The Well-loved Family Heirloom
Paul Chiddicks recently asked if we have a favorite Family Heirloom. I have too many to have a favorite but this one is certainly a well used one. It belonged to my great grandfather Justus Warren SHELDON who at the time of his acquisition of the cane, lived in Eaton Rapids, Eaton county, Michigan. He lived in Eaton Rapids between 1895-1919 and was mayor there in 1899 and again in 1904.
I do not have a photo of Justus with this cane but it was clearly his as the name plaque on it shows. It reads J.W. Sheldon Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Not only was the cane used by Justus, my mother, his grand daughter, used this during a broken ankle episode and later in her life. Who knows but it may be used by me someday.
One of my favorite photos of Justus is with my great grandmother Lois Eurette Hall while they were visiting an Ostrich farm in California. Although he looks a bit stuffy in this photo he was adored by my mother and was quite the doting grandfather.
While researching the dates of Justus tenure as mayor I found a bit of interesting detail on the house that he built in Eaton Rapids. According to the Revitalization of the Eaton Rapids Home Tour his house at 221 State Street was built in 1901. “The buildings hardwood floors and white oak woodwork which are present throughout were cut from timber taken off the Sheldon family farm which was located where the present VFW is.” I cannot know for certain but I suspect this cane may be of similar origin.
A photo of the house today shows the house not much changed in its 120 years. I am guessing the cane and the house are of similar vintage—thus the well loved Heirloom—leads to a well loved house!
More of the house in a future post….I have 21 photos inside and out! A preview:
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