Today we are going to talk about some of the items that I have accessioned into our system recently. Unfortunately, most of it appears to be junk, and for good reason. People found all of these items in the bottom of the dumbwaiter shaft during the renovation of Hotel Pattee in the mid ninetees!
If you look at the pictures below, you may understand why I think a lot of this appears to be junk. There are things such as a smashed up pumpkin Halloween decoration, blocks of wood, lids to various cans and even a ball of twine. Some of the objects even look nasty. For instance, one bottle has what looks like some tar along the inside. Another bottle has a small amount of orange liquid, probably just some rusty water or something. In case you are worried, both bottles are sealed and neither of them were dangerous. They just look disgusting.
However, the renovators also found some interesting items in the bottom of that dumb waiter. There is a gavel from the International Rotary club, which is of some interest to us as it is a piece of Rotary Club history. The renovators also found two keys in the bottom of the shaft. These keys are very interesting: they have no labels, and are unmarked, so I have no idea what doors they open. Maybe they open some secret rooms in the Hotel! Most likely, however, they belong to doors that no longer exist due to the renovation.
Two final remarks about these items. First, if you seem anything in the pictures that you think has value, please let me know! Many of these items are a mystery, so I would greatly appreciate any help identifying them and their value. Finally, and perhaps the biggest mystery of all, is how these items got to the bottom of a dumbwaiter shaft in the first place. Who was putting these things into a dumbwaiter? I am fairly certain knobs for drawers and other things should not go into a dumb waiter, but I could be wrong. Since it has been awhile since the Hotel renovation, we may never know the answer.
First, I must apologize for the lateness of this blog post. We were having a few hiccups with our website yesterday, but everything is fixed now. Please enjoy the rest of the post!
There are many cool and interesting things here at Hometown Heritage, ranging from pictures to clothes, and even to weapons. All of these things are different in their own unique way, but they also share something: their home (see slide show below this post!)
Here on the lower level of the Town Craft Building, all of our items are stored in our vault, and it is quite the interesting vault. “Why is it interesting?” you may be asking yourself. Well, I will tell you! To start, our vault is very old. It was originally the vault of the First National Bank (as you can see from the words above the door), and was made by Diebold Safe and Lock Company. According to what I have researched, this dates the vault back to sometime between 1876 and 1943. Since First National Bank was first established around 1913, that means this vault is probably at least one hundred years old! Now most of you have probably not heard of Diebold Safe and Lock Company. This is because they changed their name in 1943 to Diebold, Incorporated. Currently, people know them more for their production of ATMs.
Anyway, back to our vault. As you can see in the pictures, the vault has seen a lot of use. It is worn, and even missing a few screw caps on the hinges. Fortunately, it has not rusted, and still opens and closes perfectly fine (even if it is quite heavy). It even has a double set of doors, which I only found out recently. They are behind the main vault door, and have bars that extend up and down to keep them in place if the vault needs to be completely sealed. Of course, this brings me to the one rule that we have with our vault: always bring your phone in with you! Even though there are not many people down here, we always make sure to bring our phone with us into the vault, since it is impossible to open the vault from the inside.
The inside of the vault is actually not as interesting as the outside is. Mostly it is just a bunch of shelves, tightly packed together, with tons of boxes on them. In fact, it is almost impossible to retrieve things from the shelves efficiently. There is even a pole in the middle of where a row is! It really needs a good reorganization, but that will be a project for a different day.
Aside from all of this, there is one curious thing about our vault. On the front, it has the name of Diebold, but it also has another name lower on the door. This part reads “David Blair, AG’T., Chicago, Ill.” For all my research, I am unable to find out what this means or who David Blair is. I do not think there is documentation about the vault that remains either, so this will remain a mystery. However, if any of you want to come and see our vault for yourself, we always welcome visitors, so please stop by!
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!