Artifact

Artifact of the Month: Shasta County Court Documents

Artifact of the Month: Shasta County Court Documents

At first glance, these four pages may not seem too compelling, but there is more here than meets the eye! What appears to be a stack of personal notes, jotted down in old-fashioned cursive, are actually records from court cases related to miners and land claims. The cases were conducted in French Gulch in the late 1800’s. Legal documents like these offer a glimpse into 19th Century life while also providing insight into the local affairs of 1890.

Artifact of the Month: 1940s Lucite Handbag

Artifact of the Month: 1940s Lucite Handbag

One might argue that the handbag (purse, satchel, or just plain old bag) is probably one of the oldest hominid inventions. An animal bladder, a skin, a gourd, or even a really big leaf could be adapted as an effective way to carry our ever-increasing number of possessions. Over millennia, a relatively simple and practical way to carry stuff has been elevated to an art form and a status symbol accessory.

Artifact of the Month: Match Safes

Artifact of the Month: Match Safes

These mystery objects were on fire during February, overwhelmingly winning this month’s slot for Artifact of the Month! Some folks may have guessed that these little, metal boxes were lighters, which is not too far off since they are indeed associated with making fire. However, these diverse artifacts are all various types of match safes. 

Artifact of the Month: Turkana Head Rest

Artifact of the Month: Turkana Head Rest

This “mystery object” received an overwhelming number of votes in our visitor poll! A mystery no more, this head rest was accessioned into the Turtle Bay museum collection in 1978 with the description, “head rest from the Turkana culture of Northwestern Kenya; used to protect hairdos while sleeping and to keep bugs from getting into hair; carried with a sash worn around the waist and is sometimes used as a stool.” So, now you know!