There is a gold rush ghost town not far from our shop named Molson, tucked snuggly against the Canada border in the northern most region of the Okanogan Highlands.  Founded in 1900, the old townsite is still in pretty good shape, with well preserved buildings, mining & farm equipment, and some of the original boardwalks.  The whole scene can really make your mind wander.  What it must have been like homesteading this harsh place back in the day? 

Molson State Bank and the little Assay Office.

I've often wondered how our brooms would look if we brought them to Molson.  Maybe try them out on the boardwalks or the floors of the old bank.  See what they look like leaning next to a doorway.  Molson's peak and the climax of the American broomcorn industry happened at about the same time in history, so it seemed to make sense to me...

Winter is nearly here, and snow is forecast.  So if taking our brooms back in time is gonna happen this year, we better load them up and hit the road.  We took a few with us.  Some woven ones, and of course our own Shaker Authentic broom off the front porch.  We need a day out.  This would be fun.

Shaker Authentic 1878

On the way through the Highlands, we listened to Colter Wall folk albums -Songs of the Plains, and Western Swings and Waltzes.  Really put us in the right mood to visit the Old West. 

okanogan highlands

Arriving at the old town site, we were impressed how cold it was.  This is mid-November, and the wind will cut you half in two.  Some of the antique farming impliments were froze to the ground.  The buildings are still open to escape the wind, but bring long johns!

The Walker & Odell Homestead

We would have to work fast.  My hands were so cold.  First stop was the front porch of the Walker & Odell Cabin.  The woven lodgepole pine broom seemed to fit right in.  I was surprised that the placement of a household item could seem to bring an old ghost town to life!

homestead cabin porch broom

Then to the coolest building of all... Molson State Bank.  First on the porch, then leaning next to a cup of coffee at the teller's booth.  Just like the janitor was sweeping and having a coffee break at the same time.

ghost town boardwalk broom

Inside the bank...

old fashioned broom

The whole town could have used a good sweeping.  I guess ghost towns are always a bit dusty.  Even outhouses need some broom love now and then.

weathered outhouse broom

We didn't stay long because of the cold, but it felt good to go back in time for just a spell.  It was nice to finally connect our creations to their own era. 

rustic porch broom

Our brooms got to do a little sweeping on the old boardwalks, and blend in casually against the walls of the Molson ghost town.  For a minute there, it felt like we'd really stepped back a few years.  I dreamed up the faint smell of cornbread coming from one of the homestead kitchens.  I even thought I heard boots on the wood floors and some chickens running around.  Ghost towns can confuse a person that way.

At least I know the brooms are real... 

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