Christian Rice: Working On Artifacts From the Dean House at the Lincoln Home

Written By CRDIP

On July 20, 2019
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By Christian Rice

I’ve continued over the past two weeks to work with the artifacts in storage, and I’ve managed to complete the cataloging of another home. The Sprigg House was purchased by a widow, Mrs. Julia Sprigg, in 1853. Mrs. Sprigg became close friends with Mary Lincoln over the years, and Sprigg’s daughter once cared for the Lincoln’s sons.

Currently, I am working on artifacts from the Dean House. This house came to be named after its occupants Mrs. Harriet Dean and her husband Frederick, who purchased the home in 1849. Today, visitors to the site can tour through the Dean house as well as the garden established behind the home.

Figure 1: The Harriet Dean House

Another project I’ve been working on over the past few weeks has been to put together a new display for the Arnold House. In the house, there is a standing display that is themed “Left Behind,” in which items found during the archaeological digs and reconstructions are shown. Previously, the display was filled with items connected to the Morse House. Our goal was to replace the artifacts with some from the Robinson House.

Figure 2: The Heirloom Garden Located behind the Dean House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My main task within this project was to do background research for each of the artifacts that we used in the display in order to write descriptions for the information cards. The research involved a lot of searching for and deciphering of Maker’s Marks, materials used, and other identifying traits. This was my first time doing anything curator-like, and it was a process that I found I rather enjoyed.

This past week, I also completed part of my volunteer service project. I spent time at a local elementary school, where they host a day camp throughout the summer for kids in the community. Specifically, I helped with the Backpack Feeding program. The goal of this program is to send each child home on the weekends with a bag of various food items to ensure they have access to nutritious meals. It was a really great experience, and I enjoyed meeting new people and getting involved more in the community here in Springfield.

Figure 3: The new “Left Behind” display
featuring items from around the
Robinson House.

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