Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Eiteljorg Video Series: Want Great Food? Plant an Herb Garden!

    by Brian Poonpanij, Kahn's Catering Vice President of Food and Beverage | Jun 09, 2015


    Kahn's Catering is the Eiteljorg's exclusive caterer. Please watch the video above to learn great tips on how to grow your own herb garden from Chef Sam, Kahn's Executive Chef. And, Brian Poonpanij, Kahn's Vice President of Food and Beverage also shares some wonderful tips on how to bring more flavor to our food in the blog post below.

    So many of our recipes depend on fresh herbs. Fresh herbs impart a flavor that you cannot duplicate with dried herbs. Select the herbs you love, the ones you'll use in the items you frequently cook. Also select herbs that will grow well where you intend to plant them. Check the tag, or with your local nursery to learn where your herbs will grow best.

    Whether planting in a garden or into a container, great soil matters. Composting your food and garden waste helps to reduce waste and create a valuable soil amendment.  Soil amendments add nutrients, and help to lighten or drain dense or heavy soils, helping plants to be healthier. Alternatively, you can purchase bagged soils or soil amendments. My favorite brand is Garden Magic, which has a great quality, dark, rich peat that I mix into the soil before I plant any vegetables, flowers, shrubs or trees. (Garden Magic Peat is available at Rosie’s Gardens in Carmel, IN)


    When transplanting plants, don’t do it in the heat of day. Evening is a great time to get things planted. Start by preparing a hole about 50 percent deeper and wider than the root ball of the plant you are planting (This is so the plant has great soil into which it can establish new roots). Put some of your soil amendment into the hole, so that when you put in the plant, the top of the root ball will be equal to the surrounding soil. Carefully take the root ball, and use your fingers to loosen it a bit. Set the plant in the hole, and carefully fill a mix of soil and soil amendment back around the plant. Don’t pack the soil too tight as it needs to breath. Lightly water.

    Keep in mind your plant will need more attention during the first weeks while it settles in.  Make sure to keep the soil moist while it establishes new roots.

    You saw our Chef in the video pinch off the tip of the stem. This helps encourage fuller growth. You can do it when you plant it. Keep an eye on herbs like basil, which will want to flower in warm weather. Don’t let it flower, as flavor diminishes. Just pinch off the flower heads as they appear.

    With very little effort, you can get great, fresh herbs, from your own garden. But, if you don’t have the time or space, you can get fresh herbs at your grocery. Don’t skimp, it’s the best way to get fresh flavor in many dishes.

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  • The 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

    by Lyndsey Blair, Curatororial Intern | Jun 03, 2015

    AYP Gold_bricks from Scandinavian American Bank,_A-Y-P,_1909
    Gold Bricks from Scandinavian American Bank inside A-Y-P’s Alaska Building

     In 1907, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, Seattle’s civic leaders decided to organize a world’s fair.  World’s fairs (or international expositions) played a prominent role in American and European society from the late nineteenth century until World War I.  These events provided fairgoers the chance to experience the latest cultural, educational, and technological trends from around the world.  Expos also offered host cities the opportunity to demonstrate their importance within the international community.  Seattle’s civic leaders used theirs to promote the city as a gateway to the resources of Alaska, the Yukon, and Asia. 

    AYP Aerial_view_of_the_Alaska-Yukon-Pacific_Exposition_-_1909
    Aerial View of A-Y-P Expo

    Seattle’s world’s fair, officially known as the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (A-Y-P), opened on June 1, 1909.  Organizers rescheduled to avoid conflicting with the 1907 Jamestown Exposition in Norfolk, Virginia.   This decision proved advantageous as it gave developers two extra years to plan the expo, which was held on the University of Washington’s campus.

    A-Y-P was not only a celebration of Seattle’s recent growth but the development of the larger Pacific Northwest.  Several counties, territories, and states from this region had their own exhibits and/or buildings to educate three million fairgoers about their resources.  For example, the Alaska Building had information about the territory’s timber, whaling, and petroleum industries.  It also featured several gold displays, including a heavily fortified case with more than one million dollars in gold bricks, nuggets, and dust.

