Sara’s Picks October 2020

“Poem for Camp Content” by Ethel Farquhar, 1906


This little poem was written by Ethel Farquhar for a camp called “Camp Content”, which hopefully was as peaceful and joyful as the title implies. It appears that she was able to work each of the week’s camper’s names into the rhymes, which is a fun and personalized take on the group of campers. It seems helpful that some of the camper’s names rhymed already.

Club records: Olney Grange No. 7, 1897-1953


The Olney Grange was an organization related to farming and agriculture. This collection of documents details many parts of the group through the years, showing their history and development through notes, member lists, and meeting minutes. I especially like the short poems inserted to add some creative parts to the rest of the group’s documentation of their history and other events of the days.

Scrapbook: Ethel Farquhar, 1904


This is a scrapbook kept by Ethel Farquhar during her years at the Hollins Institute in Virginia. Hollins Institute (today Hollins University) was among the earliest institutions of higher education for women in the United States and, so this is a book where Ethel saved various mementos and notes about her time at the school. She saved little calling cards and invitations to events. College was a formative time for me and I like looking back and thinking about the many people and events that were a part of my life at that time, although unlike Ethel most of my photographic mementos from that time are preserved digitally on social media, even though I have my own personal journals or notes from that time too.

Articles of agreement: land conveyance, 1814


The first part of this document that caught my eye was the really precise, neat cursive writing. As an artist, this is the type of aspect that I’m often drawn to. I find the writing relatable to the ‘hand-lettering’ trends that have developed in recent years. One of the most quirky aspects is the missing ‘r’ in the large title across the top. It’s easy to overlook as you take in the precise script. I wonder if the writer also got caught up and drawn into the detailed writing he was doing. Either way, a funny moment in an otherwise serious document, which actually refers to land transfer from Mr. Chandlee to his adult children and son-in-law. Much like today’s times, it was probably necessary to have a legal form in place to prevent any awkward family disputes over land transfers.