Silver Baby Spoons


My mom is moving to a retirement community very soon and has begun downsizing in earnest. She’s pragmatic about what she can and can’t bring with her, and that means a lot of things are being sold or donated. Still, there are plenty of heirlooms and keepsakes that she doesn’t want to see discarded. Even though she moved out of the family house in the late 1990s, there’s still a lot of stuff.

Her grandfather’s writing desk is going to my brother, and childhood items (baby blankets, report cards, toys, etc) are being returned to each of us. As the family historian, still more is coming into my house.

She gave me a half dozen bundles of spoons. Most of them are beautiful, but bear no marks indicating where they came from. However, there are four gems. One is a spoon with my great-grandmother Olive’s wedding year engraved on the handle. The other three are the baby spoons of my great-aunt, Beatrice Elizabeth Warner. They are dated 1910, 1913, and 1915. Aunt Bea, as I and everyone else called her, was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived for most of her life in Cranford, NJ. She was an educator, who travelled all over the world. As she never married, her niece eventually inherited a number of her things.

Now they’ve made their way to her great-niece, and I’ve begun searching for a new display case to house these treasures.



2 thoughts on “Silver Baby Spoons

  1. I wonder about some of the things my mom still has that my brother and I won’t be able to keep when the time comes. For instance, she has a set of china that her great-grandmother hand painted after her wedding. It’s truly one of a kind, but there’s already multiple sets of china in the family and I don’t use the one I have. I’d like to take a few pieces to preserve in a shadow box with a photo of the woman who painted it, along with details about her.

    To answer your question more generally, I do worry about all of these things. I’m in my 40s with no children. One brother, now deceased, had three children but we are not very close for a variety of reasons. The other brother has a 2 year old, so perhaps someday she will be interested, but I don’t want to burden her with all of the family things.

    More and more I wonder what items I can donate to a local historical society!

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