The month of May celebrates many events — the importance of historic preservation, mothers, graduations, not to mention Spring! Two of these events joined together during the restoration of the windows at the Historic Bishop Home that revealed treasures from 1908!
A small valentine from the 4th child, Marie “Pink” Bishop, and a mysterious picture of a mother and child were hidden in the windows frames. These “time capsules” were uncovered in September 2017 — 109 years later. They were undoubtedly stashed in the window frames by one of the children. With the help of Vince Crolla, archivist at the Casper College Western History Center, the small mother and child portrait was discovered to be part of a larger tribute to “the American Mother and Her Child.” The items date back to the September 1908 issue of the “Ladies Home Journal.” The portrait is Leona Bishop and one of her ten children, most likely Marie “Pink” or Jerome Travis. The Journal purposely did not identify the various portraits. The tiny valentine was found in a dining room window and the journal cut-out in the parlor window. In one of the upstairs windows, a contractor from Nebraska had signed the back of the window sill.
Action Glass, a local firm for over 30 years, repaired the Bishop Home’s windows and installed new storm windows and screens. After years of research on how to address the cantankerous wood windows that would not open and close, the Cadoma Foundation was befuddled about how to repair these vital components to the ventilation of the home while maintaining the historic character of the National Registered Listed property. Conferences were attended, experts and installers contacted — all had a different approach. Preservations were adamant that the windows should not be replaced with new high efficiency windows. The wood frames, but more importantly, the glass distinguishes historic windows. With the generous help of a grant from the Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board, funds to restore the windows as part of a project to improve the home’s air circulation became available. Another generous donor of the home suggested that the foundation talk to Gino Ariosto, owner of Action Glass whose heartfelt mission is to provide “quality products, quality installation and service with character.”
History buffs themselves, Gino and “Mac” Goss took pride in repairing the Bishop Home’s windows and discovering the “time capsules.” The result is a warmer home in winter; cooler home in summer; and treasures that bring the past alive! Many thanks to all who funded and worked on the project. They know that the preservation of Casper’s historic culture is essential to a strong, vibrant and growing community.
For more information, visit www.cadomafoundation.org, www. Facebook.com/Cadoma Foundation or plan to celebrate Historic Preservation during May with a visit to the unique, essential experience the Historic Bishop Home provides the community. The hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The home is located at 818 E. 2nd St. between Jefferson and Lincoln. Parking is available behind the home off Lincoln Street. Admission is $2.00 per person.