May All Your Trub-les Be Little Ones

MCHS Collections #2006.74.18


Despite being almost eight decades old, the wishes on this handmade sign celebrating the wedding of Cyril Schlichting and Lorraine Burggraff at Holy Trinity Church in Royalton, Minnesota, still hold true today. While digging around in the museum’s collections, thinking about Valentine’s Day, we came across this charming piece. The simple genuineness of the message and the seemingly ephemeral nature of the materials were too good to pass up. We love this ground-level stuff at MCHS. While Lorraine’s wedding dress and veil, along with her baptismal gown and slip, are also part of the collection of items donated to the museum in 2006, it’s a slightly warped, worn and stained paperboard sign that gets our attention.

The questions abound:

  • Who made the sign?
  • Did a family member, friend, or maybe even a former love interest, make it?
  • How and where was it used?
  • Did it hang on a car?
  • Was the sign at the church or at a reception?
  • Did it wait for the newlyweds wherever they went for their honeymoon?
  • Did they go on a honeymoon?
  • Whose crayons were used to write the message?
  • Was the cotton cording salvaged from somewhere else (an example of reuse we often forget to practice today)?
  • Did more than one person create the sign?
  • Was the misspelling of “trouble” on purpose, a mistake, or something else?
  • Why was the sign saved?
  • Where did the paperboard come from? It couldn’t be a pizza box. Pizza didn’t become popular in the United States until after World War II and Cyril and Lorraine were married on November 24, 1942, not long after the United States entered the war. It also couldn’t be an Amazon box or one of the other plethora of delivery boxes that currently litter our planet. Paper was among the nation’s scarce resources during the war.

We could go on and on.

Lorraine may not have realized the potent power of saving the sign from her wedding. There is much that can be learned when we go to the source, especially in terms of primary materials, which this sign is. Searching out reliable information and utilizing source material is a tool that we as a society in general seem to be lacking the capacity or willingness to do today. And yet there is so much to be learned and so much fun to be had in seeking out information.

Lorraine and Cyril had a long life together, one that lasted almost sixty years. Maybe the wish on the sign and the saving of that sign were good luck for the couple’s future. We at MCHS would like to extend the same wish to everyone, may all your troubles be little ones.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lorraine Otiella Burggraff was born on October 2, 1920, in Royalton, Minnesota, to Theresa (Jansky) and Edward Burgraff, Sr. Lorraine grew up on the family farm and was baptized, married and buried at Holy Trinity Church in Royalton. Lorraine died March 16, 2011, in Little Falls, Minnesota.

Cyril P. Schlichting was born June 30, 1919, in Buckman Township, Morrison County, Minnesota, to Rose (Janski) and Isadore Schlichting. Cyril grew up on the family farm in Buckman Township and farmed there until 1956, the same year he started working at DeZurik in Sartell, Minnesota. Cyril retired from DeZurik in 1984 and continued to farm until 1989, when the couple moved to Little Falls. Cyril died July 6, 2002.

~Ann Marie Johnson, Preservationist

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