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Douglas County Museum

Do you remember running your traps in the wintertime?  Boys who could save a little money to afford steel traps could catch skunks, possums, and coons.  After skinning the animals they would stretch their hides on boards and as soon as they were dried, would sell them to a traveling fur trader.  A quarter or fifty-cent piece here and there made a young boy mighty proud and that would allow him to endure the spray of a skunk every now and then.

The Dr. J. L. Gentry Park, north of Ava on Highway 5, is named for the country doctor who made house calls, traveling by horseback, buggy, afoot, or automobile.  No one was ever turned down.

Dr. Gentry’s car was found mired in the mud near the fish hatchery at the site of the old Bryant Mill, where he apparently left and walked from the right-of-way to a country road, then meandered through fields and a gate not knowing which direction to find human habitation.

He was missing for 16 days when his body was found by searchers.  Probably exhausted, he laid down to rest, hanging his cane on a nearby sassafras limb.  The body was found in a restful position.  The coroner said exposure and exhaustion caused his death though there was some possibility of heart failure.

You can read the full article and see a doctor bag and the millworks at the Museum.  Free parking on the east side in the Tracy Murphy Memorial Parking Lot.

Noodle soup recipe from 1874:  Put soup bone in kettle half full of water.  Salt and let boil.  Pare and slice 2 small potatoes, 1 turnip, 1 onion, 1 parsnip and add to soup.  Season with pepper and a little parsley for flavoring. Fifteen minutes before serving, throw in the noodles.  Cook 15 minutes and serve.

Remember this song?  I come to town de udder night, I hear de noise and saw de fight, De watchman was a runnin’ roun’, Cryin’ “Old Dan Tucker’s come to town.”  Chorus—So get out de way Ole Dan Tucker, Get out de way, Ole Dan Tucker, Get out de way Ole Dan Tucker, You’re too late to come to supper.  The song had twelve verses, the more popular one was verse two:  Ole Dan Tucker was a fine old man, Washed his face in a fryin’ pan, Combed his head with a wagon wheel, And died with a toothache in his heel.  Our music room is filled with sheet music and vinyl albums and you just might be able to hear some Bob Holt fiddle music.

Stay tuned for more.