Good afternoon readers!
Today we have another interesting, but ultimately useless, item from our collection. What makes this item truly useless is what is inside of it. In order to make this a little more fun, we are going to play a simple game. Here is how it works: I am going to describe everything that I can about this item, and I want all of you to try to guess what is inside it. To guess, all you have to do it comment on this post! I will reveal the answer in the next blog post. So, let us play “What’s in the box”!
Here at Hometown Heritage, we call the box in question “HPI Box 40”. As you can see in the picture, it is a wooden box. There are a multitude of scratches on the top of the box, indicating that is has been used a fair amount. The front of the box has a lightly metal decorated clasp to hold the box shut. It does not work very well, as the clasp does not stay completely down. The hinges on the back of the box have a similar design to the latch on the front, with the light flourishes. Both seem to be made of iron or some other gray colored metal. The bottom is just like the top: it has quite a few scratches, most likely indicating frequent use. The box is approximately 12 inches wide, 19 inches long and 3 inches high.
Here are a few final clues that may help you guess what is inside. The box is part of a group of items donated to us from the estate of Beulah Bentley Schluter. There are all kinds of items in this collection, ranging from Christmas letters to travel documents to various pictures. Beulah appeared to be someone interested in art, as included in the collection are also various drawings of hers. She was also a well-traveled woman, having been to Germany, Hawaii, New Zealand, and South America. As you can see, this box is very odd. In my opinion, it should not be in our collection.
These are all the clues I can give you, readers. Partly because I do not want to make it too easy to guess what is in this box, and partly because Beulah Bentley Schluter is somewhat of a mystery woman. What I have told you about her is almost all that I know of her. It would be great if, in addition to guessing what is in the box, any of you who knew her could tell more about her!
Today will be a short blog post. I just wanted to remind you all that tomorrow, August 20th, Jim Autry will be reading from his new book On Paying Attention: New and Selected Poems. He will be reading at 7:00pm at La Poste (La Poste is located at 1219 Warford Street, Perry, Iowa). Jim Autry is a retired Meredith executive who has become a business poet. Beaverdale Books will also be selling his book, so you can come and your own personal copy, and then have it signed by Jim Autry! In addition, musician Chad Elliot will also be performing that night, starting at 5:00pm. He will be playing until 10:00pm, so come early, and stay late!
Yet another point of interest at La Poste tomorrow night is the 38th Annual Iowa Watercolor Society Exhibition. They will be displaying 90 great watercolors for everyone to enjoy. These paintings will be at La Poste until September 24 if you want to see them but cannot make tomorrow.
If all of these things were not enough to win you over, La Poste will also be serving food! A meal of a smoked rib eye sandwich, potato salad and chips is only ten dollars. There will also be cellar and gallery drink specials available. In fact, tomorrow night is also Handlebar Happy Hour! All in all, tomorrow night is going to be a lot of fun. I highly encourage you all to come, and hope to see you there!
Salvēte (that is Latin for welcome!) readers!
Today, we are going to start a new kind of series of blog posts about something different. Normally, we would be talking about something that is interesting, or has some kind of mysterious story behind it. Starting with this post, however, we are going to be talking about some of the more ridiculous items in the collection here at Hometown Heritage. Now without sounding too offensive, these are the kinds of items that, when I first saw them, I questioned why they were actually in our collection. If you do not agree with what I think is questionable, please leave a comment and explain why!
First up on the list of not-so-interesting items is a blank piece of paper. Upon first glance, this single piece of paper seems like it has no business being in our collection at all. It has nothing written on it, and there appears to be no historical value in keeping it. In fact, it looks like the kind of thing that one would toss into the trash without a second thought.
However, something may make this piece of paper worth keeping: the header. Printed at the top of this piece of paper is “Hoagland Grocery Co.” and a few other things, such as the names Clyde R. Hoagland and Harry T. Hoagland. The reason this may make this piece of paper worth keeping is that Hoagland Grocery was an early grocery in Perry. It would be worthwhile to keep important documents and information about this early part of Perry’s history. That said, however, a blank charge slip from the grocery is not really an important document, nor does it reveal any important information. This comes back to something that we have talked about before on this blog: it is important to tell the younger generations the stories behind the things that you keep. For all I know, this blank piece of paper could actually be the last charge slip ever made for Hoagland Grocery. Or it could be the first one that was ever made! If this piece of paper had retained its story, it could be an amazing piece of history worth keeping in our collection. Now, however, people of my generation simply see it as something that we can toss into the trash, even if it should not be. To prevent this from happening, if any of you have information regarding this piece of paper or even Hoagland Grocery Co., plus come forward and tell us! We would be more than happy to record it so that others can remember it too.
Before I go, since this is going to be an ongoing group of blog posts, I have decided to give them the title "Scraps of the Past". This is due to most of them being "scraps" of things that may have been worth keeping at one point in time, but appear to have no value now.
Welcome back readers!
Now, we have talked about animals on this blog once before, and that was a very interesting day. I thought that nothing out here could ever beat the wonder and curiosity that the shoulder chicken inspired in me. However, I was wrong. There is something more wonderful and curious than the shoulder chicken, and that animal is the wagon ostrich.
The wagon ostrich is exactly what it sounds like. It is an ostrich, hitched to a wagon, as if that was completely normal. There is even a woman sitting on the wagon, holding the reins in her hands. That is completely amazing. I can only imagine how hard it would be to hitch an ostrich to a wagon. It seems highly unlikely to me that an ostrich would cooperate with anyone trying to do that to it. In addition, there is a fenced off area behind the wagon with a whole group of ostriches in it. Are they all wagon ostriches? Is this a family business for those ostriches? This, along with the fact that the side of the wagon reads “Los Angeles Ostrich Farm”, leads one to believe that this is some kind of tourist attraction. However, what is also of interest is why this photo is in our system.
Now the details of this photo are not very plentiful. Really, all that I know comes from the title: “Kate Friedrichsen in a Wagon Pulled by an Ostrich”. What exactly does this mean? Is Kate Friedrichsen the owner of the ostrich farm? Maybe she is a tourist who stopped by and got a ride. Neither of these answers really explain why we have this photo. This question is even more curious because based on the photo. From what we can see, this wagon is in Los Angeles, or at least comes from Los Angeles. Now correct me if I am wrong, but Los Angeles does not have very much to do with little old Perry, Iowa. They are half a continent away from each other after all. The only connection that I can think of is that, perhaps, this is how Kate Friedrichsen got from Los Angeles to Perry. Perhaps she rode the entire way on a wagon drawn by an ostrich. That would be a completely new level of dedication. I doubt that I could ride in a wagon that far, let alone in a wagon drawn by an ostrich. Of course, it would also require a team of ostriches, since one is probably not strong enough to pull a wagon full of stuff. Overall, even if the reason that it is in our collection is unknown, it is still an amazing photo. If you have any amazing photos in your photo collections, please feel free to share!