The Mother Of All Valentines

photo 1photo 2Did you know Esther A. Howland is known as the “mother of the American Valentine”? In the 1840’s (when Mineral Point was just beginning to roll) Esther’s father owned a stationery and book store in Worcester, Massachusetts. After receiving a Valentine card made in England, she saw a business opportunity — some say she “harnessed Cupid’s power for commercial purposes.” She crafted a few handmade sample Valentines and asked her brother to take them on his next sales trip. photo 3photo 4He returned with orders for more than $5,000 in sales! To fulfill the orders, she organized an army of friends and family to crank out the necessary Valentines. Her success as an entrepreneur continued and she eventually founded the New England Valentine Company. Her original, handmade cards are now valuable collectors items.

photo 2-1photo 3-1So, what does this have to with Mineral Point? Well, for the last several weeks a small army of volunteers has been producing handmade cards for the annual Shake Rag Alley Valentine sale.

photo 4-1The sale will be held this Saturday and Sunday (January 25 and 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) in the Cabinet Shop at Shake Rag Alley. Each of the cards is a unique, hand-crafted piece of art. Prices start at $1.00, which is a pretty good deal for original art. photo 5-2And if that’s not enough to draw you in, there will also be handmade sweets and goodies available.

Who knows, one of the cards you buy may become a valuable collectors item!

– Contributed by the Hays

This entry was posted in Traditions, Upcoming Events and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Mother Of All Valentines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s