When reading the below article, I asked Erin Anderson, the editor of “The Trail Mix” from the Yellow Trail Museum & Visitor Center, if Kim Ray, the author of “Fake News,” an article within the six-page publication, would send HSJ Online a copy of the article. I thought our readers would find it as interesting as I did.

In addition, I wanted to make sure our readers are aware of this wonderful newsletter which Erin refers to as “A Surprising Little Newsletter” and understandably after receiving and reading it.

It contains:

  • A list of the Board Of Trustees (I am proud that several are former students of mine at Hope Elementary)
  • An informative letter stressing appreciation of the museum's amazing volunteers from President Rachel Essex
  • A short note from Susan Thayer Fye with days and times available to visit the museum
  • Information about this year's Old Fashioned Independence Day
  • A story reprinted from “History of Bartholomew County, Volume I” about Corman Town which was very close to modern day Clifford
  • “Collections Corner” with an article about a spinning wheel that was given to the museum by the the Hitchcock family
  • An update in regard to the rural letter carrier museum renovation
  • A “History Highlight” about Neligh's mail hacks
  • A letter from the Board Of Trustees sharing the many happenings inside the museum and their hope for the future which very much depends on the continuous support from the community, the museum's mission, and a membership form.

Physical copies of “The Trail Mix” can be located at the museum, WILLow LeaVes of Hope, the Hope Library, and Special By Design. If you prefer an e-newsletter, you can email them at hopeyellowtrailmuseum@gmail.com.

FAKE NEWS

By Kim Ray
Yellow Trail Research Center

We hear a lot about Fake News these days. No matter your politics, the term Fake News has become part of today’s culture. However, as I found out shortly after I started working in the Research Center, Fake News is not new.

One of the early items Barb Johnson brought me from the museum collection was a framed New York Herald newspaper, with articles about Lincoln being shot. I gasped! We have a newspaper about Lincoln being shot? Holy Cow! My reaction  – or more accurately, my over reaction – was one of fear and anxiety. Is this a national artifact in Hope, Indiana ?

Luckily, I had previously setup a Collections Care Training session with the Indiana Historical Society to help us understand how to get started creating a new Research Center. The training was designed to answer our specific questions about our specific artifacts, and believe me, I had a lot of questions! When I showed this newspaper to the instructor, Alan Rowe, he immediately knew something was wrong. Although it was dated 1865, the paper itself was not the white linen paper that would have been used in 1865. He was puzzled and suggested I Google it.

What I found was fascinating! “The Most Common Fake Historic Newspaper” was one of thousands reproduced in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s with more than twenty reprint variations. During that time, people knew these were made as advertising flyers and souvenirs. There was no confusion. It is only with the passage of time, as their origin has been lost, that these newspapers have created a lot of misunderstanding for collectors, museums, antique dealers, librarians, etc.

Well, that settled my anxiety. And it made me feel better to know Barb and I weren’t the only ones fooled by the Fake News. Even though Alan didn’t fall for it, he was interested enough in what I found that he wrote an article about it in the Indiana Historical Society’s newsletter.

OK, so we don’t have an original 1865 New York Herald newspaper, but we do have an original Fake News newspaper!