A few days ago, there was a post about our collection of trunks. Nancy Van Nielen asked some questions about them. Here you go Nancy, and anyone else who may wonder:
Most of the trunks are unlocked. Just a couple are still locked. We have a bazillion keys but no ideas if they go to trunks, book cases, cabinets, etc.
Evidently someone before 20 years ago (when the first of the present staff started there), had sorted a lot of items and put them into the trunks. There are a few trunks labeled ’empty’ but others are labeled: blankets, children’s clothes, men’s pants, ladies’ dresses, hats, children’s shoes, boots, pajamas, vests, coats, ladies’ undergarments, and even hosiery! The Haskell Brother’s trunk has little lederhosen that are adorable! It also has a girl’s blue velvet top. The trunks prove that some ladies were much smaller back then. Ladies in general had 18 to 24-inch waists and wore size 4 shoes! I’m sorry I can’t access any pictures at this time.
And before you ask why we don’t have these things on display, you can blame a lot on sunlight. We would only be able to display them for very short amounts of time. We would love to restore the exterior windows and then add UV protection so we can open up the shutters and make it easier to see/display things. Since almost everything we have is irreplaceable, we don’t risk exposure. Grants are being sought to restore the windows but that is around $200,000 because they have to be done the same as the originals since we are a National Historic Landmark. (Semi-seriously, If anyone has or knows of anyone interested in funding this, boy do I ever have amazing clothes to show you!)