Monday, May 07, 2007

The China and the SUV

I just found out a very depressing piece of news. The April 11, 2007 Marion Star (Marion, OH) reported that an SUV crashed into the side of the DeWolfe house on the might of April 9th. While I never like to hear about something like this (as a note, it was a 13 year old girl out joyriding with a 16 year old friend who had borrowed (without permission) her mother’s car), why did it depress me so much? Well, Peter DeWolfe is the great-grandson of Florence Harding and along the wall that the car drove into was where his family displayed their heirloom Harding china and stemware. It was completely destroyed in the incident. From the article (available from the Newsbank database which my institution has access to, but you’ll have to figure out if yours does) you can read the comments of the Harding Home site manager:

Melinda Gilpin, site manager of the Harding Home, said that while she cannot put a monetary value on the loss of Harding's stemware, the loss is still great.

"The DeWolfe family had such a wonderful legacy and they're so proud," she said, explaining that Peter DeWolfe is the great-grandson of Florence Harding, the wife of the nation's 29th president, Warren G. Harding. "I know that the things that the family has are treasured. We understand how much those physical links to the past mean."

While insurance will cover the damages to the home and its contents, the sentimental value of those items lost can never be replaced.

When I was at the Harding house (my synoposis of this visit coming tomorrow), my tour guide said that the entire DeWolfe collection had been entirely destroyed. One piece survived because it was on loan to the Harding Home at the time of the crash. While the Harding Home owns some Harding china and glassware, the loss of the DeWolfe collection is a major loss – both to history and the DeWolfe/Harding family.

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