Monday, February 29, 2016

A New Year & A New Mystery!

Helloooo there!

You may have noticed we took a break from our Mystery Artifact posts for the past couple months. The simple reason for that is, that the museum hasn't been open during January and February. We close during these months to change out some of our exhibits and do some general housekeeping. Since we weren't open to the public, there was no way to see these mystery artifacts up close!

But there's good news. As of tomorrow (March 1st), we are open!

Now, onto the mystery:
This type of object is still widely used by some people, so it may not be much of a mystery.

This is essentially a small wooden tool, with a short handle and six parallel rows of teeth (ours is looking a little worn down, possibly from years of use).

Do you know what this is from first glance? Or do you have a guess what it is? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And as always, come visit us, see what's new, and see the mystery artifact up close!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

We *Love* History

Here at the Museum of the Grand Prairie “We *Love* History” and want to share it with you! This coming Monday we’ll be having a program all about the history of Valentine’s Day. You might already know the story of St. Valentine and why we celebrate on February 14th but did you know that in the 1800’s people used to send out “lemon” or “vinegar” valentines? Come to the museum to see examples of lemon valentines and find out why people used to send out these insulting cards!

Not all cards sent out were of this variety. The popularity of Valentine's Day exploded during the reign of Queen Victoria in the late 1800's. The Queen was sentimental and popular- whatever she did everyone copied. These "Victorian" cards tended to be handmade, elaborate, and romantic. Usually, they included a heartfelt poem or message for your loved one. We will be making our own versions of these cards on Monday!

Of course, no program on President’s Day would be complete without talking about Presidents. This year instead of focusing on the presidents we are going to focus on the love of the Presidents: the First Ladies! We’ll play a President and First Lady matching game and find out the way to a Presidents heart! For Mary Lincoln, it was with food of course! We’ll have a taster of her cake famous almond vanilla cake available as well as her own recipe.   

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FAVE ABE? Send us your favorite pic of our favorite president

Abraham Lincoln again? Really? 
It's rolling around again, Lincoln's birthday. And we here at the Museum of the Grand Prairie love to celebrate Abe in any way we can. Images of Lincoln abound.  Our favorite story about Lincoln (and his image) centers around the time he went to have his picture taken on Main Street in Urbana.

(Left: Photograph taken of Lincoln in Beardstown Illinois, May 7, 1858)

He appeared in his duster...and his duster was dusty...
(Dusters are long thin coats merely meant to keep the dust from the road off one's normal clothing. )

They called it the Mud Circuit, after all.