November 15, 2017


I've always been interested in folk remedies - "Grandma's Cures" - for whatever ails you.  The history of pharmacology is based on the mixing of concoctions using natural substances, primarily plant extracts for medicinal purposes.  Originally known as "apothecaries," these early pharmacologists prepared and dispensed remedies, often times by trial and error, offering medical advice and services to the general public.  

The life of an apothecary was often not confined to a shop.  The care of a patient was provided at home by the family and country doctors were scarce, if even available. Gathering up his recipes and potions, commonly in an apothecary chest; the traveling apothecary set out on horseback or buggy to the outlying settlements and early townships. 

This was a time when a dipper of water from the community well could be potentially poisonous as cholera ran rampant through the settlements.  Eating spoiled, contaminated food could be deadly, and diseases no more offensive than the common cold, a sore throat, or a bout with the flu resulted in death. Life expectancy was short.  
Folk medicine techniques incorporated herbs and distilled spirits; wild-gathered botanicals and spices made up the folk healers' satchel of curatives.  Alcohol was used, a potent preservative, keeping the fragile herbs and healing flowers from rotting.  And many of these ancient flower and herb-based remedies are still in use today.  

The first "U.S. Pharmacopoeia", drawn up by a convention of doctors and pharmacists in 1820, describes such “official” herbs as Salvia officinalis (garden sage) and Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) as well as drugs then in use. In 1888, the American Pharmaceutical Association published the first National Formulary, establishing standards for the strength, quality, and purity of drugs. Individual pharmacists manufactured their own drugs, with most of the active principles coming from medicinal plants.

Salvia officinalis - garden sage
Garden Sage
Salvia officinalis

Given the time of the year it is and it's importance, click here to learn a bit more about this healing plant.

  Click here to visit the APOTHECARY SHOP

November 13, 2017

RED SOIL BLACK DIRT: Who was Martin White?


A historical reference site dedicated to the years during which the border war between Kansas and Missouri evolved, the events that transpired, and the individuals and families whose lives were forever changed.


Military Land Warrants  from 1857 & 1858

  Bates County, MO

To find out more ⟹ CLICK HERE

November 12, 2017


Laura Dixon - Seattle, Washington  1890's
Laura Dixon
Seattle, Washington
Edwin J. Bailey, Photographer
Cabinet Card 
circa 1890's



Worthington - New Castle, Indiana
Mrs. Worthington
New Castle, Indiana
Swingley, Photographer
Cabinet Card



Nothing can be so perfect while we possess it, as it will seem when remembered.....

Henry Dunn - The Prairie is My Garden
The Prairie is My Garden
Harvey Dunn (1884 - 1952)

History is my passion.  It isn't just about what is written  on paper to be published in a book, which now sits on a shelf and may never be read.  It is about the memories that were made, the stories that were told, the photographs that were taken, and those things which were used in everyday life, oh so long ago, that holds special meaning to me.

It seems that we are so busy moving forward with our lives that we rarely take a look back in history for guidance and direction.  Yet these echoes from the past, these whispers in the wind, are quiet reminders that many of the roads we are traveling now have been traveled before.    

When I look at an old photograph with no name scribbled on the back, I wonder who these people were, what they did, and how they lived.  It makes me sad to think that one day I too may become nothing more than a nameless face on a piece of glossy cardstock.  And if there is a name on the back, I get excited.   I kick into "research mode" and work obsessively until I can determine who this person was, where they were from and when or if I find any existing family descendants, I send them home.  I have become captivated by the pioneer photographers who set up their tents or opened a studio in order to capture a bit of immortality.   

It is my intention here to share this passion of history, to rekindle the spirits of the past and even perhaps educate you just a bit as to what life was like in times forgotten.  In return, I welcome your comments and assistance in expanding my knowledge of yesteryear.  

And how am I going to do this?  Let me begin by listing my interests.  These are areas and items which I have researched, collected through the years, and now want to pass on into other hands which will appreciate them as much as I have. 
  • Genealogy & Research
  • Old Books
  • Old Photographs
  • Historical Items and Documents
  • Cast Iron and Yellow-ware and Stoneware Pottery
  • Old Kitchen and Household Gadgets and Utensils
  • Gardening
  • Western Memorabilia
  • Native American Jewelry and Turquoise
  • Primitives 
  • Kansas and Missouri Border War Conflict 
  • Guerrillas and Outlaws
  • Religious Medals
  • Homeopathic Remedies 
  • Anything from the 1850's
  • Coffee-related Items 
  • General Ephemera and Advertising

This will be an ongoing "work in progress" as I don't believe it will ever be completed.  Don't hesitate to ask questions, offer comments, or suggest topics for later discussion.  I may offer items for sale, refer you to other sites, assist with inquiries, and perhaps even make a purchase or two from my readers.

My grammar may not always be correct and you might find an occasional spelling mistake - that is if it is not intentional.  Remember though, it is the "essence" of what I include here that is truly important.