;

Hannibal Historical Society Raffling Handpainted Chest

From left: Rashelle Pitcher, creator of the chest, Fred Kent, Mayor of Hannibal, Jane Scruton, President of Hannibal Historical Society
From left: Rashelle Pitcher, creator of the chest, Fred Kent, Mayor of Hannibal, Jane Scruton, President of Hannibal Historical Society

Hannibal Historical Society has been given a unique fundraising opportunity: Rashelle Pitcher, self-taught painter and avid crafter, has applied her talents to the creation of a hand-painted chest, decorated with images from Hannibal’s past.

Hannibal Historical Society President, Jane Scruton, is delighted to be able to use the chest to raise funds for the Society. “It’s a beautiful piece of work and we are very fortunate to have such a talented lifetime resident right here in Hannibal who is so interested in the history of the town that she would put all this time and effort into producing something so unusual – and then donate it to the Historical Society!”

The village of Hannibal is 150 years old in 2010 and the chest will be raffled as a fundraiser at the Sesquicentennial Dinner in Hannibal on October 16th. Tickets for the raffle go on sale at the Sesquicentennial kick-off celebration at 2 p.m. on Saturday April 10th at the Municipal Building on Cayuga St. in Hannibal.

Artist and Hannibal resident Rashelle Pitcher
Artist and Hannibal resident Rashelle Pitcher

Pitcher, owner of “Unique Hairshoppe & Nails of Elegance” in Fulton, has been a self-employed cosmetologist for 32 years. “In my spare time, I indulge my passions for woodworking, painting, gardening, my three-legged dog Yardlee, nature and, of course, history,” Pitcher said. “I have lived my whole life in Hannibal and I want to die here – though not yet.”

Asked how long it took her to handcraft and paint the chest, Pitcher replied, “I don’t know, but I would estimate about 6 Lifetime movies and 5 Hallmark movies. That’s what I listen to when I create.”

Where did the ideas come from? “I had the help of many locals to collect items to transpose onto the trunk,” she says. “Hannibal historian, Lowell Newvine, helped with photographs, Scotts Building Supply provided a picture and thermometer. Jane Sidman, Bonnie Harrie, Jeff Gombas and many others donated items for me to use as visuals.” Pitcher would have included more organizations but she ran out of room. The decoration on the chest also depicts the new “Pictorial History of Hannibal, NY” by Lowell Newvine, which will be launched at the April 10th kick-off celebration. Light refreshments will be served at the event and everyone is welcome.

The chest is currently on display at the Hannibal Municipal Building and will then move around the town until it is raffled in October. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and are available from any Society member.