Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kenmare ND Pioneer Village

Whew!  It's been a busy summer already!  School ended late for us this year (went into June).  So to kick off summer vacation, Autumn and I met up with my folks in Kenmare, ND and took a tour of their pioneer village.  We enjoyed a picnic in the "windmill" park and did some city wide garage sales. 

What a fun treat this trip was!  The 50 minute drive was beautiful, and Kenmare's pioneer village is one of the best I've seen, with its 22 buildings chocked-full of wonderful artifacts from yesteryear.  There was so much to see that between Autumn and I we took around 900 photos.  There were a few duplicate photos, of course, but she snapped quite a few photos of things I didn't catch.

So here are a few pictures from our wonderful trip and I hope you enjoy them.

This is Spencer #46 School.  I call it the little red schoolhouse.  It's one of the best little schoolhouses I've ever seen in a museum.  Epping's is nice too, and Rugby's, but this one had some very interesting things in it I'd never seen before.

A panoramic view of the Spencer #46 School
Oddly enough, one of my favorite things in the whole village was this lunchbox, hanging on a hook in the little red schoolhouse. 

There was just something about it that made me happy.  Maybe it was the embossed "V" on the front, giving it an early '40s feeling to it.  I'd be willing to bet this lunch box was pretty important to its owner, some time ago.  It belonged to someone named Schwartz.  Maybe the owner worked hard at a laborious job, and hearing the noontime whistle that signaled lunchtime was a bright spot in his day.  Maybe this lunchbox was like a trusted old friend, that rode in a farmer's pickup truck as he checked the cows and fields.  Or maybe it was owned by a gas station mechanic who ate his lunch sitting on an old wooden bench, out behind the garage, next to a big tree and some old oil barrels.  And maybe this particular lunch box had a special spot on the countertop at home, where it would be set down at the end of a long day, and in the morning was packed full of cheese sandwiches made with homemade bread, an apple and maybe a cookie for desert.  Of course there was probably a thermos of coffee or milk as well.  All lovingly packed by a wife, mother, or the hard working fellow himself.  OR maybe it was owned by a teacher, factory worker or...even a Bomb Girl working in a munitions factory! ha!

A "Rosie" taking lunch break at Douglas Aircraft Company-Long Beach CA. (note the cool lunch box!).  Photo found on Pinterest.
   These lunchboxes with the "V" on them were made by the American Thermos Bottle Company and can sometimes be found on Ebay and Etsy.

This next photo is of the inside of Spencer #46 School, which is the little Red Schoolhouse on the museum grounds.  Autumn noticed (and thought that it was pretty cool) that the globe at the top of the photo was connected to a string that looped through a wheel on the ceiling then was anchored by a rock at the end of the rope (hidden behind the stove in this picture.  We forgot to ask our tour guide, Bryan, why they stored the globe this way, but if I had to guess I'd say it was for space reasons, (not outer space, but desk space). 
The stove in this school was very unique.  

The rock.

 Next, we'll visit the local Bank.  It has the original teller windows form the Bank in Carpio, a small town East of Kenmare.

No bank would be complete without a stack of old ledgers and books.  Were they like early spreadsheets?  One of the books says 3-11-16 to 5-1-16.  Wow, 1916!  Back in the days when a 50$ loan was a big deal.

These books were used back in the day when most everything was written in cursive and with ink from a bottle.  It's a dying art, and I'm sure there will come a day when we won't even teach cursive writing in schools anymore.

Next up is Artie's Doll House, a little building filled with cute things that will bring back memories of childhood.  There are dolls, books, toys, and children's clothing.  There are also many wonderful cradles and cribs to look at.


I'd totally eat at the next stop...a 1950s diner!  I was half expecting Fonzie to walk around the corner.

I'm loving the little salt and pepper shakers!

After a hamburger, fries and malt at the diner we could all go bowling at the old Western Lanes Bowling Alley!
I apologize for the poor picture quality...the bowling alley was housed in a building that was temporarily out of power.  It was still fun to walk through.  After we left the museum, I had a "hand-to-forehead-moment" realizing that I'd had a flashlight app. on my smart-phone the WHOLE time and didn't put it to good use in this building!
After bowling we could stop for a cold one at the bar.  This particular bar is from Mott ND.  I had to look up where Mott is located and learned it is South-west of Bismarck.  That's a long way for a bar to travel.  (Seems like there is a joke in there somewhere....A Priest, a Rabbi and a bar are all traveling north in a U-Haul...)  Mmmm, maybe not.
My Dad tickled the ivories on a piano that we thought for SURE would be out of tune after being in a non-air-conditioned, non-heated building, but it sounded great!
My favorite thing about this room was the Hot-n-Fresh Popcorn machine!  I'd never seen one before. The creepy corn guy is kind of unique.
And I found it fun that the Coke machine in the corner had a button for Tab. 
 Remember Tab?
Of course I just had to quote the diner scene from "Back To the Future" when I saw the Tab button. 
Lou: You gonna order something, kid?
Marty McFly: Ah, yeah. Give me...Give me a Tab.
Lou: Tab? I can't give you a tab unless you order something.
Marty McFly: Right. Give me a Pepsi Free.
Lou: You want a Pepsi, pal, you're gonna pay for it.

Well, that's all for today, but we'll continue this tour another day.  Until then, have a Happy Vintage Day!

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