Pound House Post January

Upon a review of inventory lists the museum Collections Committee decided to clean out the various substances that were still filling the flasks and bottles of Dr. Pound’s medicine cabinet, located in the bedroom of the house. Some of the substances contained therein where known dangerous chemicals, others were unidentified, so the Committee sought professional advice from the DS Compounding Pharmacy as to how to safely dispose of all the contents. On a November afternoon two volunteers, Lauren and Marilyn, began the task of emptying the containers from the doctor’s cabinet. Substances in the 1800’s weren’t regulated as they are today and some common medicines could be concoctions of potent chemicals, so the volunteers worked carefully and slowly. One of the last unlabeled jars to be opened was full to the brim with soft, white powder; it is assumed this was lady’s face powder. As the powder was slowly sifted out of the jar a small handmade paper box appeared. It was flattened and empty, but unusual since it was hidden inside the cosmetics. This was placed aside and more powder was poured out, revealing a second hidden treasure: WWII dog tags on the original chain, belonging to Charles J. Hammack; Grandson of Dr. Joseph and Sarah Pound.

The volunteers immediately realized that this vessel was being used as a hiding place for personal mementos.Lauren and Marilyn were incredibly excited at this unexpected find. They carefully stowed the dog tags and set about emptying the last of the powder. As the dregs of powder poured from the jar, a final hidden treasure was found at the bottom: an 1887 Liberty Head $10 solid gold piece. A secret stumbled upon unexpectedly and a real thrill for the volunteers of the museum.

Today the medicine cabinet sits as Dr. Pound left it; in its current location and arrangement. While it had been thoroughly inventoried at least 3 times since operating as a museum, these objects were never found because the contents of the jars were left intact.The Board of Directors had the gold coin authenticated and evaluated. The coin itself will not return to the museum but a replica will be put on display along with the story. It was decided that the dog tags should be returned to the family as a personal heirloom. They were presented to Charles and Marguertie Hammack’s son, Kelly Hammack, at Pioneer Christmas. Charles, who served in the Navy, passed away in March 2015 and it was a meaningful gesture for his son who served in the United States Army.

Jenny Pack