More Clark House news has arrived from our executive director, Dana Hansen. Starting this month—May, 2022—the Jonathan Clark House Museum, at the corner of Bonniwell and Cedarburg Roads in Mequon, Wisconsin, will be open for tours on the first Friday and second Saturday of each month, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
If I read my calendar correctly, that means you can just drop in this Friday, May 6, or next Saturday, May 14, between 11 and 2, and enjoy a tour of the historic home of Mequon’s pioneer Clark family. Other open days will follow on first Fridays and second Saturdays throughout the summer. If you have a group of 6 or more, please call ahead. More info on Clark House tours can be found at this link. Questions? Give us a call at 262-618-2051 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
History Mystery! update…
Did you see our CHH History Mystery! post on Monday? Have you been working on your transcription of our early English manuscript text? Are you stumped? Do you still want to win eternal fame and glory throughout the Clark House Historian readership? Here’s an update to that initial post, with two more clues to help you solve our handwriting puzzle:
Clue No. 1
I’m now quite sure that our mystery MS is written in Secretary hand. Secretary hand can be tricky to read, even if the style and language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible are familiar already. As the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Erin Blake noted:
[…] the long-s doesn’t phase me, but when “r” looks like “w”, and “c” looks like “r”, and “e” looks like “o”, and an “s” at the end of a word looks like “b” you have to slow down and read each letter before you can read the word.
If you would like to learn to read (and, perhaps, write) this essential English hand, there are some fun (and free!) online resources, including short courses—with examples—from Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book Library and from Washington’s Folger Shakespeare Library.
Clue No. 2
In Monday’s post we took a look at how our MS was organized. Was it in one, full-page-width paragraph with nine lines, organized more or less like this:
Or was our MS text broken into three, shorter, adjacent paragraphs, with lines that I labeled (from left to right) with red, blue and dark green numbers, like this:
Originally, I favored the one-wide-paragraph approach. But I figured out a few more things, and I’m now quite sure that the correct answer is that our MS text is broken into three, shorter, adjacent paragraphs, as in the second image, above.
Oh, by the way. When I first looked at this passage, I was really, really wrong about two main points:
First of all, the initial letter on this line is neither a capital “S” or “G.” It’s a lower-case letter “k.” And it begins the second syllable of a two-syllable word.
And that mysterious next word, “xed”? That is not a mysterious “cross” symbol at the beginning. It’s a typical (if slightly cramped and smudged) lower-case “r” in Secretary hand. The word written here is “red.” And that’s a stumper, as this word—even in its more usual spelling “rede”—is a now quite archaic noun.
How about you?
That’s all for now. Let me know how you’re doing on our History Mystery! MS Challenge.
I’ll be back next time with the results.