Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Missionary gifts

In the Normal school era, especially around the turn of the last century, there were some Brockport graduates who went overseas as missionaries. Some went to Japan, some to Burma, or India, many parts of the world. The model of a temple shown here is a gift from one of them. Although the identity of the donor is unknown at present, we do know that is was such a gift, and that it was in the small museum that formerly was maintained in the old Normal school building.

In the late 1930s that building was torn down and a new building was erected, what was latter named Hartwell Hall. Not everything made the move from the old building to the new, there seems to have been a sense that it was a new era, and the museum was apparently not seen as something they wanted to continue. The details of the disposition of the museum items aren't clear, but there are a number of items in the Emily Knapp Museum in the village that came from the Normal museum, and it seems that some items were taken by faculty to their offices or homes. This temple was one such item, it was in the office of a long time faculty member who, when retiring in the early 1960s, passed it on to John Killigrew, History, who in his turn placed it in the college archives in the early 1990s.

   What a long history and set of travels this model has come on, from being made in Burma or India, bought by a Brockport grad there on missionary work, shipped back to the old Normal school, housed in the museum, moved from there to an office to another office, to come to the archives, another sort of museum!

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