James Lea, Cracker Barrel, and Me - Mystery Monday

(Photographs and Text, Copyright (c) 2015 Cynthia Shenette) A couple of weeks ago my family and I had a late breakfast at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Sturbridge, MA.  My son had a soccer game in Brimfield, so we figured we'd stop to eat on our way home.  After our meals were getting ready to leave, and I noticed a framed diploma on the wall.  

The name on the diploma was for a James Lea who graduated from Warren High School in Warren, Ohio on 7 June 1928.  How did James Lea's diploma end up on a wall in a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Massachusetts, some 550 plus miles and 87 years later? 

I did a quick search, and according to Ancestry.com a James D. Lea was born on 27 or 28 October 1910 in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio and died on 2 July 2002 in Columbiana, Mahoning County, Ohio.  A James Lea is listed as part of the 1926 sophomore class in a yearbook photo from the Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio.  The diploma is signed by H. B. Turner, Superintendent of Schools, J.W. Davis, Principal, as well as R. G. Ingersoll, H. S. McKibben, Lynn B. Dana, and A.L. Button, of the Board of Education.

If you knew James Lea I'd  love to hear from you.  I'd love to know how his diploma ended up as wall decor in a Cracker Barrel in Sturbridge, MA.  Or as radio broadcaster Paul Harvey use to say, I want to know "the rest of the story."

Other Posts You Might Like:

The Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953 - Those Places Thursday
A Picnic and a Surprise - Wordless Wednesday
Leokadia (Szymanska) and Feliks Szerejko - Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday: Warsaw Wedding


Greta Koehl said...

My family and I have often wondered about the history of some of the items hanging on the walls of Cracker Barrels, especially the photos. However, we have never seen a diploma.

Cynthia Shenette said...

I've seen plenty of photos as well, but never anything with a name, at least not before this. My guess is the diploma was sold at either a yard sale or estate sale and eventually purchased by someone who buys stuff for places like Cracker Barrel. It makes me a little sad to think someone's family history is kind of lost that way.

Kristin said...

I just googled how they find their items and they do buy them at yard sales and flea markets and I bet estate sales too. It is sad to think of the family history being on the wall at Cracker Barrel but I guess it's better than being in the trash.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Thanks for the info, Kristin. Good to know. I guess on the up side at least all of this old family stuff is still going some where. Maybe it's not with the families anymore, but it's not in the trash. I'm kind of hoping that my taking a photo of the diploma will be helpful to some family historian somewhere someday.