Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Hanson Resident Displays Collection of Antique Valentines

carver vdayHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (2/14/13) – Valentine’s Day is today, and of course, sending cards, letters and other tokens of affection has become the traditional method of expression for friends and lovers of all kinds on this day. There are numerous theories and mysteries surrounding the exact origin of St. Valentine, the man, and how and why the day itself came into celebration. One thing consistently certain is that it came to be in love and/or romance.
 
According to documents and recordings by The History Channel, in the 1840’s Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass produced Valentines in America. Howland made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures known as ‘scrap’. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card sending holiday of the year, with Christmas being the first. Women purchase approximately 85% of Valentine’s cards.
 
Judy Benson Carver, of Hanson, invited SurfKY News last week to the home she shares with her husband of nearly 50 years, Donald. Carver, a collector of artifacts of many different types and ages, has a collection of Valentine’s cards and greetings that number in the hundreds and date as far back as the 1940’s, and she was eager and generous enough to share the history and display with our area readers. To no surprise, she is a fitting member of the Hopkins County Historical Society; with her eclectic array of collections all telling stories of their own.
 
The Carver’s, both originally from Slaughters, Ky., have a long and well-documented history of family ties, collection, and memorabilia. The oldest Valentine that Carver has collected dates around 1940, she thinks. It is an elaborate paper carriage pop-up greeting with a heart shape made of red tissue with a cupid figure sitting atop, surrounded by white doves and roses. It was given to her husband’s great aunt Delia by a man Carver assumed to be her “beau,” as she referred to the mystery sender. Ironically, Aunt Delia never married anyone herself.
 
Carver also has the very first Valentine she ever received of her own, also dating in the 1940’s, from her father while he was in the armed services. He had sent one to her and one to her mother when Carver was barely one-year-old. The collection further includes cards and greetings from all sides of both hers and her husband’s families, the Benson-Carver side, and the Brown-Jones side, all of their children and grandchildren, and between each other, friends, and school-mates throughout all of the family members’ school days. 

Carver sentimentally recalled receiving some of the different cards as she laid the display out, reading some of them aloud and explaining the history of each, she read. “I’ve got so many; I don’t even know where to start. These cards are so precious and cute, and the little sayings make so much sense.” Most of the cards quoted the quirky, but catchy phrases we’re all familiar with from school days when we would collect in the hand crafted shoe boxes covered in tissue or craft paper. Many of the cards were handmade themselves from the Carver’s children and grandchildren when they were younger.
 
Carver had all of the display of Valentine’s set up in the foyer of their beautiful home, that sits on top of a hill up a brick gated drive in Hanson. From the garages, full of drag and stock car race cars, pictures, and other memorabilia from the families racing history, into the yard where Carver has displays of antique “yard art,” in the form of a rustic ornamental antique tractor neatly placed to decorate the herb garden on the side of the house, and on into the home where the collections range from antique quilts and looms to pottery and furniture, there are stories of sentiment and value encompassing the whole property.
 
It would have taken a whole day or more to tour and admire it all, but the day was designated for the display and history of all of these “love notes” out for display in the side foyer of the home.
 
In the room, Carver had a Christmas tree that stood over 6 ft. tall, full of these Valentine’s that she had strategically hung to the tree. “I am running out of places to put them,” she exclaimed as she pulled each out of a stack to find an open spot for display. Many of the cards were in a basket that sat by the Christmas tree. Many more were placed all along the top and front of an old antique piano sitting in the foyer. She had more placed on a display case made of wood and glass, some on shelves, and more taped together displayed in the shape of trees. More than just the cards, also displayed in the room, celebrating this month of love, affection, and tradition, she also had an old velvet heart-shaped stuffed pillow lined with lace sewn around it and a heart-shaped picture locket tied to it that belonged to her grandmother. The picture inside the locket was of Carver’s uncle, who unfortunately passed away at a young age during wartime in military service many years ago.
 
The pride, enthusiasm, and sentiment that Carver has about her collections are a reminder that substantial value of life and family can be found in all the “little things.” At one point during the day, she remarked, “Everything has a story.” The history that the family has accumulated in all those “little things” has been passed on from generation to generation to generation, telling it’s’ story to each generation as it is passed.
 
While the actual monetary value of many of the collections is unknown, Carver agreed that overall the value of most of the collections is priceless.
 
Jessica Frodge
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Jessica Frodge

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Humphries Cemetery Patriot Graves to Be Cleaned and Restored in January

CADIZ, Ky. (12/28/14) — Nestled beside a pasture at the end of Humphries Road in rural Trigg County, the Humphries… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 12821

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 25, 2014 8940

Gift Returns Done Right

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 25, 2014 6378

Arrests Made After Dulin Avenue Christmas Eve…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
December 25, 2014 4665

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - December 25, 2014

in Video by Crime Stoppers
December 23, 2014 4200

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3667

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3281

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 26, 2014 3238

2014 Looking Back: World Mourns Watson Family…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 26, 2014 3224

5-Year-Old Boy Kills Buck/Doe

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Randy Adams
December 23, 2014 3081

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight

Stories Trending Today

December 28, 2014 2460

Patriot to Idle Two Mines Tomorrow; 600-700 Jobs…

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 28, 2014 1333

2014 Looking Back: Central City’s Lu Ray Park…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 1327

Unique New Year's Traditions from across the World

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 1064

Understand and Avoid Elder Financial Fraud

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 1009

Five Tips to Get Control of Your Retirement in…

in General News For All Sites by David Taylor
December 28, 2014 833

Dave Says - Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
December 28, 2014 830

New Year Brings New Sales

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 782

Outdoor Truths - Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
December 28, 2014 777

Legislator's Log - Week of Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
December 28, 2014 683

Lung Cancer Not Always Linked to Smoking

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss