Z: Zaner Robison Historical Museum

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Welcome to the A to Z blog challenge! Bread and Butter Days shares tidbits from the past. Follow us for posts to go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

We’re on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/BreadandButterDays?ref=hl

Z: Zaner Robison Historical Museum, Royse City, Texas

royse cityToday we reach the letter ‘Z’ and wrap up our A to Z blog. Thank you for visiting during this fun (and sometimes challenging) trip through the alphabet, as it relates to ‘the good ole days’.

The Zaner Robinson Historical Museum depicts life on the Blackland Prairie from early settlers through the boom years (1920-1960’s). It is housed in a 1925 building that is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places.

Zaner Robison Historical Museum 124 Arch Street Royse City, Texas 75189 972-635-7438 herldine.radley@roysecity.com

Open Noon – 4 PM, Thursday – Saturday

Free Admission Please call ahead for tours.


Y: Yeast like Grandmother Made

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Welcome to the A to Z blog challenge! Bread and Butter Days shares tidbits from the past. Follow us for posts to go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

We’re on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/BreadandButterDays?ref=hl

Y: Yeast like Grandmother Made

From an old newspaper article, undated.

baking breadTake three-teaspoonfuls of flour, three of sugar, half a tablespoonful salt. Put all together into a pan, boil four good sized potatoes in a quart of water and when tender pour the water from potatoes into a jar. Mash potatoes fine and add to the rest. Boil a handful of hops in a quart of water, strain the water into the mixture, stir it briskly five minutes. When lukewarm add one cup of good yeast; let it rise and stir down several times. Next day put it into a fruit can or jug. Cork tightly and keep in a cool place ready for use. One cup of this is sufficient for four loaves of bread.

And on that thought I leave you. I’m off to pull out the bread machine and open that handy jar of ready to go yeast sitting in the refrigerator.

I love the ‘good ole days’. But I also love the time saving conveniences of living in our modern world.

vintage kitchen

X: Xmas Postcards from the Past

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0X: Xmas Postcards from the Past

PC Christmas frontI know, this is a bit of a stretch. ‘X’ was a challenge for me.

There are quite a few vintage postcards in my collection. Somehow, I only have one Christmas postcard. Many New Years and Birthday cards. But one lone Christmas card.

Sent from Florence to Miss Ida Johnson, Clark, So. Dakota on December 21, 1909.

Dear Ida, I received your card Sat. Was glad to hear from you. I guess I was just playing off for I am feeling fine and dandy now. Hope this will find you the same. I suppose you are going to have a big time Xmas. You had better come in ___ night to the Xmas tree. I will close hoping to see you soon, Florence.

PC Christmas backMy Genealogy Hound has an amazing assortment of antique, vintage postcards. This is one of my favorite sites. Check them out here: http://www.mygenealogyhound.com/vintage-postcards-photos-and%20images.asp

Here’s a nice blog with beautiful vintage Christmas postcards, posted by The Black River Blog. http://blackriverlakeblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/old-time-christmas-cards.html

Here’s a Facebook page with delightful posts of different vintage postcards: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-postcards/204380916418996?fref=ts

W: White Settlement Historical Museum

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0W: White Settlement Historical Museum

History, music, log cabins and Civil War reenactments; what more of the past could one want?

White Settlement Historical Museum, just outside of Fort Worth Texas, has all of this in more.

Coming up:

whitesettlement2CIVIL WAR LIVING HISTORY RE-ENACTORS SATURDAY, APRIL 25 and SATURDAY, JULY 18 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. Come experience Civil War Living History when members of the 15th Texas Cavalry/2nd MO. U.S. present a day of living history, in Union and Confederate military garb with their black-powder pistols, rifles and shotguns, swords and knives and military kit.

White Settlement Historical Museum 8320 Hanon Drive, White Settlement, Texas 76108 Phone: 817-246-9719

Tuesday through Saturday: 10 A.M. – 3 P.M. Closed Sunday and Monday


V: Visitor Center and Museum (Roanoke, Texas)

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Welcome to the A to Z blog challenge! Bread and Butter Days shares tidbits from the past. Follow us for posts to go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

We’re on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/BreadandButterDays?ref=hl

V: Visitor Center, Roanoke Texas

roanoke1Many cities have visitor centers that highlight the history of the town. Many also have brochures and pamphlets of fun places to visit in the area.

Today, for ‘V’, I’m featuring my favorite visitor center – the one in our town, Roanoke, Texas.

From the web site:

“Come visit us at the Roanoke Visitor Center and Museum and see our beautifully restored rock building from 1886, the centerpiece of downtown Roanoke since the turn of the twentieth century. The building was re-opened to the public in 2008 after a rigorous restoration.

Formerly the Silver Spur Saloon, the stately building also housed an upstairs brothel, dance hall, and much more. Enjoy our collection of local and regional artifacts and learn about the local legends of Roanoke’s vibrant past. The Silver Spur Saloon Building was awarded a Texas Recorded Historic Landmark designation and received an award for Best Renovation from the Texas Downtown Association and Preservation Texas in 2009.”




U: Unusual Illnesses

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0U: Unusual Illnesses

Looking back through old remedies and folk cures, unusual illnesses are often mentioned that we never hear of anymore. Sometimes it still exists and we just know it by a more updated name. Here’s a few ‘old time’ conditions.

old medicine bottlesAgue: 1: a fever (as malaria) marked by paroxysms of chills, fever, and sweating that recur at regular intervals, 2: a fit of shivering

Biliousness: A term used in the 18th and 19th centuries pertaining to bad digestion, stomach pains, constipation, and excessive flatulence (passing gas). The quantity or quality of the bile was thought to be at fault for the condition. Hence, the name “biliousness.” (“Bilious” derives from the French “bilieux,” which in turn came from “bilis,” the Latin term for “bile.”) Biliousness was generally laid to high living. The “cure” was moderation and frequent visits to the doctor.

Chilblain: a medical condition that occurs when a predisposed individual is exposed to cold and humidity, causing tissue damage. It is often confused with frostbite and trench foot.

Cow Itch: One of the common names for Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) is cow itch vine. This trumpet creeper frequently causes an irritation from contact with this vine. Other plants, such as Carolina Jasmine or “Jessamine” (Gelsemium sempervirens), poison ivy, poison oak and sumac also cause similar rashes. Probably more commonly called contact dermatitis in today’s medical world.

old beware signDew Sores: Any of various rashes or infections of the feet or legs, believed to be caused by dew; the presumed agent causing such rashes or infections. Sometimes ringworm or hookworm of the feet, or Sores on the feet, usually between the toes; caused by parasitic mites. (See here for old time references to dew sores)

Dropsy: An old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. In years gone by, a person might have been said to have dropsy. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have edema due to congestive heart failure. Edema is often more prominent in the lower legs and feet toward the end of the day as a result of pooling of fluid from the upright position usually maintained during the day. Upon awakening from sleeping, people can have swelling around the eyes referred to as periorbital edema.

Quinsy: Peritonsillar abscess (PTA), also known as a quinsy or quinsey, is a recognized complication of tonsillitis and consists of a collection of pus beside the tonsil in what is referred to as peritonsilar space (peri—meaning surrounding).

Torpid liver: Sluggish liver. One old newspaper cutout reported – Torpid liver is responsible not only for many a poor complexion, but for warped views of life as well. One noted physician declares that every woman over 35 should take a dose of calomel at least twice a month.

Wens: a benign encysted tumor of the skin, especially on the scalp, containing sebaceous matter; a sebaceous cyst.

T: Thankful … for life now

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0T: Thankful … for life now

While I enjoy hearing and reading of times past and feel that I could immerse myself in these trips back into time … I really am thankful that I live now.

Here’s a few fun tidbits that reinforce why I’m thankful for today’s world.


Dry the starched articles perfectly, then dip them in a pail of boiling water and pass them through the wringer twice. They may then be ironed at once, or they may be rolled up in a dry cloth. The fabric may be ironed with greater ease after being dampened I this way than when sprinkled in the usual manner. Turpentine in starch gives an added whiteness and luster to the ironed articles. Use on tablespoonful to a quart of starch. – Ladies Home Journal


You often want to go some place on bread-making day, but think you can not, as you have bread on hands. It can be disposed of in this way: Make sponge at noon the day before baking. Before going to bed make dough, set in cool place; next morning before breakfast make into loaves. By 8 or 9 o’clock your bread is baked and you hardly know you have had it on hands.

The above helpful tip was cut from an old newspaper article. It was submitted by Gertrude Wrenick, Morristown, Indiana.

I believe I found Gertrude Wrenick, placing the undated tip prior to 1903. Gertrude is listed as a teacher on a 1892-1893 Shelbyville City Directory and County Gazeteer, Morristown, Indiana. Will Phillipy is listed as a traveling salesman on the same directory. (Directory here) William H. Phillipy and Gertrude (Wrenick) Phillipy had a daughter, Ruth Phillipy Parish, born July 22, 1904, in Morristown. (Ruth’s obituary here)


For cleaning flatirons or waxing thread, paraffin can be used exactly like beeswax.

