, this website is but one of many you can view.

If you’re interested in buying or selling haunted real estate, check out this piece by ABC news which aired earlier this month.

If you know of any haunted places in Forney or Kaufman County, tell us about them on our facebook page.

Thanks,

Kendall

 

Collecting Focus: Coins

In the last post I mentioned we received some coins, including Indian Head pennies, as part of a larger donation. To learn more about these coins and coin collecting in general I spoke with Rodney, the go-to coin expert at South Park Coins here in Forney.

Indian Head Pennies

Q. When were these pennies used, and when did they get replaced?

A. Indian head cents started in 1859. They were thicker than they are now and were called “copper-nickels” because of their composition. They changed to bronze and copper in 1864 which resulted in two varieties of 1864 cents, one in copper-nickel and one in bronze. Indian cents were replaced in 1909 with the Lincoln cent which we still see to this day. The U.S. mint made 1909 Indian cents and 1909 Lincoln cents at the same time.

Q. Are they popular with collectors?

A. Yes! Collectors love Indian cents! There is a mystique about coins that you never see in everyday life, and most people are enamored by the design of coins from our past. An Indian cent that is bright red and looks as though it was made yesterday is a wonder to behold! What a beautiful coin! (Even one that is worn out is a treasure to keep!)

Coin Collecting

Q. Are you a collector yourself? How did you start?

A. Yes, I am a collector at heart. Coin collecting is a passion that never goes away! I got started when my Grandpa gave me a silver dollar from the 1800s. I was fascinated with it and started reading as many books about coins as I could find. I still have that particular coin!

2014 American Silver Eagle

2014 Silver Eagle

Q. What’s “hot” right now in the coin collecting world?

A. Silver dollars and the new American Silver Eagles are as hot as firecrackers!

Q. Do you have any advice for people thinking about starting a collection?

A. Always buy the book before the coin. Knowledge is the key to successful coin collecting! Buy the best quality that your budget can afford.

South Park Coins

Q. How long has South Park Coins been in business?

A. We have been in business for almost 30 years.

Q. How did you get involved in coin collecting/brokerage?

A. I have been interested in collector coins most of my life, but when the opportunity to get involved full time arose I jumped in with both feet. I never realized this could be a career until the owner of South Park Coins talked me into coming to work for him.

Q. Who are your main clients? (long-time clients, online buyers, etc.)

A. Of course, South Park started before the online craze started so we have customers that don’t even have a computer and don’t like anything automated, and we also have lots of Ebay and online customers that are repeat customers. We have the best of both worlds!

Q. Describe your business generally. Do you keep an inventory, or do you buy for specific clients?  Do you sell entire series in bulk or “special” and rare individual coins (or both)?

A. Yes, Yes, and Yes! We cover every collector from a single coin purchase to whatever their needs may be. We also buy any collection the same way, from a single coin to a massive collection, it doesn’t matter – we will pay the highest possible price in order to make any deal work for both the seller and South Park Coins.

South Park Coins

 

Many thanks to Rodney and South Park Coins! Check out their website and their ebay store.

 

 

 

How Does a Collection Begin?

Recently the museum received a collection of coins as part of a larger donation. There are foreign coins from the 1940s and dozens of Indian Head pennies from 1890-1910. They aren’t arranged as a collection necessarily (categorized by mint mark, year, or condition), but as I did an inventory I started thinking about how collections begin.

Indian Head Penny

Indian Head Penny stock photo – ours aren’t this shiny and pretty

For a  museum it can be a simple question to answer – we want to preserve items relating to the history of Forney. That’s a fairly broad collecting scope including tools, textiles, cookware, photographs, and other materials dating  roughly from the 1870s onward, but they all tie back to our mission of telling the story of Forney.

Why do individuals begin collections? Is it a family hobby that lasts through generations? Does it begin as an investment? Do the items remind people of a specific event or a specific person?

Disney's Dumbo - inspiration for collecting

Inspirations for collecting can come from anywhere

I knew someone whose favorite movie as a child was Dumbo so she collected elephant items. It became her “thing”, and nearly every birthday or Christmas present she received eventually fit into the elephant theme. It’s as if her friends and family became conditioned to see an elephant and think “Oh, T might like that.”

 

A receipt in the FHPL archives

A receipt in the FHPL archives

Many people assume that I am a collecting person by nature because I work in a museum. I understand that even things which may seem relatively inconsequential at the time of use (like a 1904 receipt for bales of cotton) can be valuable or at least interesting in later years.

But I don’t collect anything. I usually pick up a small souvenir when I go on a trip, but I generally live clutter-free (despite what my office  looks like at present). I don’t collect coins or stamps, patterns of china or silver, comic books or movie memorabilia, first editions of novels, or figurines of a favorite animal. Maybe because I spend time inventorying and organizing things at work I don’t want to do it at home, too. But mostly I never felt the draw or connection to a certain object to begin collecting in the first place.

I also wonder what happens to collections over time, like when the collector tires of the pursuit, runs out of space, or eventually takes ill. Say I collected dolls all my adult life and even have some considered rare or valuable. What if my children or relatives have no interest in taking them? Where do they go? Antiques dealer? Garage sale? Salvation Army? There might be a place I could donate them (a local museum, hint hint),  but what if I collect bottle caps? Would any museum want those?*

Who wouldn't want to inherit this?

Who wouldn’t want to inherit this?

I wouldn’t want my collection to be a burden to my heirs, but I’d be hesitant to part with something which I had devoted so much time and effort to, and which presumably brought me joy. Could I just let it go? Might it even be a relief finally to be done with it? Should I do whatever I want and let them sort it out after I’m gone?

I suppose I’ll have to start a collection to find out. Any suggestions?

 

Kendall

 

Do you collect anything? Leave a comment on our facebook page.

 

*The answer is yes.

Check out the Bottle-Cap Museum: http://www.bottlecapmuseum.com/museum2.html

Talk to the Bottle Cap Man: http://thebottlecapman.com/

Or join the Crowncap Collectors Society International: http://www.bottlecapclub.org

Welcome to Spellbound!

Welcome to Spellbound, our museum blog!

HomeTourHave you seen a little extra activity at the museum lately? We’ve been gearing up for the historic home and sites tour this Sunday afternoon as part of Forney’s Liberty Fest. Tickets for the tour include a sneak peek at our new exhibit gallery PLUS our multi-purpose room filled with recent donations and rotating exhibit displays. Tickets will be on sale Sunday at the Spellman Museum starting at noon. $10 adults and $5 kids 12yrs and under.

Thank you to JC Graphics for the posters and tickets!

We’re excited to show off a little of what we’ve been working on to give you a taste of even better things to come.

And if you’re wondering if we’re ready to accept donations, we are! The slow trickle from a few months ago has grown into a steady stream of artifacts related to Forney and Kaufman County.  Everything from agricultural tools to quilts to advertisements from local businesses have come through our doors in the past two weeks. If you have any items you would consider loaning or donating to the museum, please contact me at kmilton@spellmanmuseum.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for your interest in the Spellman Museum and in preserving local and community history. We strive to serve the people of Forney and share our story with those who visit.

 

Kendall

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