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T H I N G S T H AT M A D E U S G O ‘ H M M ’

A H I S T O RY OF SANDPOINT KALISPEL WOOD PIPE, 1915

IN 10 OBJECTS STEAMBOAT WHISTLE, 1907

STORY BY JENNIFER LAMONT LEO PHOTOS BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE

Recently, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Muse-

um, penned a bestselling book with an ambitious goal. In “The History of the World in 100 Objects,” MacGregor selected 100 artifacts from the museum’s collection to relate the story of human development, from the crude stone tool to the solar-powered lamp. While the choice of objects to include in such a project is necessarily arbitrary, we felt MacGregor was on to something. After all, a society’s material culture (that’s fancy scholar-speak for “the stuff people leave behind in their attics”) holds vital clues to the people, places and events that have shaped it over the years. That got us to thinking: What objects might best be used to tell the story of Sandpoint? Of course, MacGregor had the entire British Museum at his disposal. Not to be outdone, we paid a visit to Sandpoint’s own venerable institution, the Bonner County 74

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Museum, in search of 10 key objects to represent Sandpoint’s history. “The role of any museum is to collect, document, preserve and interpret objects,” said Olivia Luther, the museum’s director. “These objects have stories to tell, which our job is to share.” Referring to the museum’s collection, she added: “To me, the most important role of these objects is the opportunity they give to visitors to construct narratives, with themselves and with each other. It may be an old stove that triggers a visitor to share a memory of their mother or grandmother’s kitchen, or a historical image that people feel compelled to discuss.” Here, then, are 10 objects we feel compelled to discuss. While considered commonplace in their day, each one holds an important clue to Sandpoint’s past. Give it some thought. What objects most say “Sandpoint” to you?

SUMMER 2013

5/8/13 8:50 AM

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Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2013  

Arts, entertainment, lifestyle and recreation for residents and visitors of Sandpoint, Idaho. Feature the cover story on wolf revival; inter...

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2013  

Arts, entertainment, lifestyle and recreation for residents and visitors of Sandpoint, Idaho. Feature the cover story on wolf revival; inter...

Profile for keokee