Tag Archives: beadwork

A quick stop in Cameron

A heavily ornamented chest of drawers made in Norway and brought to Barron County by 19th century Norwegian immigrants.

In July, I spent two of the hottest days of the summer in the northwest part of the state.  My ultimate destination was the Stone Lake Area Historical Society, where I trained volunteers in scanning, photography, and cataloging to get them started on building a digital collection for Wisconsin Heritage Online. On the way to Stone Lake, I made a detour to the New Richmond Heritage Center to look at their decorative arts collection (items from that visit will be online soon). Between New Richmond and Stone Lake I stopped at the Pioneer Village Museum, operated by the Barron County Historical Society in Cameron.

An exhibition case of beadwork and other crafts made by Susie Cadotte, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe.

It was late in the afternoon by the time I got to Cameron, but museum director Caroline Olson met me at the gate and gave me a whirlwind tour of the museum complex–37 buildings including exhibit halls, a church, and several log dwellings and commercial buildings that have been moved to the site. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to do my usual full object documentation, but I took lots of snapshots of interesting artifacts, both Wisconsin-made and not.

Andrew Peterson of Poskin, Wisconsin built the Ebenezer Lutheran Church in 1908 as well as the pulpit, altar, altar rail and pews. The church and most of its interior fittings were moved to the museum in 1972.

This chair, in the style of a traditional Norwegian kubbestol, is considered the literal county seat of Barron County. The museum label tells the story of the chair's role in the establishment of the community of Barron as the seat of county government: "This chair is known as the County Seat because it was within its seat that in 1874, County Clerk Woodbury S. Grover packed the meager records of this young county and on a cold winter night walked from Rice Lake to Barron, depositing them with John Quaderer, who owned the Quaderer House Hotel."

–Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer


Now Online: Private Collections part 2

Ironstone plate manufactured by Joseph Clementson, Stoke-on-Trent, England and imported to Milwaukee by F. J. Blair, ca. 1840-1850.

Two more private collections posted recently…

The first is a large group from a private collector who’s kept an eye out for Wisconsin-related items for decades. A brief list gives a sense of the scope of just the small part of the collection that I photographed: earthenware from a Waukesha County pottery, stoneware from potteries in Wautoma, Portage, and Menasha, and marked coin silver spoons made by silversmiths in Milwaukee, Madison, Beloit, Janesville, and Platteville.

In addition to these important examples of Wisconsin pottery and metalwork, the collection also includes an intriguing group of flow-blue ironstone dishware. Although not made in Wisconsin, they reveal important evidence of life in the early days of settlement and statehood. Ceramics decorated with blue transfer-printed chinoiserie motifs were the height of middle-class fashion in Britain and America in the mid-nineteenth century. Staffordshire potters such as Joseph Clementson, who manufactured the plate shown above, shipped their wares to American distributors like F. J. Blair of Milwaukee.

Three miniature earthenware posnets (three-legged cooking pots) attributed to August Henschel, Colgate, Waukesha County, ca. 1880-1900.

Coin silver spoon, R. P. Hicks, Platteville, Grant County. Engraved with the initials "MDR"

Detail of crochet and beadwork on stockings made by Elizabeth Pauline Ebert, Menomonee Falls, Waukesha County, 1878-1879.

Another small collection was brought to my attention after my presentation at the Delafield Antique Show last spring. A unique group of handknit stockings embellished with delicate crochet and beadwork were gifted to the current owner by the granddaughter of the maker, Elizabeth Ebert. Ebert was born in Germany and came to Wisconsin around 1847, writing in her diary that she made the stockings because she wanted to look beautiful in her new country, America.

Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer.