Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Why Is The Lady Happy?" - Bovina Historical Society's Afternoon at the Museum

This Saturday (May 12), the Bovina Historical Society will host a reception/exhibit at the Bovina Community Hall from 4 to 6 pm to display over 100 artifacts from the recesses of Russell's Store.  The eclectic mix of items includes baking products, clothing, shoes, and advertising pieces.  Parson's Smut-Off, Best English Monarch Brand Bath Brick, Dr. Claris' Fever Medicine, Saturn Bias Velveteen Skirt Binding, Putnam Dyes-Tints, and Socony Auto Spring Oil are just some of the products that will be on display.  Some things from the Russell family also well be on display, including Isabell Russell's wedding dress and her mother's steamer trunk.  The exhibit also will include a couple of artifacts from previous owners of the store. 

Some samples from the exhibit:

Any thoughts on what this is? I know, but do you?
And here's a photograph dating from probably the 1930s of Cecil inside his store. To the right toward the back of the store is a large coffee grinder that can still be seen at Russell's.

Photo courtesy of the Bovina Historical Society
And Why Is The Lady Happy? Come to the Bovina Community Hall on Saturday, May 12 from 4-6 pm and find out - and to support the Bovina Historical Society in its mission to preserve and present the history of the town.  Donations will be much appreciated.


  1. Today, (June 10, 2012),I found an old paper grocery bag from the A.T. Strangeway General Store, Bovina Center,NY. Apparently, the paper bag was found in our family farm house attic and placed with the photos. I am intrigued, because I never knew of an A.T. Strangeway Store. Russell's and Hilson's were the only stores that I knew of. Can anyone shed light on when where this store existed? Linn (Linnell) E. Trimbell

  2. Linnell - there indeed was a Strangeway's General Store. It was located where Thomas's garage was and was a store until the early 1920s, when someone named Hillis bought it and turned it into a garage. The store was founded by Andrew T. Strangeway in the early 1870s and competed with Hilson's and with T.E. Hastings and A.T. Doig, the predecessors to Cecil Russell. Strangeway had been partners with Hilson before opening his store. In the 1880s, Strangeway added a 'hall' to the back of the store on the second story. Town meetings and other events were held here until the Community Hall was built in 1930. Strangeway was married to a Doig, a cousin of A.T. Doig (and Doig was a cousin of Cecil Russell).