I have gone through all the hats at the Meeker Mansion, and written up a catalog sheet for each one with description and my best attempt at assigning a date. All 148 of them. It took me about 30 hours, all told. 45 of the hats had accession numbers and were recorded in the museum’s catalog. 103 of them did not. So yesterday I assigned accession numbers to each of the 103 hats, and I am now in the process of marking each hat with its number, photographing it for the museum’s catalog, wrapping it in acid-free tissue paper and putting it, in roughly chronological order (by decade or so), in its permanent box. This is a time-consuming project, to put it lightly. I made it through 15 hats yesterday. The labels have to be hand-sewn into the inside of the hats, for one thing. Not that I don’t know how to sew, but it’s a lot like trying to sew something to the inside of a sleeve without being able to turn the sleeve wrong side out. Still, I shall persevere, and once I’m done, at least I’ll be able to point to the Meeker Mansion’s hat collection and say, “I did that!” The hats will be much more accessible for exhibits and so forth in the future, which is a very good thing.
Today was my afternoon to docent at my other museum, the Job Carr Cabin Museum. Since I am not allowed to share the pictures of the hats I took yesterday, here are some pictures I took today at the cabin. Please forgive the slight blurriness of the inside pictures. The lighting is rather dim in the cabin, and they ask that people not use flash photography.
The cabin, located in a small city park in Old Town Tacoma. The original was built in 1865 by Job Carr, all by himself. I have often wondered about the kind of strength it must have taken to roll those logs up skids to create the walls and the ceiling joists. This replica was built in 2000, using the photos Job’s son took of the original as a guide, and a crane.
The next four pictures are taken clockwise around the room from just inside the door.
The blurry gentleman above the fireplace is Job Carr. I should have taken a close-up of him and I will next time I’m there. The fireplace is electrified, so those aren’t real flames. But it is built of real stone.
The doorway leads back to the bedroom. The furniture is mostly period, with a few reproductions.
The display cases. The left wall case currently houses a display about a shipwreck that killed one of Job’s daughters and her son, the right wall case holds a display of antique postal equipment — Job was Tacoma’s first postmaster and the cabin was Tacoma’s first post office. The freestanding case holds diaries and photos of the Carr family (Job’s adult children followed him west shortly after Job arrived here), taken by Job’s son Anthony, who was a photographer.
The Job mannequin. When he is turned on, so to speak, he speaks at random intervals that have been known to scare small children and unwary docents. The camera to the left is one similar to the one his son used in his photography business. The antique log cabin quilt that is no longer on the bed is up on the ledge in the corner, safely out of reach of schoolchildren and errant careless adults, with muslin between it and the acid wood. Oh, and I sewed the room divider curtain at the right of the picture and another one just out of the photo to the left last summer.
The bedroom. The quilt will look familiar to those who’ve been reading this blog. The bed is tiny, barely over five feet long, especially when you consider that Job was a fairly tall man.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of my other museum!