Eyes of the Beholders: Collectors' Treasure
January 15, 2004 - April 10, 2004
A new exhibit entitled Eyes of the Beholders: Collectors' Treasure opened on Thursday, January 15, 2004 at the Merced County Courthouse Museum. Local collectors put on a show of their treasures: currency, yardsticks, tokens, bottles, calendars, postcards, dolls, watch fobs, street signs, match books, and Yosemite Valley Railroad ephemera. Each artifact represents an interesting chapter of our local history. Yardsticks, calendars, match books, and watch fobs were often given away by local merchants to advertise their businesses. Before the Federal Reserve centralized currency, paper money was printed by locally chartered national banks. These national banks included the First National Bank of Merced, the First National Bank of Los Banos, the First National Bank of Modesto, the First National Bank of Oakdale, the First National Bank of Salida, the First National Bank of Sonora, the Jamestown National Bank, and the Chowchilla National Bank. Trade tokens were another form of money issued by local merchants. To our collectors, these seemingly mundane items represent a rich history that is local and personal. The opening program was a roundtable discussion by Clayton Guest, John Hofmann, Ric Kirby, Neil Morse, Grey Roberts, Joe Scoto, Rick Scoto and facilitated by Roseann Bressler. The exhibit will run through April 10, 2004. An old Merced street sign will be the free door prize.
I Street Looking West, Los Banos (left), and C. E. Kocher (right).
First National Bank Of Merced Note, 1888
Merced Dairy, 1919