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Thrift shop donations find home in museum

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A serendipitous - and very special - donation to the Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League Thrift Store on Highway 16 South recently wended its way to the Frontier Times Museum.
After examining the unexpected donation, CCPAL Executive Director Marlene Heavner immediately contacted Museum Director Rebecca Norton and offered the precious and fragile gifts to the museum collection.
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, several articles of lady's clothing, dated from 1880-1890, as well as an original copy of "100 Years in Bandera: 1853-1953," were officially accepted by a grateful Norton.
"We are very happy to receive these wonderful examples of 19th century women's clothing. This gift will add to our textile collection. It's something that we just don't have. I'm excited that Marlene thought of us," Norton said.
Heavner said the bounty of a fine cotton petticoat, two pairs of pantaloons, a pair of tatted and crocheted fingerless gloves and a linen handkerchief accented with tatting had been donated to the animal rescue thrift shop approximately three weeks ago.
"The articles of clothing, the magazine and pictures of the aftermath of a tornado that hit Bandera County in April 1939 were brought into the store in a plastic bin," Heavner said. "The man who donated the items, a Mr. Crow, said they had belonged to his mother-in-law, who had passed away. We got the impression he was cleaning house."
Heavner said she had attempted to get in touch with Crow to see if he had more information about the donated items - to no avail.
"We tried every Crow in the telephone book and no one seems to know him," she said.
For her part, Norton asked that anyone acquainted with Crow should ask him to contact her at the Frontier Times Museum by calling 830-796-3864. "We want to thank him properly for this very kind donation and see if additional information is available about the history of the family and woman who owned these lovely articles of clothing," she said.
Prior exhibiting the noticeably fragile garments, Norton will consult with restoration experts at the Witte Museum's textile Conservation Lab in San Antonio.
The CCPAL Thrift Shop is open from noon to 5 pm, Wednesday, and from 10 am to 3 pm, Thursday through Saturday. Telephone is 830-535-4989. While vintage and historic garments and accessories will probably not be available for purchase, there's not doubt equally as wonderful treasures can be found.

Pictured: Frontier Times Museum Director Rebecca Norton, left, accepted a donation of 19th century woman's clothing, as well as Bandera-related ephemera, from CCPAL volunteers, Jayne Sanchez, Margie Stout and CCPAL Director Marlene Heavner, right. The antique and vintage items had been inexplicably donated to the animal rescue's thrift shop about three weeks ago.