Wooden tubs and pails can be made water-tight and prevent absorption of odors by running a thin coating over the inside of same.

Carpenters use it on shingles, mixed with linseed oil.

S: Settlement to City Museum, Grapevine, Texas

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0S: Settlement to City Museum, Grapevine, Texas

Tsettlement to city museumhe Grapevine Historical Museum, inside the replica Grapevine Ice Company building. Visitors to the Grapevine Historical Museum explore the cultural and family life of early Grapevine residents in such areas as agriculture, industry, childhood and more. Exhibits include a trip through Grandma’s attic, restored wedding gowns, farm and dairy life, and much more.

The Donald Schoolhouse, a ca. 1900 school building, offers a lesson on education as it developed on the Grape Vine Prairie – beginning in a log cabin and growing into today’s modern school district. Originally a Home Economics and Agriculture building for the Donald School was originally situated on Denton Creek. It teaches us about education on the Grape Vine Prairie.

The Keeling House Museum resides in a ca. 1888 historic home and chronicles how Grapevine developed from a pioneer settlement into a world-class city and visitor destination. Inside the museum you will see old time police and fire treasures and other City of Grapevine artifacts. There is also a collection of Mayor William D. Tate’s artifacts. Inside The Keeling House Museum, guests will discover a working 1881 Chandler and Price Press (the Grapevine LetterPress Lab). The Keeling House Museum is home to the Settlement to City collection. This exhibit was created for Grapevine’s centennial and highlights the city’s growth from prairie settlement to city.

The Grapevine Cotton Ginner’s Museum, inside a ca. 1910 house, chronicles the era when cotton was king and three gins in town prepared Grapevine’s crop to touch the world. This museum features hands on activities including the route for Texas Prairie cotton. This wonderful museum can be reserved for private functions and conferences.


R: Remedies and Cures

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0R: Remedies and Cures

Collected from old newspaper articles, these old time remedies and cures are for entertainment purposes only. Read and enjoy, but please don’t follow this advice. Although I am a firm believer and herbs and other homeopathic remedies over modern day pharmaceuticals, these have been chosen just to amuse.


Torpid liver is responsible not only for many a poor complexion, but for warped views of life as well. One noted physician declares that every woman over 35 should take a dose of calomel at least twice a month.

Those whom calomel affects injuriously can easily find some simple home remedy that will keep the liver from getting sluggish. Lemon and water, if nothing more active is needed, will be found helpful in this respect.

Stewed rhubarb has a well-known medicinal value; besides being a complexion beautifier it is said to be valuable for rheumatic troubles.


One tablespoonful of lard, one teaspoonful of coal oil, ten drops of carbolic acid; melt lard; put all in a sewing machine oil can. In cold weather warm before using, insert in nostril, squirt a few drops in each nostril. Will cure any case.


Take sunflower seed and brown like coffee, and grind and boil like coffee, and sweeten (use no milk); to be taken either hot or cold; to be taken often as long as the cough lasts.


Take one teaspoonful of white pine tar and two teaspoonfuls of lard; melt together; then dip flannel cloth in in which has been cut to fit the neck; lay between a thin cotton cloth and sew together on sides.


One ounce of chlorate of potash, one ounce of murate of iron, seven ounces of water. Shake well and take one tablespoonful and gargle every hour. After using wash the teeth thoroughly with a tooth brush, for this is hard on the teeth. This will cost you 25 cents.

Q: Quilting

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Q: Quilting

Quilting – it’s still popular today, just as it’s been for many years.

Personally, my favorite quilts are those from the Depression and post-depression days. There’s something that speaks to me, thinking of the women sitting around the fireside quilting, stitch after stitch, creating something beautiful to keep their family warm.

To DorisI’ve collected several quilts from this period. Not as many as I’d like, because I can’t afford to buy each one I admire and long for.

Naturally, my favorite story though is the one about the 1934 quilt squares I found in a yard sale about ten or twelve years ago. They had names stitched on them. When I finally discovered the source of the names, the women and young girls all came from the Athelstan, Iowa area. (Calico Connections is a post about the squares in the set, with all of the names.)

I no longer own the quilt squares. Last summer I took them to the Taylor County Historical Museum, in Bedford, Iowa. I miss them. But it’s all good. In exchange for the squares, I’ve met many descendants of the women that created these squares and I’ve made new lifelong friends amongst these women. My world is infinitely better from meeting these women and hearing the stories of the women that lived in Iowa long before I was born.

Quilting – it does more than keep our families warm. Sometimes it stitches memories and friendships across the miles and across the years.