Recently I had the opportunity to go play in the archives here at Gardiner Public Library. And what a fabulous experience it was!
One day while I was working in the library, I delivered some books to Dawn, our wonderful Archives Librarian. I happened to mention a well-known house in East Pittston that used to be in our family. It’s on the Historical Register, and I had some questions about it. We got to talking, and Dawn suggested I come spend some time in the archives on my day off. I set up a day and time with Dawn, who thoughtfully pulled out several items related to East Pittston. I parked myself at the table and before I knew it, two whole hours had passed.
Not only did I find out lots of information regarding the house of my original inquiry, I caught a wonderful glimpse into the past! I found a picture of the general store my great grandfather used to own, a picture of the one room schoolhouse where my grandmother taught, and a picture of the contraption, known as an “auto-house”, that my great grandfather and great uncle drove across country in on their way to California.
I had a few fantastic finds regarding my grandmother. There was a picture of her with one of her classes, taken at the one room schoolhouse. Sitting in the front row was my aunt. There was also an article about the Tom Thumb weddings she used to hold: “East Pittston Pupils Perform Mock Wedding”. I can remember her telling me about this when I was little, and it was pretty interesting to see it in the newspaper! Another wonderful item was a letter written about my grandmother from one of her former students. It was so interesting getting a glimpse into what her school day was like.
My most treasured item I found was a newspaper article reporting about my grandmother’s bridal shower: “Popular ‘Bride to Be’ Honored by Friends at Surprise Shower”. How wonderful to get a glimpse of what that day was like for her!
So thank you Dawn, for allowing me the opportunity to see into my past.
P.S. I’m hooked on archives now!