Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What's Cookin'?

Russell Library director Sheryl Vogt and I recently traveled down to Ailey, Georgia to visit Sandridge Manor, a home built in the 1940s by Hugh Peterson, Sr. and Patience Russell Peterson. Although my project processing the Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers came to an end in December 2009 (which you can still read about in "Progress on Peterson" here on the blog), we periodically travel down to Ailey to pick up more items that are part of the Patience Russell Peterson Papers.

Patience Russell Peterson (or “Miss Pat” as she was known) was one of Senator Richard B. Russell’s younger sisters. She was active in politics and civic activities from the time she was a teenager until she passed away in 2002 at the age of 100. Much of her time was spent supporting her husband, Congressman Hugh Peterson, and his political career. But Miss Pat also found the time to participate in a wide variety of activities and clubs, including the Ailey Garden Club, the Georgia State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of American Colonists, Daughters of Colonial Wars, Magna Carta Dames, and Colonial Dames of America. She was also the first woman selected to serve a full term on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 1970, a governing body that she helped her husband plan forty years earlier when he was tapped to draft the Georgia State Government Reorganization Bill of 1931.

As we were looking through her things it was easy to see how passionate she also was about keeping up with current events, researching the genealogical lines in her family and helping others do the same, listening to and playing music, and writing poetry. She was also very invested in making her house a home – something we found evidence of through her substantial collection of books and clippings about home d├ęcor, gardening and cooking. About an hour before we left to return to Athens, I found a small cache of cookbooks she amassed before she was married in 1930. I instantly fell in love with the illustrations on the covers as well as their small size. Bon appetite!

Post by Renna Tuten, Processing Archivist, Russell Library

Above: Cox’s Manual of Gelatine Cookery, Third American Edition, Revised and Enlarged be Miss Marion Harris Neil, 1910

Below: Desserts of the World presented by the Genesee Pure Food Co., 1909; Dainty Desserts for Dainty People: Salads and Savories by Janet McKenzie Hill, 1901

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