A wonderful piece of Sierra County has been returned home and is now a new display in the Underground Gold Miners Museum in Alleghany.
A McCaskey Account Register desk dating from 1907 and last used by the R.P. Hawkins Company General Merchandise store of Alleghany in 1941 was recently delivered to the museum.
Bob Tillisch of Walnut Grove had acquired the desk top from a shed in Isleton with the intent of perhaps creating a bar top from it. In investigating the item, he noted the receipts in the desk from Alleghany dating from 1941 and realized he had a rare piece of Sierra County history. With an interest in mining in Sierra County, he was convinced the item needed to return home. Reaching out to Downieville Museum rep Lee Adams, Lee made the journey to Walnut Grove to meet Bob and bring the desk back home.
The surviving register files within the desk top reads of a who’s who of 1941 Alleghany. Accounts include the Alleghany School, Alleghany Water Works, Alleghany Mining Company, Nevada Store, Forest Lodge F&AM, North Fork Mine, Wisconsin Mine, Rock Creek Mine, County Road Camp, as well a number of private individuals. Completing a circular journey, the Underground Gold Miners Museum is housed in a building that was the Alleghany Supply Company. The Alleghany Supply Company was formerly the R.P. Hawkins Company General Merchandise store so this desk has returned home the the same building after an 80 year absence.
History notes: Ray Hawkins was the proprietor of the Red and White Store, later Alpha Store & Merchandise that burned down in the big fire of 1933 (the explosives vault in the parking lot by Casey’s Place is all that remains of that building). The store relocated to the current museum building after the Fire and was commonly referred to as “The Hawkins Store”. Joe Sbaffi purchased the business from Ray Hawkins (Alpha Hardware) in 1947 and established Alleghany Supply Company.
The Alleghany Underground Gold Miners Museum is thrilled to acquire this unique item representing Alleghany’s history. The museum is open for special events and by appointment. Contact information is email@example.com , 530-287-3330, or curator Rae Bell at 530-287-3223.
Editors note: Rae Bell’s first task might be to see who’s account remains unpaid and try to collect.