Button, Button, Who Has the Button? A History of Buttons and How to Collect Them  

The Door County Historical Society will host its Saturday afternoon yesteryear programming with “Button, Button, Who Has the Button? A History of Buttons and How to Collect Them” will be presented by Nan Krause and Jane Whiteman on Saturday, July 22 at 2:00 in the Vignes Schoolhouse at the Heritage Village at Big Creek.

Common, utilitarian, and sometimes dull buttons can also be beautiful works of art.  Developed in prehistoric times, their history involves commoners, kings and queens, lace makers and artists along with rivalry, intrigue and social status. Each button has a story to tell, and a history to discover.

Nan Krause will provide a history of buttons, as a member of the Heritage Village Artifact Committee, “Donated buttons and period clothing with buttons piqued my curiosity about button history.” She helps catalogue and research items donated to the Historical Society and spends time focusing on the history of the buttons within the collection. As a retired elementary schoolteacher and longtime history lover, Nan volunteers on many aspects of the Heritage Village at Big Creek including the Village Committee, programs, and fundraising.

Jane Whiteman will share her collection and interest in mother of pearl buttons, as well as a professionally appraised collection from Cape Cod, MA. She will also teach guests about collecting buttons, and guests are encouraged to share unique buttons they have in their collection. Jane was a stay at home mom and Early Childhood teacher in Illinois. Since retiring, Jane enjoys sharing information with grandchildren and friends, volunteering, and quilting. She uses many of the buttons in her collection on quilting projects; this allows the buttons to be repurposed and showcased on her quilts. In this way, Jane shares the vast number of button designs.

Both Nan and Jane began collecting buttons at an early age, playing with the buttons that belonged in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ collections. Since childhood, both women developed connections with the shapes, textures and designs on the buttons. As educators and collectors, both women enjoy sharing the stories and beauty of buttons.

The “Button” program will be held on Saturday, July 22, at 2:00 pm in the Vignes School at the Heritage Village at Big Creek, at 2041 Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay, adjacent to Crossroads at Big Creek. This program does not have an admission fee, but a free will offering will be taken to support the Heritage Village at Big Creek. The Heritage Village at Big Creek is an interpretive site of the Door County Historical Society and is open prior to the presentation and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 until 3; Adult Heritage Village admission is $6.

The Door County Historical Society’s next lecture in the Yesteryear series will be “Aprons; They’re Not Just for Men Anymore” on Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 pm in the Collins Learning Center, located next to the Heritage Village at Big Creek. For additional program information contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332, www.DoorCountyHistoricalSociety.org, or email Director.DCHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

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