Mussel Bound in Indiana
by Steve Robert Simmons
(St. Paul, MN)
White River (IN) and vintage shell buttons
By 1915, the high-quality mussel shells of the East Fork of White River (Indiana) became known to the Muscatine, Iowa button manufacturers. They began ordering quantities of shell button blanks from factories there. At the high point, one factory in Martin County, IN, employed 300 people to gather mussels from the river in support of its blank-production operation. Buttons themselves were not made there; only blanks were cut and then shipped to Iowa for finishing. (adapted from essay titled "Mussel Bound"}
I'm an essay writer from St. Paul, Minnesota--and a proud owner of a Kari Pearl. My family's roots are in southern Indiana along the East Fork of White River. That is where I first became acquainted with freshwater mussels as a boy. Much later I was introduced to the button-blank industry that once flourished there for almost thirty years prior to World War II. My new personal essay, titled "Mussel Bound," brings together stories of mussels, buttons and family, and I'm pleased to share these with you.
To read my entire essay (and view accompanying photos), please go to the complimentary WordPress site that contains my writings:http://steverobert.wordpress.com
After you've accessed the site, please click on the title "Mussel Bound" and scroll down to read the entire essay. There is the option to post a response to the essay at the WordPress site--or you may wish to comment here on Kari's site. Either way, I welcome your responses.