There is always some sadness involved in an estate sale. Some loved one passed away or went to a nursing home or maybe went to live with one of the kids. But one day someone will be having an estate sale for me, I imagine, and I hope someone is happy to get the things I treasured.
It was a gorgeous day for a sale. The setting was on a hill overlooking the little Texas town. The road was winding and narrow and up and down. I found a place to park among the pickups and a few cars and headed down the hill to the home. Everything was outside. The items were all clean and spread out in the yard and in the spotless tool shed. I started making the rounds. I am building a little outside toy box for Bixby and need some things to decorate it and I always keep an eye out for Texas treasures.
On the table with bottles I spotted a clear soda bottle with an embossed Dragon on it. It was from the Dragon Bottling Company in San Antonio. I had never heard of it but I have a bottle from the Hippo Bottling Company in San Antonio. It's like this one but has an embossed hippo. I like the Dragon even more! So it was the first item I picked up to purchase. When I got home and looked up info I discovered the company was owned by a Tejano woman in San Antonio. Her husband had started a carbonated water company named Rodriguez and Son Bottling Company. When he passed away during the Great Depression she became President of the company and a few years later, the sole owner. In 1934 she changed the name to Dragon Bottling Company (you go, girl - much more flair!) and began bottling 12 flavors of soda. It shut down in 1962. So I had a treasure with both Texas history and the history of women entrepreneurs!
At the end of the table of bottles I found several unused labels for the Range Canning Company out of Fort McKavett, Texas. There were two kinds of labels, one for chili and one for boiled mutton. While I would generally go for anything chili, the boiled mutton one appealed to me because it had a cowboy roping a longhorn on it, in addition to a picture of a sheep. It was red and yellow, my two favorite colors! Even though I am getting rid of stuff that goes on walls, I just had to have it and because of its size I figured I could fit it in somewhere in my bathroom, which has cowboy and Texas stuff.
The Range Canning Company was the first meat-packing operation in West Texas. It was founded in 1893 by William Black, a rancher in the Ft. McKavett area. He was considered the nation's authority on angora goats and he also help found the New York Cotton Exchange. There is a beautiful old fort at Ft. McKavett and we have visited it several times. It's on the top of a hill and a group from NASA that does star-gazing parties goes there every so often with their telescopes. The Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at Ft. McKavett and frontier reenactments are held there.
I looked online when I got home and found one of these identical labels on eBay for $48.00. I paid $9.50 for mine. Wish I had picked up a couple more to sale! I love that it mentions it's handy for yachting and miners.
(It's covered in plastic wrap in the photos I took, that's why is has the wrinkles. I'll leave that on until I get it framed.)
For Bixby's toy box I bought a red wooden carpenter's level for $5.00; it's just like one I already have. Someone picked it up while I was looking at it and when he decided against it and put it back, I grabbed it. I am madly in love with levels. My family is full of carpenters and I am obsessive enough to want all things to be level. I also bought a little iron star for 50 cents that I may use on the toy box.
And a beautiful old swirly brown doorknob. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. But old doorknobs are another love of mine and I figured it was $1.50 well spent! I'll think of something to use it on. It has a nice feel to it and if I can figure out how to incorporate it on the toy box I will.
There were many rustic birdhouses for sale for $2.00 each. Probably 50 or so. I was tempted but I need to clean out the birdhouses I have now for the Spring nesting season and didn't get any. Now that I'm home I wish I had picked up a few. Well, I guess I could make some if I need them. Still, I hope they all found a good home.
For a few dollars I got a history lesson in dragons and mutton and some things for projects. Next time you see an estate sale ad in your neighborhood, I hope you check it out. You never know what you'll find or learn!