Question: When I was a child, my mother told me there was a treasure supposedly hidden on Blennerhassett Island. How true is this? - G.R., Parkersburg.
Answer: It's been rumored for years that there is a large deposit of gold buried somewhere near to where the original Blennerhassett Mansion once stood, before it accidentally burned to the ground in 1811. History books state when word reached Harman Blennerhassett that an arrest warrant had been issued for his arrest by President Thomas Jefferson on Nov. 27, 1806, along with Aaron Burr, and several other conspirators. Blennerhassett fled the island with little more than the coat on his back, abandoning all his valuable possessions, never to return. Supposedly leaving behind a large deposit of gold that Burr and a long list of wealthy supporters who had planned to use to finance the overthrow of the U.S. government. Several have searched for the gold, but to this day, it has never been found.
Q.: Down in my father-in-laws basement is a cast iron stove that stands 17 inches tall, 23 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. The oven door is embossed with the words "Globe." On the lower shelf it's labeled "Globe Range" and the back is embossed "Kenton Brand." Can you tell me anything about the stove and what it may be worth? - J.S., Lowell.
A.: Your stove was made by the Kenton Hardware Company of Kenton, Ohio. The company started manufacturing cast iron toys in 1894. Toy stoves such as yours were first introduced in 1900 and continued to be produced into the 1920s. Kenton made toy stoves in both a child size, and in a smaller size than the 23-inch wide you have described. The stoves could burn coal, too, so a child could bake a biscuit while her mother made a batch alongside her. The value of your child's stove in excellent condition is $1,500 up to $2,000 to a toy collector.
Q.: I have an old desk that was purchased many years ago through Imperial Furniture Company in Parkersburg. By the photo, can you tell me how old it is? - R.W., Vienna. W.Va.
A.: Furniture that was sold at Imperial Furniture Company in Parkersburg was actually manufactured by Imperial Furniture Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1903 up to 1955. Furniture made between 1903 and 1917 were marked with an oval logo. After 1917, furniture was marked with a shield-shaped logo. Your desk was made sometime in the late 1940s 50s style era. Imperial Furniture Company of Grand Rapids sold out to Bergsma Brothers in 1955.
Q.: I'm sending a photo of a vase that has been in our family for many years. Can you tell me anything about the vase, who made it and what it might be worth? - T.W., Marietta.
A.: Your vase with cattails and flowers on the front of it was made by Weller Pottery of Zanesville, Ohio, in the 1920s. The pattern was called ardsley and was made in two different sizes, a 12-inch and an 8-inch. Your 12-inch vase is valued at $175, an 8-inch is valued at $50 to $70.
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Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at email@example.com.