Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Artifact of the Month: A Founder’s Desk

We are excited to introduce a new monthly blog feature called “Artifact of the Month,” in which our staff will choose an interesting object from our collection and make you aware of that object via this blog.  Furthermore, although not including the first artifact due to its size, the object mentioned in these posts will be on display at the History Center during the month it is recognized.  Enjoy!


For the first “Artifact of the Month” post, we thought we’d introduce you to an old desk.  An old desk you ask?  Yes, a desk, but not any desk.  This desk belonged to Socrates Rand (1804-1891), an original pioneer of Des Plaines, settling in the area back in 1835.  In fact, Rand was so integral to early Des Plaines that from 1857 to 1869 the area we currently know as Des Plaines was actually called the Town of Rand.  And, of course, Rand Road, Rand Park, etc. were named after Socrates too.  

The desk pictured above was Rand’s personal desk, and is currently located in the Des Plaines History Center’s Kinder House Museum.  The circa 1860 kneehole desk is made from cherry wood, and has a leather writing surface.  Originally, and now unfortunately lost, the desk included a walnut bookcase that sat on top.  The desk was used in the office of Rand’s grist mill in Des Plaines, and is the only personal artifact of Rand that we have in the DPHC collection.

Socrates Rand

To learn more about Socrates Rand and the founding of Des Plaines, stop by the History Center any time Tuesday-Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm.

Also, if you haven’t already, please consider donating to the DPHC and becoming a member, or asking about volunteer opportunities.  Your donations and memberships help the DPHC to properly preserve Des Plaines' historic artifacts and documents.  Visit our website at www.desplaineshistory.org for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God! I remember shopping at Woolworth's; also at the soda fountain area. This brings back my growing up i 1950 in this town; have been here since then. Thank you for putting this on the internet. maryslavicek