Stories from Possum Ridge: Boll Weevil Cafe

On December 14, 2011, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The train town of Possum Ridge has been a holiday tradition in the capital city for nearly forty years. Its running trains and detailed model buildings have delighted both children and adults every December. This series explores the history of the town and the stories behind its buildings as related to us by Lucky Osborne, who built most of the town himself. Osborne continues to volunteer his time to maintain the town and read from “A Special Visitor Comes to Possum Ridge,” the children’s book inspired by the exhibit.

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Boll Weevil Cafe in Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

The original Boll Weevil Cafe was located in Inverness (Sunflower County) and owned by Lucky Osborne’s grandmother. Although he never saw the country cafe in person, he had seen pictures of it.

During the Depression, his grandmother told him, many people traveled the roads and rails. One day a man came in and told her that he was hungry. He was a sign painter and said, “If you’ll give me a hamburger, I’ll paint a sign for your cafe.” She said, “If you’ll paint what I want you to paint, I’ll feed you for a whole week!” So she had him paint, as she called it, her “menu on the wall.”

If you look on the exterior side walls of the cafe, you’ll see the breakfast menu of eggs, bacon, coffee, and pie painted on one side, and a dinner menu of ice cream, a hamburger, and a hotdog on the other.

The model train town of Possum Ridge and historic Christmas trees and toys are on display Monday, noon–4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. through December 22 on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at the corner of North and Amite streets in Jackson. Tours for school groups are available by reservation Tuesday–Friday, December 6–16, 9 a.m.–noon. For information call 601-576-6800.

Tagged with:
 

Stories from Possum Ridge: Osborne’s Grocery

On December 12, 2011, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The train town of Possum Ridge has been a holiday tradition in the capital city for nearly forty years. Its running trains and detailed model buildings have delighted both children and adults every December. This series explores the history of the town and the stories behind its buildings as related to us by Lucky Osborne, who built most of the town himself. Osborne continues to volunteer his time to maintain the town and read from “A Special Visitor Comes to Possum Ridge,” the children’s book inspired by the exhibit.

Osborne's Grocery in the town of Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Osborne's Grocery in the town of Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

The original Osborne’s Grocery was a basic general store in Carroll County that was operated by Lucky Osborne’s uncle. He never saw the building prior to making the model, but he had seen pictures of it. The scene depicted in the model is based on a story told to Osborne by his uncle and others.

Shortly after World War II, a soldier was home on leave from the army. When it was time for him to return, his wife took him to Osborne’s Grocery, a Greyhound stop, to catch the bus. At the same time the couple was waiting for the bus, two men were on the roof painting the front of the grocery. Just as the bus was pulling up, one of the painters knocked over a bucket of white paint. The soldier happened to be standing below the workmen and the paint spilled onto the soldier’s head. They tried to clean him up as well as they could, but he returned to camp with paint still on him. If you look closely, you can see the soldier with his bag standing underneath the paint as it falls from the roof!

The model train town of Possum Ridge and historic Christmas trees and toys are on display Monday, noon–4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. through December 22 on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at the corner of North and Amite streets in Jackson. Tours for school groups are available by reservation Tuesday–Friday, December 6–16, 9 a.m.–noon. For information call 601-576-6800.

Tagged with:
 

Stories from Possum Ridge: Joy Theater

On December 8, 2011, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The train town of Possum Ridge has been a holiday tradition in the capital city for nearly forty years. Its running trains and detailed model buildings have delighted both children and adults every December. This series explores the history of the town and the stories behind its buildings as related to us by Lucky Osborne, who built most of the town himself. Osborne continues to volunteer his time to maintain the town and read from A Special Visitor Comes to Possum Ridge,” the children’s book inspired by the exhibit.

Joy Theater in town of Possum Ridge. On exhibit at the Winter Building in Jackson from December 5-22, 2011.

Joy Theater in town of Possum Ridge (From the prop collection of the Museum Division, MDAH)

Lucky Osborne has been working with the Possum Ridge model train town since 1975, when Patti Carr Black, then curator of exhibits at the Old Capitol Museum, asked him to build a model town to enhance the existing train exhibit that ran around the Christmas tree in the Old Capitol. Osborne immediately began making ten buildings that made up a downtown block of stores. Possum Ridge received an enthusiastic response from the public.

However, by 1998 the town was in need of repairs and Osborne again volunteered his time to rebuild Possum Ridge.  Although some of the original buildings remain, he has added new ones over the years. Many of them have special significance because they recall Osborne’s family or people with whom he has worked at MDAH.

Joy Theater

The original Joy Theater was located in Belzoni, Mississippi. Osborne remembers visiting it as a child because his grandfather worked nearby and would use the theater as a babysitter of sorts. It was located in a block of buildings and he built the model from his memories of its appearance. Osborne used a Tarzan movie poster because it was a popular movie in that era and he remembered seeing it several times at Joy Theater.

The model train town of Possum Ridge and historic Christmas trees and toys are on display Monday, noon–4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. through December 22 on the first floor of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at the corner of North and Amite streets in Jackson. Tours for school groups are available by reservation Tuesday–Friday, December 6–16, 9 a.m.–noon. For information call 601-576-6800.

Tagged with:
 

“Turkeys! Turkeys! Live or Dressed”

On November 23, 2011, in Newspapers, by Amanda
0
"His Repentance," The Free Press (Poplarville), November 21, 1907, page 3. MDAH microfilm #30982.

"His Repentance," The Free Press (Poplarville), November 21, 1907, page 3. MDAH microfilm #30982.

The poem above describes a boy who ate too much at Thanksgiving dinner. The humorous illustration depicts the Thanksgiving turkey, chicken, and other animals marching in front of his sick bed with a sign that says “No More Thanksgiving Dinners.”

The Aberdeen Weekly, November 28, 1919. MDAH microfilm #17849.

The Aberdeen Weekly, November 28, 1919. MDAH microfilm #17849.

This ad gives the reader an option on their turkeys.

Tagged with:
 

“A Sharp Knife Makes a Tender Turkey”

On November 21, 2011, in Newspapers, by Amanda
0

Newspapers from the early 1900s were often filled with holiday advertising, stories, poems, and artwork. Enjoy this week’s sampling of amusing and frequently poignant vignettes from Thanksgivings past.

The Daily Democrat (Natchez), November 20, 1910, section 2, page 1. MDAH microfilm #21360.

The Daily Democrat (Natchez), November 20, 1910, section 2, page 1. MDAH microfilm #21360.

The Free Press (Poplarville), November 21, 1907, page 2. MDAH microfilm #30982.

The Free Press (Poplarville), November 21, 1907, page 2. MDAH microfilm #30982.

Tagged with: