HOWLAND - The varied contents and histories of two traveling suticases were showcased as part of the Howland Historical Society's monthly program ''Trunking Along.''
Emily Varner, retired Trumbull County archivist, was the guest speaker at the October society meeting
She said she does the "Trunking Along" program to various audiences and tells the tales of the two traveling trunks and their contents speaking from the trunk's points of view.
Varner said over the years she has collected many antiques and other items such as tortoise-shell mirror, salt shakers, an 1889 hymnal, a pistol, portraits, postcards, hair brush, candles, dishes, baby items, a military hat and Civil War uniforms.
Varner said one item she likes is a 1934 menu from the Ambassador Cafe, which was located in the area where the Brown Derby in Warren once was. She said the menu includes frog legs for 75 cents, coffee for a nickel, and lobster for 65 cents.
The idea for the traveling trunks came about in 2003 when she was asked to fill in as a speaker at the Trumbull County Genealogical Society's annual meeting,
"Their speaker had gotten ill, and I had three days to come up with an idea for a program. I thought about what if the trunk I had traveled to different places could share stories. All the items I have gathered over the years each have their own stories,'' she said.
Varner said it is fun to collect, but what is more important is to tell the stories of the history of the items to the next generation so those stories will not be lost.
''All of this has a story to tell. I tell people to record the information for family histories,'' she said.
Varner said she tells of her ancestors' trip from Europe to New England with the two trunks.
Members of the society are currently cataloging items at a planned museum in the basement of the township administration building. Those who can volunteer are asked to call Natalie Ciferno at 330-856-5022.