Historical society to host Christmas card program

November 14, 2018

The Watertown Historical Society will host a special presentation on vintage Christmas cards presented by local historian Randy Roeseler Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Watertown Senior and Community Center, 514 S. First St.

During the presentation, which is free and open to the public, Roeseler will share his vast collection of cards that were received by Milwaukee lawyer Carl Muskat and his wife, Portia, from 1915-1945. Many of the cards are still stored in their original mailing envelopes. The cards, stored in a copy paper box, were sold at auction for $2 in the late 1980s.

Roeseler, who collects vintage Christmas ephemera, inherited the cards through a mutual friend after the winning bidder was planning to dispose of them. Roeseler said the stamps on many of the original envelopes may also be of interest to collectors.

Roeseler shared his collection with the public as part of a display at the Watertown Public Library in 1992, and they were last displayed in 2011. The cards will once again be set up for viewing in the library’s main floor display case in December as part of the historical society’s annual holiday display.

During the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to view the cards and their messages up close. “Over the years, many people have spent winter evenings sorting through the cards, reading the heartfelt greetings and studying the artwork,” said Roeseler. “In an era of electronic greetings and Photoshop, it’s quite fascinating to look at the means of greetings in the past.”

Roeseler said also included in the presentation will be a few advertising pieces from the Milwaukee area. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure enough time to view the card collection.

For more information on the presentation, call 920-248-0616.

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