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Historical Museum & Village focuses on ‘Made In America’ merchandise

By Staff | May 4, 2011

Barb Walling and her wreaths, fashioned with Sanibel shells only.

When the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village transitioned to its summer hours on Wednesday, the Museum Gift Shop will be moved to its summer location in the back of the Rutland House.

While there is less space than in the usual Old Bailey Store location, the format will be the same — our exclusive items featured in the case with other merchandise displayed where it can be seen and handled by our visitors.

With the new shipment of all sizes of sailor valentines and four exquisite hand mirrors, Texans Jim and Rose Prestigiacomo have outdone themselves, offering wonderful gift ideas for Mother’s Day, weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.

Also, the Gift Shop has added more pine needle baskets from Naples artisan Gisela Damandl. Beautiful Sanibel shell wreaths from island shell artist, Barbara Walling, complete our new summer look.

Speaking of the Museum’s exclusive line of merchandise, Gift Shop manager Paula Newton has checked all of the items for sale and found that all but one are either made or completed in the United States.

Sailor Valentines are top-sellers at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village.

“Luc Century’s lighthouse ornaments and Barbara’s wreaths are made on our island, and Gisela’s baskets are fabricated in Naples or at her summer home in Pennsylvania,” noted Newton. “Also made in Pennsylvania are our pioneer bonnets and all of our quality toys. Craft kits are made in either Florida or Indiana.”

One vendor, Channel Craft, was recently featured on the “Evening News with Diane Sawyer” in her “Made In America” segment.

“Jim and Rose create their sailor valentines in Texas while our coloring books and paper dolls are printed in the United States,” added Newton. “And last but not least, our quilts are hand-stitched in Indiana. We are proud of our record!”

The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village is now open on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This summer schedule will continue through Saturday, Aug. 6, when the Museum will be closed until Nov. 2. Everyone is invited to visit the summer Gift Shop in the Rutland House and enjoy browsing while appreciating what is “Made In America.”

Gisela Damandl creates a variety of beautiful pine-needle and sweet grass baskets.