-Relics of the Past-
By Cory L. Higgs
The ‘sweetest’ forgotten find on our list are these glass figurines which used to hold a surprise of candy and other goodies for kids, back before plastic was the thing. The inside of each figurine is hollow, and a thin cardboard of foil lid would have secured the candy inside. These were passed down in my family, and I can remember a time when these sat on my grandfather’s kitchen window. Perhaps he was keeping them around to reminisce about sweeter times. These candy vessels would have been popular around the 1930-1940s and cost only a few cents.
The next forgotten item is a two for one special. Randy Joyce contributed a photo of his old viewfinder. These contraptions would be raised to the eyes and give the illusion that the view was right there in front of them. Some of the devices featured cards that would flip, creating a moving picture. The subject in the one pictured is a card featuring the Mountain Rose Inn in Woolwine in its heyday. The inn is a Victorian-style building built in the early 20th century. Although now closed, passers-by can still envision the grandness of this forgotten gem.
One rather ugly forgotten relic is a prized “Foo Dog.” It’s rather ghastly to look at and looks like a demonic creature out of a horror movie. This one came from a local collector who had an eye for oriental wares. I have no idea how old it is, but estimate at least 50- 60 years old. However, the lore dates back centuries. The dog is an ancient Chinese hero of sorts who would watch over a family and protect them from outside forces. Who would have thought an ancient Chinese idol would make its way to Patrick County? While many would look at this ugly statue and pay no mind, its forgotten identity earns it a place on this list (also I wouldn’t want to anger any long-forgotten spirits, would I?)
The most versatile item stands about two and a half feet tall. It is the knotted monstrosity, my grandmother refers to as the “knot maul.” This tool serves many functions. Need to hammer a nail? This will do the trick. Need a place to hang your hat? Done. Need to fight off a grizzly bear? It has your back. This relic belonged to mountain family and served many more uses than those mentioned above. Any self-respecting mountaineering family had to have one around the house.
Did you enjoy the weird and wacky relics of the past? Do you have some forgotten history or antiques you’d like to share? Send submissions to email@example.com or call (276) 694-3101.