Back again, one year later. Sheila has spent hours–many hours–moving our website to a new theme and design, and now we’re nearly ready to “go live” with the re-created site. So now I need to step it up!
When we first talked about having a website a year ago, I asked her to carve out some space for me to add interesting things I find the process of organizing Museum items. And once I had that opportunity, I didn’t know where to start! In the last year I’ve scanned over a thousand photos, both really old ones and a little more recent, and all could become items for discussion. And over time I will do that!
More recently I’ve been going through two plastic storage boxes that Soney had labeled “Original Records.” So many interesting items in them and a thinking process for me as I figure out the best way to sort those items in an accessible way for future research purposes. Sort by person’s name? Business name? Organization name? It all depends on that particular item.
I chose two of those items for today’s Curator’s Corner, both for historical purposes and personal reasons. They came from a folder named Fred Larson and it contained many different receipts from various town businesses–the Creamery from selling butter & cream, Port Wing Hardware, S. S. Ogren Store, electric bills from the Northern Wisconsin Hydro-Electric Power Co., First State Bank, etc.
It happens that Fred Larson was one of the original settlers in Port Wing in 1891 and also my grandfather. I promise I won’t make all of these entries about me and my family, but I wanted to kick this off with two I considered interesting from historical Port Wing.
The first receipt featured on this page is from February 6, 1902 from the Marshall-Wells Hardware Co. for some sawmill parts. Not very clear to us at first but items purchased included:
- 1 Wood Saw Machine with low balance wheel
- 1-28″ circular saw blade with a 3/8″ hole in the center
- 1-38 foot long, 4″ wide, 3-ply Federal belt to power the saw.
We have found what we believe is that same saw blade here on the farm and it is now ready to put up as a yard ornament next summer.
My other “find” for today comes from Port Wing Hardware, March 23, 1935. It’s a list of many (what I believe are) plumbing parts and, combining that with some family history, here is a story.
My uncle, Irving Larson, father of Keith & Warren Larson, went to Chicago in the 1920’s to work with his brother Herbert Larson in the years until the Depression hit. They all returned to Port Wing but with new ideas for the farm. The story, written by my cousin Ralph Watt, goes like this:
Herbert moved his family back to Port Wing, establishing his home in the original Pete Braff homestead cabin near the Twin Falls. Irving returned to the farm full of ideas for improvement. Having become used to indoor plumbing, both Herbert and Irving had ideas for the farmhouse.
The house had full length porches at the front and back. Enlisting help from Carl and Ragnar (two other brothers), they all began to rework the back porch…Eventually the outcome of all this work resulted in a first for Grandma (Regina Larson)–her very own bathroom. I well recall how absolutely thrilled she was over these modern improvements, one of the highlights of her life.
So, when I saw this Port Wing Hardware receipt for ALL these plumbing parts for that time in the 1930’s, I made some assumptions and it became one of the items I wanted to share here in my “Corner.” By the way, this is the house that Beth Hoagland moved just out of town east on Highway 13. And she has a repurposed that bathroom area and has her own new ideas for improvement!
More to come and not all from the Larsons. Or send me your own stories! With pictures, if possible!