Saturday, September 17, 2016

Water/Ways Bus Tour and Jack's Quill Pens

Get your tickets now!

We are now selling tickets for the Water/Ways  bus tour through flood-prone Allison Prairie, the former George Field Army Air base, Lake Lawrence, the crossing where Abe Lincoln first came into Illinois, and past an eagle's nest.  Cost is $10, seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased at the History Center.  The tour is being offered two different Saturdays, September 24 and October 1 with two tours each day; one at 10:00 am and one at noon. What are you ‘wading’ for…sign up now!


Many of you know Jack, the Barber in Bridgeport.  When he is not cutting hair, he presents programs about the Civil War. Jack heard that Nancy King needed a quill pen for the Migration exhibit and so he made one from a turkey feather.  When he brought it in, we were enthralled with his description of how he cut the feather’s quill with a pen knife and then cut the slit near the point to hold the ink.  He even demonstrated the correct way to load it with ink and write. 

We thought these quill pens might be neat to sell in our gift shop.

 He stated that he thought they would be too expensive.  

We thought he was kidding.  It’s a feather for gosh sakes.

Later when he brought in several additional quill pens, he left an ‘invoice’ that caused us all to chuckle.  Only Jack could have done this.  I copy it here for your reading pleasure. 

Cost of Making Quill Pens from Turkey Wing Feathers
Illinois Turkey Permit  -- $15
Shotgun and Ammunition -- $500
Hunting Attire -- $500
Turkey Blind -- $250
Turkey Call  --  $50 
Total  --   $1315
Additional Expense:  Cost of 250 acre Hunting Preserve ($1 per acre per day) 
Limit, one bird per day—Additional $300 per bird after First Kill)

And now we know the real reason, many of our early pioneers couldn’t write….
THEY COULDN’T AFFORD IT.

Thanks Jack.