The staff of the Holland Land Office Museum has recently come across a very interesting piece of local history. A hand-painted changing screen was found in the collection that came from the C.L. Carr’s Department Store in Batavia.
The screen is not only a canvas for a work of art by a local artist, but also a unique snapshot in time.
On the front are the faces of every employee working at the store around March 2, 1963. The female employees are separated by the floor that they worked on from the basement to the third floor, while the male employees are grouped as “The Boys.” Each portrait is accompanied by the employee’s first name and/or nickname. However, beyond that, there is no other information attached.
The museum is asking for assistance in identifying the employees depicted – not only last names, but also any other pertinent information attached to those pictured would be extremely helpful.
With additional information this artifact can become a true snapshot of Batavia’s history, and better preserve the impact of our local landmarks, like C.L. Carr’s, and the people that made them so special.
We have received names of some of the employees pictured already, but are still looking for the identities of the rest.
C.L. Carr was an independent department store. It had an 86-year-history in Batavia, closing in May 2001.
Should you recognize any of the names or portraits, contact the museum either by phone at (585) 343-4727, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The screen is currently on display at the museum, 131 W. Main Street in Batavia. While we are closed to the public for now, when we are able to be back open to the public, visitors are welcome to stop in and see the changing screen in person.
Ryan Duffy is executive director of the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia.