Oberlin Heritage Center Blog


Oberlin Recipes

March 3rd, 2010

Hello everyone!  Those of you who were able to attend the celebration for Erik and Michele Andrews, Oberlinians of the Year, know that there were many delicious goodies to be sampled.  We had several requests for recipes and decided to post some online for all to see.  If you want to add yours, email it to [email protected].  Enjoy!

Cracker Chunks

Submitted by Ann Livingston

Line a cookie sheet with foil, edges standing up.  Cover the bottom with saltines.

Mix 1 c. butter and 1 c. sugar.  Bring to a boil & boil 3 minutes. Pour over saltines. It should spread fairly easily over all. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Spread 1 – 2 c. chocolate bits over the hot crust until covered.  Sprinkle chopped pecans on top while the chocolate is still melted (optional).

A friend’s recipe calls for brown sugar and baking 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

Ginger Cookies

Submitted by Lee Wood

Gather:

3/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.  Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined.  Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and add to the mixture.  Stir until combined.  Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter.  Roll the balls in sugar.  Place 1/2-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

(Source: Food Network)

Pumpkin Bars

Submitted by Deloris Bohn

Crust

1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter – chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts

Sift sugar, flour, and salt in bowl.  Rub in butter with hands until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Mix in chopped nuts.  Grease 13 x 9 in. pan.  Press mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lite brown.

Filling

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 package cook & serve vanilla pudding
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsps. pumpkin spice

Whisk pumpkin, milk, eggs, pudding mix, sugar, spice.  Pour over crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes on center rack of oven, until center is firm.  Serve with whipped topping.

A Winter Term at Oberlin Heritage Center

February 9th, 2010

By Timothy Krumreigh (Oberlin College class of 2012)

Timothy Krumreig encapsulates a historic document so it is safely protected in our archives.

Week One:

The first week interning at the Heritage Center was devoted to introduction and familiarization. Liz and Prue showed me around the basement and allowed me to familiarize myself with the location of resources. Additionally, Prue pulled out documents and books  (i.e. Collections Goals of OHC and Introduction to Museum work) based on my interested in the museum field so I could begin obtaining some background knowledge.

Week Two:

During the second week of interning at the Heritage Center, I began to utilize the resources to start some projects. Rachel and I did a very basic inventory of 123 (formerly 21) South Professor Street for the owner. We looked through directories,  at online documents, and in college guides in hopes of discovering more information about the residents of 123 S. Professor Street. Additionally, Prue showed Rachel and I two examples of scrap books and explained the problems and solutions for preserving old scrapbooks. After the discussion, Prue showed us a recently donated scrap book and demonstrated the construction of a phase box.

Week Three:

Week three of interning at the Heritage Center was really exciting. Rachel and I continued to work on the inventory of 123 S. Professor Street. We completed looking through documents and electric resources and will now move on to the final write up for the file. I went on the field trip to McKay-Lodge conservancy and was very impressed. The trip gave me a good idea of some of things that can be done with conservation and allowed me to see some of the awesome processes used in order to conserve a piece of art or historic document.

When we arrived back at the Heritage Center, Rachel and I discussed gaining experience and working with historic objects and documents with Prue. The next day, Prue collected various documents and pictures in need of preservation. She showed us the flat file of Soldiers Monument and taught us how to encapsulate the documents and pictures that were in the flat file. After walking us through the first encapsulation, she allowed Rachel and myself to encapsulate the remaining documents. On Friday, Rachel and I were given a register from the college and asked to build a phase box, with some assistance were were able to complete a box.

Week 4:

I think week four of our winter term internship was probably the most exciting. The Heritage Center sent us to a symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana for two days. The symposium was called “The Green Historic Preservation Symposium,” which was sponsored by the EPA region five. The symposium brought together people from many different fields: preservation, conservation, construction, business, and many more. The idea of the conference was to bring different minds together to figure out what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change in terms of green historic preservation. People are now beginning to realize that tearing down historic homes to make way for “new, green construction,” is not actually green. Green historic preservation is a new and developing idea; hopefully as this idea develops, we will see it applied in Oberlin.

Week Five:

During our last week of work at the Heritage Center, we began working more on the doll house and the objects found in the attic. I was shown how to remove the surface dirt from the furniture and toys by using vulcanized rubber. After the toys were cleaned, I recorded the type of objects so they could later be accessioned. Prue showed us how to add an accession number to the Pass Perfect program and Rachel and I printed a new deed for the found doll house items. The last big project we worked on involved writing the accession numbers on the objects themselves. This process involves different chemical and products that allow a museum to write on the object, but also remove the writing if necessary. We painted on chemicals and wrote the tiny accession numbers on the collections.

Working with the Heritage Center has given me a lot of great insight to preservation and museum work. I would like to go into the preservation and/or museum field after Oberlin, so this internship has allowed me to “get my feet wet” and get an idea of what I may be getting myself into. I had a great time working with the heritage center staff and the other winter term volunteers. I hope to continue working with the heritage center in the future.

A Doll’s House

February 4th, 2010

by Eli Goldberg (Oberlin College Class of 2012) 

Over the last month I’ve been working with Claire and Daniella to restore the Heritage Center’s 1930s doll house.  As an archaeology major, I’m used to working with old things – but this doll house is about 2,000 years out of my league!  Nevertheless, it’s been an amazing month. 
I read through dozens of old issues of the Ladies’ Home Journal, and drew up furniture plans for all the rooms in the dollhouse: living room with a grand piano, dining room, grown-up bedroom, and a twee little nursery that has its own toybox with tiny dolls. I vacuumed the dust out of miniature armchairs. I pored through countless wallpaper catalogs and daydreamed about floor coverings. (Hardwood floors? Handmade rugs? Yes we can!) 

