COOKEVILLE – Sarah Johnson’s mother loved flowers. Over the years, she accumulated quite a few “flower frogs.”
“They’re for holding flowers in arrangements,” Johnson said. “My mother always did flowers. She used to have the old-fashioned needle-point flower frogs.”
Now the collection belongs to Johnson, who has added to it over the past two decades.
“People started giving them to me,” she said.
She held up one of her prized pieces, a wire flower frog that had belonged to the grandmother and mother of her husband, Chuck.
“There are all different kinds – glass, metal, wire, brass,” she added.
Johnson’s collection is one of several featured in a Cookeville History Museum exhibit, “Collecting Cookeville,” which opened Jan. 16.
Beth Thompson, Cookeville museums manager, said the idea for the exhibit came from museum volunteer Vicky Draper and exhibit specialist Pam Philpot.
“They thought it would make an interesting and wonderful display,” she said.
Draper herself collects Byers’ Carolers holiday figurines. Her mother had started the collection in the 1980s.
“When she didn’t want to put up a Christmas tree anymore, she decided to do this instead,” she said. “Then she passed them down to me.”
Thompson looks forward to sharing the collections with the community.
“Several have Cookeville family history connected to them, and some are absolutely beautiful,” she said. “They all need to be shared.”
The exhibit also highlights the collections of the late Linda Puckett Carlen, wife of former Friends of the History Museum president Walter Carlen. The opening reception included the dedication of a bench purchased by her friends.
“Linda was an avid collector and a real inspiration to anyone who collected,” Draper said. “She knew the history behind the items she collected and freely shared it.”
“Collecting Cookeville” continues through Feb. 24. The museum, which is part of the City of Cookeville’s Leisure Services Department, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at 40 E. Broad St. Admission is free. For more information, call 931-520-5455.
“January can be a dreary time with not much to do,” Thompson added. “What better way to lift those post-holiday spirits than with a fun, free visit to the Cookeville History Museum to check out the fascinating collections of your Cookeville friends and neighbors?”