I inherited a group of sterling souvenir spoons that my Nana collected on her honeymoon in 1909. A souvenir spoon is a decorative spoon bought as a memento of a place or to display to show that you have visited that location. Collecting these spoons isn’t really popular anymore and they don’t make sterling souvenir spoons like these now. These spoons were passed down to my mother and then to me. I can actually remember us using them a few times when I was growing up. It is amazing that they didn’t suffer damage from teeth! My Nana and Grandfather took a six weeks honeymoon trip across the country by train from California to the East Coast and back in 1909. I found a brief newspaper article that mentioned their journey.
The spoons were in major need of polishing so I recently got them out and gave them some needed attention.
This sterling spoon has the Mormon Temple in the bowl with the words, Temple, Salt Lake City. The handle shows The Tabernacle, Eagle Gate, Maroni, the word Utah, and some flowers.
The back of the spoon has a shield with an eagle and bee hive and 1847 as well as male figures, (one probably Brigham Young) and a group of oxen pulling a cart with another bee hive, and the year 1847 again. All these symbols have significance in the history of the founding of Salt Lake City by members of the Mormon Church. The spoon is labeled sterling with no other mark.
The next sterling spoon has a gold washed bowl. The bowl is engraved with the words, Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods, near Manitou & Colorado Springs. The handle has a figure of a Native American.
The back of the spoon has a figure of a female Native American and a papoose as well as other Native American elements. It is labeled N S Co Sterling. It was made by the National Silver Company probably between 1900 and 1909.
This sterling spoon from Yellowstone Park has Old Faithful Inn engraved in the bowl. The Inn was built between 1903 and 1904 so this spoon was made between then and 1909 when Nana was there. The handle has a bear, deer, and buffalo and the words Yellowstone Park on the handle.
The back of the spoon has engravings of Great Falls, Golden Gate, and Old Faithful. It is labeled sterling and the mark is an H inside a flag. This is the mark for the Mechanics Sterling Company in Attleboro, Massachusetts. This spoon was probably made between 1896 and 1909.
I love sterling spoons that have detailed bowls like this one does. Nana bought it in Chicago and the bowl is engraved with U.S. Government Building. (The Chicago Federal Building was built between 1898 and 1905 and was demolished in 1965.) The bowl also has the Public Library, Fort Dearborn, and Entrance Union Stock Yards. The word Chicago is on a ribbon in the center. The handle shows the Auditorium, Masonic Temple, and Douglass Monument.
The back of the spoon shows Fort Dearborn again, some ears of corn, the word sterling and an H in a flag, the mark for the Mechanics Sterling Company in Attleboro, Massachusetts. This spoon was probably made between 1896 and 1909.
Nana bought this spoon in New Orleans. The bowl is engraved with an image of the Cabildo building in New Orleans. When my Nana was in New Orleans in 1909, the Cabildo was part of the Louisiana State Museum however it had a long history before that time as an administrative seat of the Spanish Crown and the City of New Orleans. The handle shows the face of Bienville. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville was a colonist, born in Montreal, New France, and an early, repeated governor of French Louisiana. The handle also shows the Court House, the Cotton Exchange, a cotton plant, and the Lee Monument.
The back of the New Orleans spoon has City Hall, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Monument, and Old Gateway and a plant I don’t recognize. The spoon is labeled sterling with an H in a flag, another spoon made by the Mechanics Sterling Company in Attleboro, Massachusetts. This spoon was probably made between 1896 and 1909.
These spoons are some of my most cherished possessions. My Nana died when I was 6 and I have no memories of her. I love knowing that she bought these spoons on her honeymoon and they now belong to me.