The distance between Point B which is North Dighton, Massachusetts, site of Mount Hope Hospital from around the 1915 to around 1951, and Point A is 4,356 miles. That is the distance traveled by this baby spoon given to the parents of a baby girl named Nancy on the occasion of her birth at that hospital in 1942. The tiny spoon was kept carefully by the parents. Then the child herself kept it as she grew up to become a college professor and to travel far from little North Dighton.
Apparently the spoon went along, too, not leaving its owner for many years.
Until sometime in the past …. the spoon left home
As readers know, on October 17, 2013 this blog published a post about Mount Hope Hospital, a pivotal part of the Mount Hope Company town in N. Dighton, Massachusetts.
Hence comes our story.
The blog shared my e-mail address and they wrote to me, to my utter surprise. The hunt began with cooperation from the I'M FROM TAUNTON Facebook page and myself. The Dighton Historical Society was also very interested. Their oldest volunteer is 95 years young and was born at Mount Hope Hospital herself. Questions abounded until the son of the spoon's lady messaged that he was connecting with the owner, his mother, currently in Brazil ! Connections are trying to be made with the missionaries, the Goularts and with the spoon's owner to reunite them.
Silver baby spoons have long been a gift source for newborns, especially on the occasion of christening ceremonies. The city of Taunton where I grew up, so closely adjacent to N. Dighton as to be siblings, contained two famous silver companies: Reed and Barton and E.B. Rogers. For years area residents purchased their silver pieces from one of them. We shall see who was the creative originator.
The story is more poignant as Mount Hope Hospital is only a memory now. The tiny hospital of 15 beds was funded and run by the Mount Hope Finishing Company in North Dighton and that little town was a true company town. Check out my posts on the subject: very interesting and nostalgic.
Learning more about silver baby spoons, it is an historical fact that back to medieval times, babies were fed with silver spoons. This occurred, of course in wealthier families as it was noted that those children fed with silver spoons did not succumb to the Plague. It is now known that silver is bactericidal and often a component of bactericidal ointments and such originating in World War II.
For the present I still remain a sort of go-between from my home in Amelia, Florida to Brazil. Each day I learn a little bit more about the story myself. This is the kind of experience historical bloggers like myself dream about and it is still hard to believe. The Internet can be a misused power or it can do good. Maybe this little blog is the blog that could….that did…..and that will.
More to come on this sweet mystery, from whence came the spoon?
Here are Reginaldo (left) and Leonor (right) Goulart
Presbyterian Missionaries in Brazil
who found the spoon
and their mission website which has been translated.