Loose Ends: Treasures hidden in view

The continued popularity of television’s “Antiques Roadshow” demonstrates how many people squirrel their family treasures away. While it seems many folks overestimate the value of the various items passed down from generation to generation, there are others who often seem surprised by the unexpected windfall (if they chose to sell the item). The Rio Blanco Historical Society held their first Pioneer Treasures event last year and found it so successful they are having another one.
Pioneer Treasures – billed by the Rio Blanco Historical Society as a “local antiques appraisal fair” – will be held Saturday, May 7, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield Center at Third and Main in Meeker. The fundraiser offers people the chance to have their treasures “valued by an expert‚” the opportunity to sell their treasures, buy something from “museum overstock” and help pay down debt from book printing and the gates at the Milk Creek Battlefield.
This is one of those times I wish my side of the family had held on to my great great-uncle’s arrowhead collection, as well as my grandparent’s rare Chinese books. Most likely, the monetary value would have been minimal but the worth of an object is more than monetary. Finding out the origin of such treasures sometimes offers a chance to delve into family history as well.
Some satisfied attendees from the first event were heard to say things like, “I always wondered if it was worth anything,” or “I wasn’t sure where it came from or how we ended up with it, but it sure gave me a better idea.”
When family members age, many of the younger generation find themselves cleaning out more than 50 years of household treasures. Trying to determine the uses for various items can be a trick, so having them appraised by someone with an expert eye can be a wise idea. Who knows what pioneer treasures one may find.