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Old age is always fifteen years older than me

Stettler Town and Country Museum’s latest “What is it?” item
Stettler Town and Country Museum’s latest “What is it?”(Photo submitted)

By Karen Wahlund

What is it? The answer is in: a spittoon from our very own Stettler Hotel.

Spittoons were handy receptacles for chewing tobacco spit, and believe it or not, a great advance in public health standards.

Thankfully, this spittoon came into us clean as a whistle.

Moving down historical Main Street, our next objects came from the basement of the old Pool Hall.

During the final excavation in 2018, these last pieces were fortunately brought to us; and, they were in great condition too!

About the size of a juicy raspberry, these tiny balls were used in a game that, during the early twentieth century, gained an unsavory association with gambling.

Manitoba even banned the game in 1918. Nevertheless, these pieces persisted, outlasting the Pool Hall itself.

Each ball is specifically numbered and corresponds to pieces of another social game still played today. The different colours don’t matter in the game, though the modern version uses the red and white pattern.

Here’s a hint: the object of the game is to target the number on whichever piece you draw from a pouch.

If you know what these items are called, have memories playing of this game, or even want to share tales of the old Pool Hall, leave us a message on Facebook, send in a letter or email, or share the secret to a volunteer at our upcoming Heart to Heart performance.