Thursday, July 16, 2009


You never know what you're going to find when you go out junking, and lately the pickings have been mighty slim. But last weekend I found a piece of Western New York history in the little town of North Rose (which is NOT in Western New York).

One of my favorite hunting spots is a little church-run thrift shop. Okay, I haven't found anything spectacular there, but they always seem to have something I need or, more importantly, want, and for not much money. Last week's gem cost me all of a quarter.

The Arts and Crafts movement was very big in East Aurora, NY back in the early 20th century, thanks to Elbert Hubbard, a writer, publisher, artist and philosopher, and his Roycroft Press. The village became famous for its artisan shops, and the beautiful Roycroft Inn.

RoycroftInn_1 The inn originally opened in 1905 and closed in 1938. (It has since reopened (1995) and has rooms furnished in the arts and crafts style, and a wonderful restaurant.) It's lovely, as is the whole village. (Which is also the home of Fisher-Price Toys.)

Roycroft_pat What's that got to do with me? I've been fascinated with the whole Arts and Crafts movement (we have a lot of books on it) and so I was psyched when I found a Roycroft Inn butter pat, made by the Buffalo Pottery Company, and dated 1925. Just to have a piece of the not only the inn, but of the whole Roycroft past, is really cool. It just so happens I have a number of other butter pats and have hung them with mini plate hangers. This one's going right over my desk.

What pieces of history are you pleased to own?