Manila Depot Museum gifts from Bollinger family received

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The porcelain enamel table and table cloth were donated to the Manila Depot Museum by the family of Elvina Bollinger.

The Manila Depot Museum recently received a gift from the family of Mrs. Elvina Bollinger. The family donated a charming 1920/30s white porcelain enamel table to the museum in her memory. The tabletop is white with red Art Deco designs around the edges of the table and two extendable leaves. The table also has a cutlery drawer in the base of the tabletop. The table was a common addition to kitchens of that era. They were utilitarian and used for everything from food preparation to family dining and family business. Kitchens of the 1920s and 1930s rarely had cabinets. They usually had a counter where the hand pump was located (if the family was lucky enough to have a pump on the inside of the house). The counter sometimes had a porcelain top attached to protect the wood from water damage.

More affluent families had a Hoosier Cabinet to store large amounts of flour, mixing bowls, and cooking utensils. The free-standing cabinet also had a porcelain top so the homemaker could make biscuits on its smooth surface. A large metal flour sifter with a viewing window and hand crank was hidden behind one of the doors above the porcelain top to hold 25 pounds of flour. The sifter was equipped with a funnel so a mixing bowl could be placed beneath it. The cook could turn the crank and sift the flour directly into a bowl. The homemaker of the 1920s and 1930s made a lot of biscuits for the large families of that era and the kitchen table and Hoosier Cabinet made it easier for her to prepare meals for her family.

Although Mrs. Bollinger used the table for many years, it is in excellent condition. The family also donated a red checkered tablecloth, porcelain bowls, and several railroad spikes. Mrs. Bollinger was instrumental in the development of the Manila Depot Museum as a docent and by the many donations she made throughout the years.

Mrs. Bollinger often talked about wanting a train mural painted to commemorate the influence the train depot had on the development of Manila. Through a generous donation from her family, her dream will come true. Plans are underway to complete the mural during 2014.

The Manila Depot Museum will be open for tours from 10 a.m. until noon on the last Saturday of each month beginning March 29. The museum is also open by appointment by calling 870-561-3501.

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