I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT!
I look around at our huge collection of Sharon Springs’ memorabilia and wonder, “How did it all start?” My husband and I never considered ourselves to be avid collectors nor were we history buffs, but it certainly doesn’t appear so. Over the years, we have watched our friends and family collect Hummels, PreciousMoments figurines, dolls, teddy bears, clocks, bird cages, and trains, to name a few. All the while we werethinking, “What will they do with all that stuff?” Of course, that was years ago when we were focused on our jobs. We were thinking more about collecting a paycheck than collecting collectibles.It all started with the gift of a Sharon Springs postcard about twenty years ago. Sharon Springs is a smallmineral water community in Upstate New York, once internationally famous for its healing waters. We wereintrigued with the small memento of the past because the image showed how the village used to look. Thispostcard led to a couple more. Then we thought it would be fun to go to a postcard show. Many dealers andvendors sell at postcard shows with dozens of long boxes storing postcards from all over New York State andbordering states. One postcard show led to several more during the year. We bought more postcards andstarted putting them into binders. If collecting postcards was fun, then acquiring historical books, pamphlets,photographs, and brochures about Sharon Springs would be fun too, and the albums got bigger. We addedFlow Blue glass souvenirs of Sharon Springs to the collection. Keepsakes can be pricey and we couldn’t justleave them setting about so we bought a small tabletop display cabinet to put them in. When that cabinet wasfull, we bought a bigger cabinet.We expanded our search from postcard shows. Garage sales, flea markets, antique shows, and of course e-Bay, are the source of our finds. We still have a thrill every time we find something new. People sometimes tellus about a Sharon Springs item they saw and we immediately check it out.Many mementos are small items like silver spoons and Machlinware, but memorabilia and ephemera are alsolarge objects like posters, porcelain signs, and Adirondack-type souvenirs, and we graduated to a floorshowcase. One showcase was fine for a couple of years and then it just didn’t have enough space. Therefore,another showcase was added.The exhibits lacked order. The items in the cabinets were mostly glassware which we couldn’t leave lyingabout for small grandchildren’s fingers to touch. In order to categorize the items and house more of thecollectibles, more showcases were needed. Also, the items kept growing at a rapid pace and our wall spacewas getting congested with signs all indicating that Sharon Springs was a fun place to be – Sharon Raceway,Annex Baths, Roseboro Hotel, Sharon Springs Golf Course, Ski Tow, and Smith’s Pool.So, I alphabetized and categorized the postcards and photographs into a book shelf which now includes aboutfifty, large binders. My husband repaired various sized showcases when he wasn’t squeezing in more spaceon the garage walls. He likes the big signs best which boast about the healing powers of Sharon’s mineralwaters.