Thursday, June 26, 2008

Once upon a time....

About 10 or so years ago, my sweet Grandma Jessie handed me a little plastic bag with what looked like rolled up papers in it. She told me that they were the days receipts of a little general store that was in the town she grew up in (Lewiston, Utah). She went on to tell me that the owner had given them to her father many, many years ago. For what reason, she never knew. She had kept them in her cedar chest for as long as she could remember. When I opened the bag, I couldn't believe what I saw. There were about 25 or so receipts from May 9th, 1891. They were so curled from having spent the last 100 years rolled up that I had to be very careful with them. They were so fragile, the paper was crumbling on the edges. I took them home and layed them one by one in the pages of a book in an effort to flatten them out. Finally, after many months and still no flattening (they would curl right back up when I opened the book..), I put one of my favorites in a frame. Don't you just love the way they used to write??? The store clerk was named Lewis. There are others with the clerks name of Ella. Were Lewis and Ella married?? Did they own the store??? So many questions... The purchaser was S.J. Allen from Lewiston. He bought a dollars worth of sugar (how much do you think that was?), a hat for $2.50 (was it for him or his wife??), suit clothes for $8 (wow, those must have been some fancy duds for that much...) and then as an after thought, a garden fork for $1. A day at the Mercantile for $12.50. Mr. Allen appears to be a big spender! Although, he DID charge this purchase....I wonder how long it took him to pay it off. Did he pay with eggs like Caroline Ingalls did on Little House on the Prairie or was he was the town doctor and payed with services rendered?? There were all kinds of things purchased that day....shoes, tobacco, pans, pills, castor oil, tacks, and another favorite receipt....purchased by M.A. Hendricks, butter(.20), calico(.23), ribbon(.10), and thread(.10). I just love thinking about how life was like way back then. Don't you??? Someday I will take all of the receipts to be framed. They are such an interesting part of history to me.

12 comments:

Gettysburg Homestead said...

Oh my word how cool!!!! Do you have them all framed??? That would be cool as a grouping on a wall.

My mom has a ledger book from my great aunt from when she raised chickens and sold the eggs. It is really neat to see how much she spent and how much she made way back in the early 1900s. I think I'll have to take that book and frame some pages.

Mary

TaraB said...

What a small world! I lived in Lewiston, Utah for about 5 years after I getting married. Who was your grandmother? My husband and I redid the old train station in Lewiston into a home. It was amazing what we found stuffed inside the walls of that old building.

This Country Girl said...

Wow, Jo-Anne, that is some treasure! That really makes me wonder about those people. My mind imagines all sorts of things...like Little House on the Prairie...ma going in there to buy stuff from the Olsen's....so cool that she gave them to you!
~ Tammy

tumbleweed said...

That is soo neat! I love this sort of stuff, personal proof of such a different time. My husband and I watched a reality series on PBS that had families go back and live in those times-I kept thinking 'just like little house on the praire'. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like and would actually like to experiance it-wonder how long I could last after having all of today's comforts at my fingars?
Thanks so much for sharing:O)
blessins,
Shayne

Andrea said...

loved this post Jo-Anne. History coming alive! Enjoyed the thoughts you shared as well.

lera said...

I love old stuff like that. So fun to think back to the olden days.

Shirlee said...

Hi Jo-Anne, I saw you listed on Tammy's (Country Girl at Home) blogroll and just had to pop over since my last name is Carter (by marriage). I'm definitely coming back as I see you love a good thrift store too (I'm totally addicted to them).
I really enjoy pioneer history and the receipts are just so cool. They will look great framed and what unique wall "art".

familywithfivekids said...

I love that fact that they are old receipts but also that they came from family - so cool! A great conversation piece.

Primgal55 said...

Oh this is so awesome! What pieces of history you have there. I can only imagine how nice it will be to have them all framed and displayed. I love stories like this!

Hugs, Linda

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

How very neat! Love the one framed your very blessed to have this little bit of history.


*Rondell*

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

This is fabulous, i have been meaning to share the newspapers from about then that my grandfather gave to me, like you i was unsure what to do with them as well, Tracey

Lauriej said...

I am a sucker for that kind of stuff! Have you read the book These Is My Words? I love anything that takes you back to that time period