Several years ago I stumbled upon an amazing find and immediately shelled out cash to purchase it. Here is a truncated scan of the collaged cover of a Christmas scrapbook. Between 1950 and 1958 an anonymous crafter lovingly documented the Christmas season in Asheville. Bound with recycled shoelaces and festooned with metallic pipe cleaner curlicues; the pages are brown paper bags, holiday wrapping paper, and other recycled papers. And each page is jam-packed with articles cut out from the Asheville Citizen-Times. Doubtless using non-archival paste or glue, the creator of this unique artifact gives us a unique view of Asheville.
The clipped articles range the gamut from the arrival of Santa in the annual Christmas parades to fast-breaking news of Santa’s crash in a helicopter in 1952. “Oh, pawpaw, what happened to Santa Claus?”
Before Facebook and Instagram, the local newspaper functioned as hard-copy social media. Family photos and, of course, pictures of children with their eyes-all-aglow comprise many of the articles in the scrapbook. Here, Dave Mallet, founder of the Weinhaus at 86 Patton Avenue is shown with his children.
The scrapbook is on view in the North Carolina Room at Pack Library. If you ask nicely, the elves behind the desk may allow you to carefully page through the scrapbook. If you know the anonymous creator of this holiday artifact, you will receive a special present from Santa Claus.
Post by Terry Taylor, Board Member of the Friends of the North Carolina Room