Monday, November 05, 2012

An Incredible Donation!

Sometimes you just never know what a regular old Monday will bring! I was at lunch when the Reference Librarian came and got me: "I can't explain it; you just have to see this!" Two gentlemen, one from California, the other his father from Nevada, had been sent by the City's Cemetery Superintendent to the library. They had been to see the gravesites of various family members from the Morrill and Fernald families. Anyone remember Morrill's Furniture in downtown Dover? Yes, that family.

Anyway, these two men had a rather large box with them. In it was an intricate floral wreath, approximately 12" in diameter and mounted in a glass frame. But the flowers were crafted entirely from human hair! The last bits of hair had been contributed by the Nevada gentleman's grandmother when she was four years old in 1875! Here's a picture:
The gentlemen wanted to donate it back to Dover and thought maybe the library might accept it. Since we don't collect artifacts, I immediately called Thom Hindle, curator at the Woodman Institute Museum, at home and insisted he come right over. I also used the phrase, "I can't explain it, you just have to see it!" Thom is only a block away and he arrived within 10 minutes.

 The details in this wreath are astounding! And the gentlemen were so pleased to meet Thom because they'd been to the museum's doors and found it closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Plus they were due to travel back on Thursday. Long story short: the Woodman Museum will be thrilled to accept this elaborately woven and painstakingly-tied piece of American "fancywork" for their Dover history collection. The gentlemen also had brought along all sorts of documentation and family pictures that gives the wreath amazing provenance and authenticity! It's hard to tell from this snapshot I took with my phone, but museum visitors will soon be able to see this Dover-made human hair wreath on display at the Woodman!

Sometimes it's just awesome what happens at the library!


  1. Thanks for sharing. . .yes, I agree. Libraries can provide fertile ground for making moments like these seem like magic, which of course they are!

  2. Anonymous5:14 PM

    You could not make that one up.


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