You read that right: the world's largest assembly of collectible spoons is housed in Paterson. I know! I had no idea, either, until Ivan and I visited Lambert Castle on Garret Mountain. We were there to check out the Civil War exhibit and while orienting us, the front desk volunteer happened to mention it. How could I have not known about this?
|Just a small bit of the world's largest|
Definitely nothing like the cheesy tin commemorative utensils I remember seeing at souvenir stands in my youth, these spoons are amazingly detailed and beautiful in their own right. Most of those on display right now are lovely silver with nice designs and paintings on them, representing local scenes or noted personalities. Some are even enameled in jewel tones. Others have interesting add-ons like the mummy 'entombed' in a compartment in an Egyptian spoon.
Mrs. Koempel donated the spoons to the Passaic County Historical Society in 1967, and with the exception of a few years during Lambert Castle's renovation, they've been on display there ever since. Only about 250 of the spoons are out at any given time, but the museum plans to rotate the collection occasionally so that all are eventually available for public viewing.