Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Exhibit seeking old toys


The Sheldon Museum is putting out a call to residents for pre-1980s antique toys to be used in its annual holiday display.

The museum has already collected a 1950s rocking horse, cast-iron play stove from around 1900, and some “really amazing and really politically incorrect board games,” said temporary aide Andrea Nelson.

One is a 1960s game called “Chilkat,” which pits various Native American tribes against one another and uses a burlap sack as the battlefield. The other is a 1890s board game called “Matrimony” where players advance and retreat on the board by encountering various stages in a relationship.

  “It’s like the steps to marriage and some of the steps are ‘Despair’ and ‘Flirtation,’” Nelson said.

In addition to the antique toys, the museum also will put on “Chilkat Christmas from the Archives,” a collection of historic ephemera related to Christmas. For example, Fort Seward put on a holiday dinner every year, and menus from the feast will be on display.

Nelson said everything should be up by Dec. 2 and will remain in place for the museum’s Dec. 14 open house. The open house will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and feature music, food and crafts for children.

For years, the open house featured wooden and electrical trains, not antique toys. “Not as many people have trains anymore so it got harder and harder to recruit trains, so we are trying something new,” Nelson said.

All loaned toys will be treated as artifacts and protected, she said. They will be labeled and put behind Plexiglas, so people will not be able to touch them.

Call Andrea Nelson at 766-2366 to loan antique toys to the museum for the display.