Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cleo has the right idea

The only way she could get closer to the wood stove would be to sprawl right under it. The weather forecast for today is Nasty -- subzero with winds gusting up to 45 mph -- so I don't think either the S.O. or I will be venturing outdoors very much.

I spent most of yesterday down at the museum. I'm trying to get my mess cleaned up so things will be in decent shape when we leave for Missouri. That way the other volunteers won't have anything to worry about or explain away the clutter if a school group or some other organization decides they'd like a tour. I've got three boxes of stuff that I hauled down from the attic left to catalog and about a dozen rolled up maps and blueprints, all stacked on a table in the exhibit area. One box should be fast and easy -- it's small, and it's artifacts. The other two will probably get shuffled to a less conspicuous location. They're packed full of documents, most of which appear to be related to Bernard Lambert's research for his book on Bishop Baraga, Shepherd of the Wilderness (currently out of print, but available from the Baraga County Historical Museum for a mere $15 plus $4 for shipping if anyone's interested; I've found so many copies of the book since I started emptying the attic that we now have at least half a dozen extras). Lambert's papers are going to be a challenge -- hard to classify, but I really dislike the idea of doing an entry in the finding aid that would just say "Miscellaneous research notes" when it looks like they'll fill several document boxes.
What's left in the attic. The pile extends back about 15 feet, maybe a little more,
and includes at least one large steamer trunk. None of the boxes are
labeled, or, if they are, I've discovered the labels rarely match the contents. When
I first started emptying the attic, I thought it would take several years
 to sort and catalog. I haven't revised that estimate much, although
 it is going a little faster than anticipated.

The attic itself is far from empty. I figure I'm maybe at the halfway point, which is moderately amazing considering just how full it was packed. The section shown in the photo is probably the most secure part of the storage area. Although that OSB isn't nailed down it is at least OSB. The first section I emptied did not have a floor, just miscellaneous weirdness like old bulletin boards laid across the joists or nothing at all -- I found a few boxes sitting between the joists directly on the drywall of the ceiling below. The museum was lucky that drywall never started pulling loose.

Coolest thing I've found in the attic recently? A lovely illustrated looking like it's never been read 1885 edition of A Cotter's Saturday Night by Robert Burns, which I wish we didn't have to sell but we probably will. It doesn't really fit into the scope of our museum, so it'll end up with the other used books in the gift shop this summer as well as included with our used books listings on

In any case, I'll probably be back down at the museum again tomorrow if driving conditions settle down. If it's still windy, though, I'll stay home. Thanks to the wind whipping off the lake yesterday, it was pretty much a total whiteout in Baraga. Pulling out on to a highway frequented by logging trucks can be rather harrowing when your visibility is limited to barely 100 feet. It doesn't help your peace of mind much when you notice there are idiots running around in that mess with their lights off, like the asshat in the jeep who insisted on tailgating me most of the way to Family Dollar. Then again, there's something about driving an SUV that makes people seem to think they're invulnerable. . . but that's a subject for a separate post. Right now it's time to throw another log on the fire.

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