Searching an antique shop in a town near her home in Naramata, British Columbia, Wednesday, Elaine Davidson stumbled upon a peculiar plate.
The plate shows a picture of a boy riding a tom turkey, the feathers tucked. At the bottom in gold lettering is stamped complements of Patten Mercantile, Amy, Kansas.
“I collect vintage kitchen items, which I like to use,” Davidson said. “The plate was high up on a shelf of a store filled with dishes, kitchenalia, vintage Christmas tree ornaments and such.”
The illustration is what caught her attention. The plate was manufactured in Ohio and the child riding a turkey was a popular depiction at the beginning of the century.
“I like pieces that are whimsical and make me and my guests laugh,” she said. “The shop owner said it was from the turn of the century but didn’t know much more about it.”
Davidson said the first thing she does when she purchases antiques is researches them. It led her to an article written by The News’ Amy Bickel about the ghost town of Amy in Lane County.
According to Vance Ehmke, a local farmer who lives nearby and has an old sign from the Amy store, Guy and Rodney Patten owned the store in the 1920s.
Ehmke has a story about the store on a bulletin board in his shop that was written by area historian Ellen May Stanley for the Dighton Herald.
Stanley, who spells the name “Patton” in her article, wrote that the store was built in 1906 by the Boltz family. A bandstand was located not far from the building.
The store closed in 1955. The local elevator – the only business left in town, burned the store down in 2003 to make way for a new office and scales.
Meanwhile Davidson reported this after a day of emailing Thursday.
“Here is the end of your story,” she wrote. “I’m on my way to the post office to send the plate back to Amy and Vance Ehmke.”
- Amy Bickel