Feb. 21--When Alma Crone and her husband, George Crone Jr., prepared for their move to Kirby Pines Retirement Community last year, she came across an antique plantation desk.
Inside the desk was an old Cordova store ledger from 1858. Knowing she wasn't taking it with them, Crone decided the best place for the ledger would be the Cordova Museum, a single room of historical artifacts inside the Cordova Community Center.
On Thursday morning, Cordova Museum curator/director Darlene Sawyer, unveiled the encased ledger, along with copied pages from the 512-page book, to members of the Descendants of Early Settlers of Shelby and Adjoining Counties during their winter social held at the community center.
The ledger, which spans 1858-1862, was from a store owned by Samuel B. Snowden and run by Thomas Williams. It documented items sold to local customers in the area known at Marysville, presently known as Cordova. About 475 individuals are listed, each of whom bought items on credit.
A snippet of those items shows you could purchase a pair of pants for $2, a pound of tobacco for 40 cents, a bottle of Brandy for $1.25, a fine comb for 25 cents and a pair of boys boots for $1.75.
Sawyer and volunteer museum staff members photographed and scanned each page before entering them into a computer. They compiled them on CDs, which can be purchased at the museum, 1017 N. Sanga Rd. in Cordova for $15.
"I found my great, great grandfather in the book," Sawyer said.
William Gotten, president of the Descendants of Early Settlers of Shelby County and Adjoining Counties, said the ledger is another example of the interest in ancestors of Shelby County.
"There is more and more interest now of family history," Gotten said. "It means a lot to these people -- where did they come from, what ancestors did they have?"
The Crones received the ledger from George's father, George Crone Sr., who owned Crone Monument Co. It is unknown for certain how he got the ledger, but Sawyer believes Crone Sr. got it when he purchased the home of Lulu Snowden, the daughter-in-law of Samuel B. Snowden, along with the plantation desk that also came from the store.
Alma Crone said it's rightful place is with the museum.
"I had no idea it was so important," she said. "There was an entry in there from little old ladies who bought henna, that dyed your hair. They were the talk of the town, don't you know?"
The museum is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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