Christmas Past

archive1Mary Alice Moore, the Archives Curator at the Mineral Point Public Library, thoughtfully creates a new presentation each month in the library’s three display cases, one on each floor. Recent showcases have included the subjects of vintage football, Japan, and Ava and Max Fernekes. This month you’ll find old Christmas cards from Pointers you may recognize, Little Golden Books from Christmases past, and artwork from Mary Alice’s childhood friend, Barbara Fernekes.

Here is Mary Alice on her process of curating the cases each month:

How long have you been creating the displays?

Ever since I took over the curatorship in 2003, I’ve been doing the case outside of the Archives. Then, after the remodel, (library director) Barb Polizzi asked me if I would be interested in putting something in the other two also. Bulletin boards and displays have always been something that I am used to and enjoy since my teaching days.



What do you think your most popular displays have been?

Oh, I don’t know. I have received positive comments on practically every display. I have taken photos of each and kept them on file in case I ever want to use that idea again. I have dozens of photos. The material in the Archives provide innumerable ideas for interesting displays along with the many collectibles that I have at home that I include in some of the cases.

The case upstairs outside the archives room displays the work of the daughter of Max and Ava Fernekes. Can you tell me a little about the work?

Barbara Fernekes and I grew up together. We were high school friends, attended each other’s weddings, and have kept up a correspondence through the years. I knew her parents, Max and Ava, and her younger sister, Julie, well. Each Christmas, Barbara would send her colorful whimsical woodblock Christmas cards, which I have saved through the years. Barbara’ s artistic style is similar to her mother’s. Her sister, Julie, was also an artist in her own right, thus the entire family were extremely talented artists.

The display case downstairs contain some classic Little Golden Books, along with Christmas cards of some familiar names in Mineral Point. Do they belong to you?

case1The Golden Books have been part of my Christmas book collection since my own children were young. They were used also during the years of my preschool and by my grandchildren. They’ve had a lot of use and still in pretty good shape. I have always saved the picture Christmas cards – too precious to toss. They bring back a lot of memories of the children and families pictured.

Thank you, Mary Alice, for saving and sharing Mineral Point’s history!

– Contributed by Susan Webb

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5 Responses to Christmas Past

  1. Mary Alice, You do a great job–I enjoy the exhibits–certainly jog my memory.

  2. Thanks, Susan, for writing and to Mary Alice for being such a great advocate for Mineral Point’s history.

  3. This is such a great article and Mary Alice has worked so hard in the Mineral Point room and with all the exhibits! So wonderful for her to get the praise and recognition she deserves! Thank you.

  4. Sandy Weitzel says:

    Mary Alice, thank you for sharing I enjoyed looking at the displays, Merry Christmas!

  5. Valli & John Tolleson says:

    Mary Alice, you have always be so very kind and helpful when I have been doing research or asking you to do some for me. I can’t Thank-You enough for all your help over the years. You are an asset to The Mineral Point room and to Mineral Point *~* I’m glad this article gives you the recongnition you so deserve.

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