Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Voice Out of the Past-Part 2

After finding Marguerite's note to Mrs Clark, I looked for more clues in the other volumes of Parkman. And I found them, in his "Old Regime in Canada". Two bills of sale from stores in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with the goods purchased by Mrs C.F. Clark, of Washington City, Iowa. The fifty cents must have been a delivery charge or a tip, for one statement says at the top that charges must be pre-paid. This makes me wonder if Marguerite was a servant or maid, and if Mrs Clark was her employer.

Perhaps Washington City stores were too limited to buy all the necessities for a household. Perhaps draymen made forays out to Iowa's little towns every week, carrying goods from the big cities.

Then, somehow, notes and bills of sale were tucked away in Parkman as bookmarks. Or just tucked away. The mystery of who read Parkman remains. Into this vast, encyclopedic history of Colonial America someone introduced small artifacts from everyday life in 1912. 80 years before these statements Iowa was a territory with a few settlers, and many Indians, and one might have lived a dangerous life there. Yet fewer than 100 years later Iowa housewives could buy china in Cedar Rapids, and draymen could deliver it safely.

How I love the little mysteries of the past!


Out on the prairie said...

What a great find, I like the Czech heritage in this area.

betsy said...

These notes were a great find. They made me feel like Sherlock Holmes!

It is rare though to find notes in books other than cookbooks-