By Amy Adams Ι March 19, 2015

Earlier this week, before the library opened, I wandered into the Campbell Room. This is where we house all of our local history resources. It’s a great place to research the past and to work on your family tree.

The Campbell Room is one of my favorite spaces in the library. I love that each wall is lined with books, the sunlight coming in the windows and the mixture of wood, sculpture and history. While idly browsing the shelves, I ran across a familiar looking binder.2015-03-18 10.28.30

The spine with the word “Recipes” looks just like all the binders that my uncle had in his house. They were filled with pictures of old, small town buildings and history. I pulled down the binder and found that it was compiled by Jacque Lay and my uncle, Al Mattson.

Uncle Al was a lover of local history. As he explains in the introduction, “Authentic Recipes of the 1930s: Gathered from the Salina Journal” was a project he started after noticing that grocery stores would combine their ads in the Salina Journal and run them with a recipe.

This is just the sort of thing that would intrigue Uncle Al. To be honest, the longer I flipped through the book, the more fascinating it became to me, too.

Take for example this ad:


Roasts for 10¢ a pound! I just spent $7 on ground beef.

And perhaps you would like to try these recipes:

Recipes from the 1930s

I like my molded meat loaf onion side up!

These are the details of everyday life. The meals made for family. The deals found at the store. It’s our history. Looking back can show us how life has changed and how it is the same. It can make us smile and sometimes it makes us cry.

Uncle Al passed away more than a year ago. But all that digging he did, the stories he told, his hobbies and obsessions are still here.

Perhaps that’s the real beauty of the Campbell Room. It connects us to our own stories.