Sonora antique in spotlight

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat

A Sonora artifact is going to be the center display piece in one of the founding exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution's newest museum.

A Smithsonian museum curator, Paul Gardullo, has been gathering the history of African Americans in the Mother Lode this week for the National Museum of African American History and Culture - under construction right now in Washington, D.C.

He was connected with local collector Gerald Howard, who will donate a "stitching pony," to the founding collection of the new museum. The pony, also called a stitching tree and other names, is a workbench of sorts used to make harnesses for animals.

This particular one was used by the Sugg family - a prominent black pioneer family with deep roots in Sonora. It was likely used to make harnesses about 100 years ago.

"It's a rich story," Gardullo said of the Sugg family and their life in the area.

For the complete story, see the July 24, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

The Union Democrat
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