Homer collector displays finds

©2003 Homer Index

by Darby Cornelius

Homer’s Wayne Crandall flips through old post cards at a table custom made from an old heating vent from the floor of Homer Furnace Company. Beside him, at left, is a handmade Homer quilt from 1894. Crandall has devoted this room in his home to displaying Homer memorabilia from 1879 to the present. (Photo by Darby Cornelius)

Wayne Crandall’s spare bedroom houses something that never sleeps. History covers the walls, shelves and floors from corner to corner. Crandall has collected enough Homer memorabilia over the past 20 years to give it a room all to itself, appropriately called “The Homer Room.”

The room holds items dating from 1879 to the present. The oldest item Crandall found was an 1879 “Bosom Board”, a fabric covered wooden plank which he assumes was used as an ironing board. Other 19th century objects include $1 and $2 bank notes dated from 1888, when Homer was Barneyville, and an 1894 quilt made by Mary Camburn of Homer, with her name and the date embroidered on it.

Crandall’s collection started with post cards.“ What got me started was an old post card of three train depots that I found in a scrapbook of my father-in-law’s,” he said. “I’ve been collecting ever since then.”
Crandall has binders full of old post cards, bills, letters, articles, and many other papers.“ I save just about everything I run into,” he said. “Anything that says Homer on it, new or old.” In addition to the post cards and paper memorabilia, Crandall displays Homer hats, Blair Farm ornaments and plaques, advertisements, old foundry mugs, old phone books, cookbooks, school yearbooks and more. He even has a license plate from the first school bus Homer had, and part of the old water tower.

He has a story for every piece in his collection. In the center of The Homer Room stands a table custom made by Derrek Blashfield from an old heating vent from the floor of Homer Furnace Company.

“ I find items by word of mouth from friends and relatives, at garage sales, antique stores and auctions,” he said. “Price ranges vary from free to $700. That’s what I paid for those bank notes.” Crandall said the Internet makes finding items easier.

“ It’s easier to find stuff, but more expensive and harder to get because of competition,” he explained. “Homer being such a small town makes it a little harder because there’s less available.”

He said he’s seen some Homer post cards sell for $150 on the Internet.“ The whole process is interesting,” he said. “You make a lot of contacts, meet a lot of people and do a lot of talking.” Crandall recently held an open house for The Homer Room.

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This article courtesy Homer Index.

used with permission

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