Testing out a furnishings plan in the living room.

We went on two delightful field trips – one to a local art conservation facility (picture displaced sculptures lined up in the snow outside an Ohio barn, awaiting treatment); the other to meet with Steve McQuillin, an Oberlin alum who is a historic preservation consultant (working out of a breathtaking brick farmhouse that he restored himself). 

But halfway through the month – just when I thought I knew what I was doing – came the coolest surprise. 

My mission: take apart the dollhouse. This was a daunting assignment, as I’m excellent at deconstructing things, but not so great at putting them back together. Nevertheless, it will make it much, much easier to put in wallpaper and flooring. I prowled around the house with a camera, snapping photos of every nut, bolt, and screw. Then, tools in hand, I set about dismantling the beast, methodically laying out each piece on a card table. 

I unscrewed the fireplaces, pulled off the chimneys. Then I delicately lifted the roof, and very nearly died. 

Still carrying the roof, I wandered in a daze into the next room, where I found my supervisor. “Hey, uh, Prue? We’ve got an attic full of furniture.” 

“…oh, my goodness. You have got to be kidding me.” 

The sight that awaited us when we opened up the attic.

Oh, yes, there was furniture – some (sadly mildewy) couches, a complete bathroom set, a cast-iron kitchen range, a painted metal parlor set with manufacturer’s stamps. But there was so much more: a working mechanical music box. A toy cash register with coupons and newspaper scraps in the drawer. A pencil case with “March 1925” written on the back. An ancient Mickey Mouse figurine. A tiny tea set. It’s unbelievable that all of this was sitting under our noses the entire time – probably the person who donated the dollhouse didn’t even know it was there. 

I stayed well after my shift was over, exploring our new finds. After working with this house for two weeks, I thought I knew everything about it. But just pull off the roof, and suddenly the shape of my project has completely changed…

Researching Women Physicians in the 19th & 20th Centuries

January 30th, 2010

By Chloe Drummond (Oberlin College class of 2012)

This Winter Term, I wanted to stay in Oberlin and work locally. I hadn’t had an internship position for Winter Term before and I thought that working for the Oberlin Heritage Center would be a great opportunity to learn a lot about Oberlin, conduct in-depth history research—something I hadn’t really done before—and give my time to an organization that does a lot for the Oberlin community that I have grown fond of. And let me tell you, I think my Winter Term has been incredibly fulfilling. Not only have I met wonderful people who are truly passionate about their work, but I have learned to use resources I hadn’t previously known about.

I have been working on research about women physicians who practiced in Oberlin in the 19th and 20th centuries. I have found interesting information ranging from specific details such as a person’s physical features and notes about communication preferences, to broader context, such as the environment in which women practiced medicine at this time in U.S. history. Because of the centuries I was dealing with, it was tricky to find a lot of specific information that wasn’t recorded by Oberlin College. For example, I was unable to track down day-to-day practice information of the physicians who had private offices. I was, however, able to find a lot of information on the physicians who worked for the college. I believe that my work, as tough as it was to find information, has only scratched the surface. With more time, and by looking at different school records, city directories and hopefully other good pockets of sources, more information on these women will be revealed. It has been an interesting project because I have learned a lot about Oberlin College’s early physical education programs and in general, the kinds of work that women physicians were confined to in the early stages of allowing women to practice medicine in the United States. Personally, I have developed research skills that I know will be useful later on. I am hoping that the Oberlin Heritage Center can make good use of my project.

Working with the Past and Looking to the Future

January 29th, 2010

 

By Claire Baytas (Oberlin College class of 2012)

 

claire-wt1

 

When I first saw the advertisement on the Oberlin College Career Services page for an intern to work on restoring an old dollhouse, I knew I wanted to apply. I had been lost as to what to do for winter term, especially since my future career options and even my major still remain undetermined. I knew that because I am a swimmer and needed to train for the month of January I was restricted to Oberlin and the nearby community for choosing a project. This internship allowed me to research areas I had never imagined I would, in addition to using my arts and crafts skills to help rebuild a little piece of Oberlin history. It was the nature of the work I would be doing at the Heritage Center, but also memories of my personal love of dollhouses as a little girl, that led me to apply for the position.

 

My work at the Heritage Center involved anything from researching how to install a hardwood floor to sewing miniature curtains. Just looking at the photographs of masterpiece dollhouses while researching was astounding—it’s hard to believe that there are dollhouses that are fancier than any real house I’ve ever been in. My supervisors and fellow interns were wonderful and extremely enthusiastic about our project, which made coming into work all the better. This internship allowed me to become more involved in the Oberlin community outside the college, which I have wanted to do since coming to this school. Furthermore, especially since my future is so unclear, it is helpful for me to explore new careers and work environments that seem interesting to me. I loved the variety of skills I used during this past month and enjoyed myself greatly, and it is definitely possible that I could one day have a job that relates to this experience.

 

Work on the dollhouse is not finished, but I think the plans our group has laid out will lead to a remarkable finished product. I can’t wait for the day when I can go to see it on public display in Oberlin.