Anyone have an extra spittoon, circa early 1900s?
If so, the Hood County Historical Commission is interested – unless it’s currently in use, of course.
A 1918 photograph of the old country treasurer’s office that was on the first floor in the old courthouse on the square was discovered a couple of years ago. That led to the more recent decision by the commission to find furniture to duplicate that scene in that same office space, which will be a museum room.
“Our mission was to recreate that picture,” Commission Vice Chair Christy Massey said. “We’re excited about the prospect of opening a door into history. This will be like walking through a time machine. People can step into the room and get a better feeling of the atmosphere.
“We’ve got one of the (original) chairs. We’ve got a rolltop desk from the courthouse. It was one of the old, old ones.”
The office had been used as a workroom during the extensive renovation of the courthouse. It still contains the original treasurer’s safe, which weighs 9,000 pounds and is 7 feet, 2 inches tall and 5 feet, 9 inches wide.
The photo shows two spittoons, stools, a tall desk and a wash basin, which are among the items still needed to match what’s in the photo.
Mary Sutton, secretary of the Historical Commission, said the picture was found a couple of years ago by Karen Nace, a past chair of the Historical Commission who is now president of the Hood County Museum and treasurer of the Hood County Historical and Genealogical Society.
Sutton said the safe predates the courthouse itself. It was purchased in 1887.
“We want it to look like you’re stepping into an office as it was at the turn of the century,” Sutton said. “It’s exciting because everyone involved, that’s what they enjoy doing. To be able to put these things together, it’s just a pleasure.”
There are also some original courthouse railings, and Massey said they may be used to set up a barrier to prevent observers from making contact with the vintage office items.
Massey said the commission is accepting donations to help purchase suitable furniture. And if anyone has an item that can be loaned for use in the display, that would also be encouraged, she said.
Some items may have to be purchased, but Massey said, “we can’t pay much if somebody wants to sell us something.”
Massey said there is a hope that volunteer docents could man the office at some point in the future. If you are interested in providing vintage furniture or donating money to the effort, call either Massey at 817-573-9292, or Sutton at 817-579-3200.
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