If so, come down to the Newton County Historical Park on Sunday, March 10, one week from today, for a special "tool time" show and tell.
And bring your own collection.
The event is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the little one room schoolhouse, next to the museum, 121 N. Washington St., one block northeast of the Neosho Square.
The other day, some volunteers opened up and re-inventoried the giant carpenter's chest that we currently have on display in the museum. The plan is to bring that chest down to the schoolhouse for the tool show on March 10. Somehow. It's going to be a job, I think.
According to information we have on the chest, it was built around 1860. I have been given to understand it was a cooperating witness to the construction of many of our fine historic homes in Neosho.
Tucked away in the drawers and slots INSIDE that chest are the carpenter's tools of trade, many of which are no longer in use. In fact, we don't know what a few of them are, exactly. At least I don't, let's say. Those hand tools will be on display March 10, so perhaps someone more knowledgeable about tools than I will be so kind as to share that knowledge — and not just for my sake, either. Passing on what you know, especially about things that have fallen out of common use, is important for future generations. I hope people still care about that these days.
We will have many more antique tools on display on March 10 as well, and not all of them are carpenter's tools, either. We're hoping that you will decide to bring your own antique hand tools to share and talk about. We will be setting up the day before, or that morning, so it might be helpful to bring your tools by sometime before then. Just make sure you tag your ID on them. Even better, provide some information about each of the tools, even it is just a one-word label with the name of the tool. Again, be sure you put your name on it somehow so we can keep track of whom each tool belongs to. You're more than welcome to bring your collection on the day of the event, as well, but space will probably be limited.
Or if you just have that one neat old tool that you figure no one will guess what it is, or if you don't know yourself, then please bring it with you! I expect there will be lots of tool "experts" there to jaw with.
A friend of mine asked me an interesting question: He wondered if we were going to include Native American tools as well. You know, I really hadn't thought about that. But I think we should include that bit of local history. So please, if you have some ORIGINAL Native American tool artifacts, I don't think anyone would object if you brought them to show off.
Call me at the number below if you have any questions about the antique tool show on March 10. See you next Sunday!
Wes Franklin serves on the board of directors of the Newton County Historical Society. He is also public relations/events coordinator for the City of Neosho. Call him at 658-8443.