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Monroe Historical Society Seeking Antiquities, Members

The Burr Hawley general store, shown in this 1906 photograph from the Monroe Historical Society collection,  stood at the intersection of what is today Routes 25 and 59 in Stepney and was Monroe’s largest store for 40 years.
The Burr Hawley general store, shown in this 1906 photograph from the Monroe Historical Society collection, stood at the intersection of what is today Routes 25 and 59 in Stepney and was Monroe’s largest store for 40 years.

Sign in a shop window: “We buy junk and sell antiques.”

That old witticism might be the foundation of a profitable business. What it also suggests is that value appreciates with the years.

Such value is not only monetary. Antiquities have appeal as historical collectibles. Those links to our past are of unrelenting interest to the Monroe Historical Society.

In three old buildings and the History Room at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, the society has archived an extensive assortment of authentic Americana reflecting Monroe’s past and small-town life. 

Now the society intends to expand its inventory and is appealing to the public for donations of period pieces and ephemera,  items abandoned in your basement or attic. 

What qualifies as a collectible? In broad terms, any item of historical significance that might be described as distinctive because of its antiquity or rarity or that is inimitably associated with the Monroe of yesteryear or representative of a distant era and yes... that has intrinsic worth. 

Arrangements would be made to pick up contributions. At that time the articles would be appraised to establish they are suitable for conservation by the society. So determined they would become  tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Contact Marven Moss at mmoss36@yahoo.com for additional information. 

At the same time the society, a nonprofit, is planning to augment its membership and is assembling an Open House May 3 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Elliot Beardsley House (31 Great Ring Rd.), a landmark crammed with old furniture and the treasures of our heritage. There is no charge for admission.

The only qualification for membership is an interest in preserving Monroe’s legacy. In the interim, to learn more about the activities of the society, you are invited to the society’s next meeting, April 3 (Thursday) in the Land Use Are at Monroe’s Town Hall, 7 Fan Hill Rd., starting at 7 p.m.   

Note: the society’s sphere of interest extends over, but is not limited to, the following categories:

  • Antiques/heirlooms
  • Apothecary items
  • Arrowheads/native American artifacts
  • Artwork/sculpture
  • Books/publications
  • Camera/old instruments
  • Carvings
  • Christmas decorations
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Documents/records
  • Farm implements
  • Footwear
  • Furniture
  • Genealogy
  • Guns (1898 or earlier)/knives/weaponry
  • Jewelry
  • Kitchenware
  • Maps
  • Musical instruments/sheet music
  • Photos/glass negatives
  • Pottery
  • Postcards
  • Religious articles
  • Quilts/textiles
  • Sports equipment
  • Theatrical items
  • Tools
  • Toys/games
  • Uniforms

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