Monday, March 24, 2014

Record workshop day and a very sweet visitor!

Thanks to Jeana, Everett, Dan, Jed, Ann, and Angie, we were able to get a lot accomplished at Ahavas Sholom this past Saturday! This time we divided into teams and worked on three organizing/archival projects.

First, Dan, Ann, and Jeana worked to organize "Ligonier Schools 005" collection. They organized this collection into five archival boxes. A lot of the material in this collection is oversized and we still have these oversized items yet to organize next time.

Second, Jed and I worked on compiling the Historical Society's finding guide. As Jed brought each of the 49 boxes my way, we gave the box a title and recorded each folder's name. Now we are able to see the bulk of the holdings of the Historical Society as well as search by key word! As we add more information to this document, it will only become more and more useful to anyone and everyone interested in Ligonier's history.

Third, Jeana and Angie worked to organize the administrative materials of the Historical Society. While sorting through educational materials, guides, receipts, donation papers, and other items related to the Historical Society, Jeana and Angie also found many archival documents that were later interfiled into our five archival categories and 49 boxes.

The Kidd Marshmallow mural in Ligonier.
The Circle K "hecksher" (kosher symbol)
At around 2pm, we had a very sweet visitor to our workshop: Chris Kidd, of the former Kidd Marshmallow Company. Kidd Marshmallow Company was Ligonier staple for three generations before it recently closed. A few months ago, I received an inquiry from a filmmaker interested in making a film about American confection-making. He wanted photos and video footage of the Kidd Marshmallow Factory and Everett knew Chris would be the one to ask! Chris was nice enough to bring two videos and several photographs of Kidd Marshmallow when it was in operation. He also donated several other items of significance to the Historical Society. Before he left, I asked Chris how Kidd's made kosher marshmallows and he gave me the whole scoop! Twice a year (or so) Kidd's would close down normal operations and a Circle K rabbi would come to observe the cleaning of the equipment (of course the equipment was cleaned constantly, but twice a year a rabbi watched in order to certify the marshmallows as kosher). Then, the recipe was altered to substitute the regular gelatin with kosher beef gelatin. Chris told us a funny story about the testing that was involved for the kosher marshmallows and how they attempted to use a vegetable cellulose to make "pareve" (not meat or dairy) marshmallows. Disaster ensued as a tan-colored slime emerged! This was far from the delicious powdery-white fluffy marshmallows we all grew up with as.... Kidds.

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