Monday, May 9, 2016

Another County Museum

The weekend was a mixed bag. While the sun was still shining and before the rainy season returned, we headed out to do some fun things and some chores. We have lived here 40 years and been to Nevada up the road for children’s sporting events and meeting Kansas City friends but never stopped in at the Bushwhacker Museum. (Bushwacker is a term used for roaming bands of guerillas during the Civil War. The border of Kansas and Missouri was the site of constant fighting and bloodshed, although not many were with the Untion and Confederate armies.) Since I was reading some Civil War things, I thought it time we made the effort to visit this county museum.  

Celebrating all the chapters of Vernon County Missouri history, the museum is in a library basement. Displays were quite well done and maintained. A founding family’s home was displayed by showing some restored rooms, displays of early businesses, Civil War guns, and history Osage history and all were interesting.

As usual I took away a couple of new gems to mull over in my mind. The Hornback family home used the third floor to rent to single men or occasionally a “nice couple”.  The mother tried renting to women but gave up and said no women. It happens that men of the times could smoke outside or on the streets; women could not. So they would sneak smokes in their rooms and Mrs. Hornback tired of finding burns in her sheets and bedding. I thought this a fascinating bit of trivia! 

My grandmother had a similar sewing chair. Note the drawer that slides from the seat and holds needles and thread.

Note this lily pad seed pod...was food source for Osage who ate the seeds raw or roasted.

Visitors also get to visit the Vernon County Jail that was used for 100 years and closed in the 1960s. The stone building is sturdy and the front rooms were used for the living quarters for the Deputy Sherriff and his family. They were lovely rooms, but immediately nearby, behind the living room wall were the jail cells.

Note the lovely paper...replica of wallpaper of the times made in England.

The cells were even more scary and chilling than those we saw at the state penitentiary last year! Very, very small housing four men at a time. They took baths once a week in a bucket. Three had to be on their beds while the fourth one washed!

In the living quarters I learned something new too. This frame is
Tramp Art, called such because tramps made art or items from any trash they found to sell for a few coins. In this case, the Tramp Art was done by a prisioner. 

The frame is actually made from carved blocks like the one below. All the blocks were carved from cigar boxes which at the time were always made of wood. No glue or nails or pins were used in making the blocks which then became a frame.


Elephant's Child said...

Prison life was hard wasn't it? But then daily life was harder than we could accept now too.
I am reading a parson's diary at the moment where he talks of baptising a baby - after breaking the ice in the font.

Patricia A. Laster said...

I applaud your constant interest in local history and thank you for sharing it with us who "don't get out much." Sorry to say, I haven't even been to the Clinton Library in LR. But I HAVE been to the early state capitol and the Territorial Restoration campus. One of these days . . . .

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, I love going on these trips with you because you bring such perspective. You actually contrive well developed characters and stories from these museum articles. I envy your ability. We went to St. Genevieve, and I will post about it later, but my experiences are never as thrilling as yours.

Annesphamily said...

My goodness, you share such fascinating info here, Love the photos too. I am going to try to get around to visit everyone who was participating with Jenny Matlock. I met Jenny in 2011 at my sons XC meet in Phoenix. She and Mr. Jenny drove a distance to come meet us. She is very dear to my heart. Going to miss her sweet shares but her health is top priority, so I just want her to get well. Thank you for sharing and I hope to see you at blogworld again very soon.

Shilpa Chandrasekheran said...

Loved your blog

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,
I thoroughly enjoy your posts about local museums and out-of-the-way places. You should write a book about them.