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'What is it?'

  • Joanne Harris brought paper-doll Valentines to share.
    Joanne Harris brought paper-doll Valentines to share.
Published January 24. 2014 05:00PM

A program in which people bring their hidden treasures to the Palmerton Area Historical Society meeting to share with other members has always been the most popular meeting of the year.

That was true again Jan.13 as the group held the "What is it?" program.

Joanne Harris started off with sharing two valentines, little paper-doll-like cards featuring moving eyes. She has kept them a long time and still enjoys getting them out for Valentine's Day.

Mary Beth Beers is the beneficiary of glass beads from Nepal sent to her by her sister Nancy Horn, who was in the Peace Corps after she hit the glass ceiling as a teacher.

The beaded necklaces can be twisted or worn as many circular loops. They break easily and Beers said her husband didn't like the constant restringing. She has necklaces in several colors.

Horn also sent to her glass bracelets. No one minds when they break. They begin as tiny-sized for baby girls. For adults, someone will squeeze the hand in a manner that makes it smaller. The bracelets are slid on and will not come off.

Jane Borbe brought butter molds and presses with such designs as an eagle, star, wheat or pineapples.

She had a picture of Lehigh Gap that shows Craig's Store. She also has a ledger from 1850-1851 that showed sales at the store.

"The penmanship is unbelieveable," she said as she read several accounts. Many people bought on account. Borbe said it was hard to distinguish what was sold and what the store bought to sell.

Some of the prices were: 87 pounds of beef for $52.75 and a box of matches for one cent, a keg of nails for $5 and a quart of vinegar for 5 cents. Borbe said the ledger will eventually find its way to the archives.

Betsy Burhauser pointed to a building which she said was where society member Marion Bossard lived. Other places, also now gone, were identified such as the Palmerton Boat Club.

Harris said her husband helped tear a bridge down in the Gap and they still have some of the bricks.

Shirley Wagner displayed a plaque of the Slatington High School which stood on the hill above the Morgan Bridge from 1916 to 2001. She said the school seemed small from the outside but was big inside.

She also had a picture painted on slate of Smith Hall where they held athletic events. It is where the high rise is now in Slatington.

Betsy Burnhauser brought both a mold to make candles and a fat lamp. The lamp came in two parts - a piece on a chain that hung from the wall and a piece that nicely fitted the hand and could be carried such as upstairs where the hanging portion could be left behind.

In addition to molding candles she said wicks could be tied to a stick and dipped in melted wax, then hung to cool. A number could be dipped at one time. They were redipped until the candle was thick enough. Tallow was used.

She also had small statuettes of Mickey and Minnie Mouse that she was awarded by music teacher Earl Sipe. After earning so many stars she received a prize. Other prizes were a Dutch boy and girl and a picture of a cat looking at a butterfly.

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