Everyday is an adventure

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Umiak on display in International Small Craft Center
Umiak on display in International Small Craft Center

One of the absolute best parts of this job is that I am almost always on some kind of treasure hunt, whether I know it or not.  Frequently I will be browsing through an object file and will find some random bit of information that is either hilarious or incredibly interesting, or sometimes both.  Today has been one of those days.  In the process of locating information for a researcher regarding an umiak that used to be in our collection, I came across a funny handwritten note that said, “the oomiak has unquestionably added atmosphere as well as smell to the museum.”  It was only after I started researching the umiak that is currently in our collection that I understand why someone may have stated something.

Looking through information from when the umiak came to us (the one in the picture above) it was written that “While in Alaska Mr. Woolworth, forgetful of our purchase, brought back an oomiak on the deck of his yacht as a gift for the Mariners.  The boats as already stated, are covered with walrus skins.  When the sun shone for days, the greasy fragrance from this particular craft – plus the stench of urine with which Eskimos saturate the hides to tan them – caused mal-de-mere, anything but pleasant for those on board.  No doubt it was a never-to-be-forgotten trip.  In fact we heard stories about it for several years.”   Read more

Returned stolen material

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City of Pueblo steamship photograph

It’s been a while since I’ve reported on the returning stolen pieces, but I am happy to say that they continue to come in.  And some people have been extremely kind and sent extra pieces in to help rebuild our collection.  Here are some of the pieces have that have come back in the last month.

Photographs of the steamships City of Pueblo (left) and Robert E. Lee (right).   Read more