    AYP Official_guide_to_the_Alaska-Yukon-Pacific_Exposition_-_Seattle,_Washington,_June_1_to_October_16,_1909_-_Cover
    Official A-Y-P Guide Book with Logo

    AYP Klondyke_Dance_Hall_and_saloon on Pay Streak,_A-Y-P,_1909
    “Klondyke Dance Hall” on A-Y-P’s Pay Streak

    Gold played an important role throughout the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.  For example, A-Y-P’s official logo featured a goddess holding gold nuggets.  Meanwhile, AYP Souvenir_Taft_Day_official_program_-_Front_cover
    the fair’s midway (or entertainment zone) was called “The Pay Streak.”  This term is a mining reference to the location in a stream where gold has deposited.  Even President Taft got into the spirit (Pictured: “Taft Day Official Program” from A-Y-P Expo). During his two-day expo visit, the president mined for gold in the Alaska Building and also received an honorary Arctic Brotherhood degree.  The Arctic Brotherhood, a fraternal organization of Klondike gold- stampeders formed in 1899, played a large role in organizing the fair.  

    A-Y-P officially ended on October 16, 1909.  While most of the expo’s buildings have since been demolished, the fair’s memory lives on. 

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  • No Place For A Lady? Think Again

    by Johanna M. Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Jun 01, 2015

    While men may have outnumbered women in gold camps throughout the West, women were very much a part of the fabric of community life. Some came to the gold regions with their husbands, fathers, sons, or brothers; some struck out on their own; some made their livings by doing tasks traditionally done by women at the time, such as cooking and laundry; others ran hotels or prospected for gold. Prostitutes plied their trade from the brothels and dancehalls that proliferated in gold rush towns. Middle- to upper-class women were often at the forefront of efforts to elevate the moral character of their communities, spearheading campaigns to build libraries, schools, and hospitals and to provide relief to those who had fallen on hard times. Women’s experiences in the gold rushes were nothing if not diverse.

    Barge on Yukon River, Klondike Gold Rush
    , 1898
    Image courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society; 2009.0.1900

    woman's outfit
    Woman’s Ensemble, ca. 1885
    Silk, lace
    Loan courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Days of ’76 Collection

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  • Forging Community | What life was like in Gold Rush towns

    by Johanna M. Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator | May 29, 2015

    This is the only hotel in this vicinity, and as there is a really excellent bowling alley attached to it, and the barroom has a floor upon which the miners can dance, and, above all, a cook who can play the violin, it is very popular.
    —Louise Clappe, Indian Bar, California, October 7, 1851

    In California the richest diggings were isolated in the northern ranges of the Sierra Nevada. The gold camps were often temporary, as most gold seekers did not intend to stay in California after making their fortunes, and this in turn contributed to a rougher character overall. However, these communities were not without their luxuries. Most gold camps contained a sampling of shops and businesses, roadhouses, and drinking and gambling establishments. The camp at Rich Bar even had a bowling alley!

    San Francisco served as a hub of social and business activity for the thousands of people coming in to and going out of California during the gold rush. Many who made their fortunes, whether through mining for gold or “mining the miners,” settled in the city and became part of the city’s elite class.

     eliza jane steen johnson-for blog
     Untitled (Eliza Jane Steen-Johnson), ca. 1852
    Image courtesy of the Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Barbara Smith; H96.44.1

    Eliza Steen-Johnson and her husband settled in San Francisco after emigrating from Ireland in 1850. They owned and operated a dry goods store and hat shop in the city.

    On Saturday May 30 at 2 p.m., join Gold! curator, Johanna Blume, for a gallery talk that explores what life was like in gold rush communities, with a special focus on the stories of women in the California, Black Hills, and Yukon-Klondike gold rushes.


  • Gold Quartz Jewelry

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg chief curatorial officer | May 13, 2015
    Brooch, 1860s

    Loan courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin
    Photography by Hadley Fruits

    Fine jewelers, along with gold- and silversmiths, were among the citizens who made up the new populations of gold rush California. Many of those who found wealth showed it off with watch chains, brooches, and other jewelry made with sections of gold-rich quartz. A number of firms rose to prominence by making this unique form of jewelry in San Francisco. They included J. W. Tucker & Co.; George Shreve & Co.; Barrett & Sherwood; and Braverman & Levy. Supposedly, even President Abraham Lincoln had an example of gold quartz jewelry. An elegant purse made of panels of gold and gold quartz, remarkable boxes, and even a model of the Parthenon were created for the wealthiest of clients. Watch fobs and brooches were often designed to hold loved ones’ pictures or locks of hair.


    Watch and Chain, 1860s
    Watch by American Waltham
    Gold quartz, gold, enameled face
    Loan courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin
    Photography by Hadley Fruits

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