Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Something New for Our Archives

Ephemera -- an onomatopoeic word in my opinion -- is a word I enjoy.  One definition of ephemera is "any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved.  It derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day."

Thankfully there are people in the world who have seen the value of retaining and preserving such items because certain of these things can help tell a story of the history of a place or occasion.

One such story is that of the Hawthorne Hotel, a historic hotel that has not always thought of itself in those terms, and so has not always collected its own story along the way.  Therefore we have found ourselves searching for such items of our history, and one place that we often look is on eBay.  Thankfully we also have friends here in Salem who watch out for such items for us, and recently, one of those friends, Nelson Dionne, located such an item and let us know about it.  We headed right over to eBay and purchased it!

What is it?  It is a placemat printed with a map of Salem, complete with points of interest to a visitor.  When is it from?  Well, we had our friend Jim McAllister, another local historian take a look at it, and between us all we figured out a narrow range of dates.  More on this after the image.

Here it is:

You may click on it to see a larger version on your computer monitor if you wish.

Now, for the fun part for you faithful blog readers.  We think we know a small range of dates that this would have been in use, but we do not really know for sure.  If any of you can "date" this for us more specifically, with reasons why you believe you know the date, we would surely find it in our hearts to reward you for your efforts.

So, for all you armchair Salem historians out there, have fun, and let us hear from you.  You can email me at Juli@HawthorneHotel.com with your responses.

Thanks in advance!


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