In celebration of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has presented 31 prompts to honor the “fearless females” in our family trees.
Today’s prompt: Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.).
Coming from a long line of sentimental relatives and ancestors, I’m lucky to have a houseful of heirlooms. I have written often about my great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis, and I have featured many of her possessions that have been passed down through the family: her hymnals, her Singer sewing machine, her canning jars, and even the lifter to her old Majestic stove.
One of Mary Frances’s finest possessions traveled from her home to that of her daughter Violetta, then to my mother, and now to me with strict instructions: It must not pass with the sale of the house. In other words, take it with you.
It’s this beautiful Victorian hanging parlor lamp which has been retrofitted from kerosene to electric.
The pastoral design in soft shades of brown, peach, pink, and green includes a young girl in a wooden boat as the larger scene and a river landscape with boaters seemingly continuing the story on the other side of the shade.
The kerosene pot is decorated with houses and buildings dotted along the river.
The brass hanger, font holder, and shade crown plus the full complement of prisms make this lamp truly exquisite. I’ve loved prisms ever since I watched Pollyanna charm that old geezer through the magic of prisms casting rainbows throughout the room.
This lamp is not everyone’s taste. It doesn’t even particularly fit the style of my home, but I like what it stands for. So it will remain right there suspended over the kitchen table until the day my daughters are instructed: It must not pass ….