Monday, April 27, 2015


The Box and I have had several pleasant outings since our last entry. In March, my sister and I went antiquing at the Lemoyne Antique Marketplace, a co-op where there are many dealers and more to come. As with all antiques "malls," there are some really great things to interest you and some you can easily pass by.

I like to go to a booth called "Architecturally Speaking," which has remnants of old buildings that have since been demolished. There is always something you think would be great to add character to your house. I liked the big letters they had that day. For some reason I like things that are outsized or miniaturized. I liked the "M" for Matt and Marylee. The vending machine behind it caught my eye, too, as it told potential customers, "Don't go around hungry." The products were displayed in a circular formation.

"Midcentury Modern" design is now the Big Thing in our area. According to the State Museum of Pennsylvania, "The Midcentury Modern era, which stretched from 1930 to 1980, took its early design influences from industry and machinery. After World War II the movement was shaped by the promise of the atomic age and futurism. Many buildings from that period featured streamlined architectural elements and modern materials such as smooth concrete, glass window walls and aluminum details." 

Furnishings reflected the same ideas, and this set of dishes from that era caught my eye in the antiques mall. I swear that cream pitcher resembles Three Mile Island's cooling towers.

Passing by the West Shore Farmers Market in Lemoyne, we spotted some Amish women loading a car and then heading back into the market. Either they were helping out the "English" customer, or she was waiting to give them a ride, something the Amish sometimes call upon their non-Amish friends and neighbors to do.

Finally, I headed upriver to I-81 and home. I could see that there were many birds on the river, so I stopped at West Fairview and found a ton of people with cameras filming the antics of sea gulls and other birds having what appeared to be a great time on the Susquehanna. The zoom on my lens was giving me trouble and so some of my pictures that day were splotchy.

When I got home, I parked the Box out front under the pin oak and headed inside to start work on a Shutterfly book of pictures of Susanne's rug hooking projects. The online photo site Shutterfly often has sales on books, and I usually choose the 8x8 book with 20 pages to fill. It takes a little time to arrange everything, but the end product is great. Susanne showed her book to all her hooking friends, and they thought it was cool. 
These are some of the tools used in rug hooking.
Late in March, Susanne and I met my sister Rachel and old friends David and Jim at Mt. Hill Tavern, a 1798 inn along Linglestown Road in Lower Paxton Township. The Historical Society of Dauphin County (of which, you know, I am president of the board) presented a fundraiser with John Harris, Jr. re-enactor David Biser and his daughter, who portrayed the innkeeper's wife. We had a good time, and the surroundings are beautiful. This was the second year the Society presented this program of food, drink, storytelling, and music. The number of participants doubled from the year before.

The exterior of Mt. Hill Tavern.
Susanne, Rachel, Jim, and David are seated at the table on the right.

A couple of days later I was driving up Second Street from the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, when I spotted a kelly green electronic billboard just two blocks from Market Square Church, where I am a member. Last year I had suggested to the outreach committee that they take advantage of the great location of this billboard -- close to the church and on a major entryway into the city. They asked me to call the Lamar company, and we worked out a deal for a week of messages just before Christmas and just before Easter. The green sign was the second of the two and was seen for 10 seconds hundreds of times a day and thousands of times during the week.

When I saw the billboard I was coming out of Mary Street (see red arrow below), a narrow street that has become heavily traveled of late. Hospital employees park in a garage there, and people going to the Harris-Cameron Mansion use it, too. There are multiple entries on to this little street, one of the oldest in the city, and so you have to exercise caution.

I was at the Mansion because the collections committee and other volunteers were in the attic of the house, where some artifacts are stored. The committee and curator are trying to determine if there are any objects that do not really pertain to Dauphin County, while hoping to find others that will be of interest if displayed. Most historical societies and museums have to do this occasionally. 

Some of the items had been accepted as donations many years ago but not properly catalogued. My  job was to photograph objects that had been assigned collection numbers and place them in a group. I handled a lot of iron tools and a stack of old 78 rpm disks.

Down the way, in another room (there are several rooms in the attic where servants may have lived, or students when the house was the Pennsylvania Female Academy prior to the Civil War) other volunteers were having fun making discoveries, including this little guy, trapped in -- of all things -- a historic mouse trap! I thought he should be left there. He had become an artifact!

Volunteers and staff
More volunteers
The only other guy there

When no one was looking, I enjoyed glancing out the attic dormer window to watch the wide Susquehanna River pass by, right about at the spot where John Harris, Sr. started his ferry in the eighteenth century, On the other side of the building, I could look down onto the metal roofs over additions made by owners in the nineteenth century.

All of these adventures took place in March 2015. There is one more trip the Box and I took. We did one of our favorite things -- besides hunting down and devouring whoopie pies -- and that was looking at some cool new houses when we come across them. These are not too far from where we live now near Linglestown.

I liked the mix of materials in his house but it is soooo big!.

This is the left side of the previous picture so you can see it does not have just a single-car garage.

And finally, this one, which looks to me like an updated farmhouse, due to its stone and vertical siding. I think the Box would fit in well with this lovely house. I like its more modest scale.

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