Hard at Work

Collections interns and volunteers have been hard at work for several weeks now, moving artifacts of all sorts from our old storage area in the public library building to the new LCHS home at 145 West Ave. Shelves have been emptied, broken down, transported and set back up—that’s been a huge amount of work, and most of it has been done by volunteers George Italiano, Bob Mullen, Bob Robinson, Kevin Vach and Scot McCollum.

Volunteers Scot McCollum, George Italiano and Bob Mullen in the garage at West Ave where large artifacts will be stored.

Volunteers Scot McCollum, George Italiano and Bob Mullen in the garage at West Ave where large artifacts will be stored.

Volunteer and Board Member Lynn Harlan carries textiles into the new location to be hung up.

Volunteer and Board Member Lynn Harlan carries textiles into the new location to be hung up.

Not all of the shelving is old however: we have 3 rows of new shelves for objects and items in banker boxes, plus a wonderful new aisle of “Roll-lock” shelves for textiles. These include lots of space for hanging costume and have roll-down steel doors: dust and light, both agents of deterioration for textiles, are kept completely out.

Intern and UW-L student Callie O'Connor in the hanging costume storage. 

Intern and UW-L student Callie O'Connor in the hanging costume storage. 

We are in the countdown now, moving everything we possibly can in anticipation of the professional movers who come in a week to move the really large stuff.

Tomorrow I will take some pictures at the old site and show some of the treasures we found when trunks and other large items were pulled off high shelves this afternoon.

Storage in the new basement collections area.

Storage in the new basement collections area.

Spring Cleaning....in the Fall, Dollhouse Style.

As Peggy said....we are moving house, literally!  While we were moving boxes the other day, I finally got to see the dollhouse.  (I've been waiting for this since the beginning of summer).  Peggy said that I could have the privilege of cleaning it up and fixing it, so that it can be displayed at West Ave.  

Thanks to Kevin Vach and Bob Mullen, the dollhouse is safely moved to West Ave!

Peggy has already posted some pictures of volunteers moving the dollhouse, so now I'm going to slowly show you the inside as I get it ready to display.  Just like a regular house, this dollhouse took a long time to make, almost 1440 hours! This dollhouse is due for a nice spring cleaning!  The dollhouse was unpacked room by room on Monday and now I am slowly going through those boxes and cleaning the furniture.  I started with the kitchen.


The furniture was a bit dusty, but there are so many handmade details in this dollhouse, it's amazing!  The kitchen accessories are already to go! Step one, done!  On to the next room!

Hot Off the Press!

While going through the paintings and portraits of the historical society today, I came across a newspaper from the New York Herald that was dated April 15, 1865. (The day that Abraham Lincoln passed away after a fatal gunshot)  I was super excited  to see this newspaper and I ran to show it to Peggy.  

I began researching it and found that there are multiple replications and editions of this newspaper that were printed over the years.  So I began looking for information to see if this newspaper was the real deal or not.

I began with the  Library of Congress to see what I could find.  The assassination newspaper editions vary based on number of pages, content and the time that they were printed.  Here's the link from the Library of Congress about the multiple editions that were originally printed of the paper:  http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/circulars/nyherald.txt.  

So far, so good.  This paper has many of the qualities mentioned in the list.  I kept looking to see what else I could find.  I then found a credible blog with specific information about the newspapers: http://blog.rarenewspapers.com/?p=284.  In here, it said that newspapers that have a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the front page are definitely replicas.  I was sad to read this, but this newspaper is still quite old and is still an important artifact, just because it is not an original does not mean it has no value.  

This replica is at least over a century old and has multiple pages.  It is in fragile condition, but the frame and the glass are keeping the newspaper together and it can still be read (I read as much of it as I could!!!).  Reproductions began being printed a few years after Lincoln's death and continued being printed in the same fashion until 1908.  Replicas are still printed today, but they are not on the same material!

If anyone else wants to read the paper I found a link to some of the basic text at: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lincolnconspiracy/lincolnnews.html.

For those of you that want a bit more information, here is a link to a brief biography of Lincoln: http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540#synopsis.

I hope this was as exciting for you to read as it was for me to find today!




Cemetery Experience

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to be a part of the Fifteenth annual Silent City Tours program that the Historical Society puts together at Oak Grove Cemetery.  Many volunteers and reenactors came together to show the contribution and the men that La Crosse sent to fight in the Civil War.

Here's a little clip that was on the news with an interview from George:


There was one special little visitor that was at the cemetery throughout the day with us.  I was a bit surprised to see him, but it added extra excitement to the day!  

Overall, it was a fun experience educating the public and I can't wait to do it again!

Newbie Excitement

Hi!  I'm Amy Seelow and I am an archaeology major at UW-L.  I am excited to be interning this fall with the Historical Society.  I've loved history for as long as I can remember and I always like to learn something new!

As you all know, we are on the move, and I'm the lucky one that gets to do a lot of the packing!  I find it exciting, because I am getting to see all of the artifacts that are in the collection in a short amount of time.  

My favorite area of the collections to pack so far was all of the medical supplies.  There were so many bottles that still contained their original contents and labels.  Some of this stuff seemed a bit hazardous, but it was all still perfectly sealed and harmless.  Things have changed a lot since then, but it's fascinating to see some of the cure-all medications from back in the day.

Now onto another packing adventure!