The best non-genealogy genealogy places #3

I debated whether or not this was the correct title for my posting but settled on it anyway!

I really do not have a long list of items to present here, but rather a very small listing with only two, wonderful, non-genealogy genealogy places; they are:

  • Flea markets
  • Antique shows

Yesterday, my wife, mother-in-law and I went to a flea market. It was a very hot day and we had no idea what we might find.

As is typical of flea markets, there was everything from bread to vegetables to “old things”. Given my genealogy interests you can imagine that my focus was on old things- more precisely old German things. Only infrequently do I discover items of interest. This visit was different from the norm. What I stumbled upon was a basket full of Wanderstocks (hiking sticks/ canes). All had medals on them but one was special, to me. It was from pre-1933 Germany and had 48 medal badges afixed to it- auf Deutsch: es war ein alter Wanderstock mit Eisenkuppe und 48 Plaketten.  Not only did the stick have 48 medal badges but two of them were indicators of the original owner’s political sentiments -which although they are not mine, they do provide an interesting historical context for the time.

  • Medal badge number one reads: Deutschlands Nationale Erhebung (Germany’s National Awakening or Rise) — 1933 with images of the Reichstag flanked by images of Hindenburg and Hitler.  (similar but not exactly like the one on this page).
  • Badge number two reads: Landhaus Adolf Hitler Obersalzburg
  • The other 46 badges were obtained by the original owner from hikes across Bavaria (Zugspitze, Muenchen, Linderhof etc.) , the Erzgebirge, not to mention Venice, the Dolomites, etc.

Quite a find for a flea market in Littleton, Colorado.

Antique markets offer similar items, old photos, memorabilia, etc.  The only problem with each is that they often tend not to have belonged to your family, but they certainly can help you flesh out history, illustrate peoples’ thinking during certain crucial time periods, all the while providing great entertainment.

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