“I remember one Christmas season when I was a little girl, I conceived a mad longing for a chatelaine in Martin and Hoerr’s show window. A silver pencil and a pad of paper were attached to a chain which would swing, presumably from one’s belt. I thought it would be just the proper equipment for a little girl who wished to be an author and plastered my nose against the window admiring it every time I went downtown. Mary Wood, probably a high school girl then, bought it and put it in my Christmas stocking.” (Excerpt from an article Maud wrote for the “I Remember Mankato” centennial series published by the Mankato Free Press, April 10, 1952)
I can imagine how Maud would have longed for the chatelaine she saw in Martin and Hoerr’s window. A chatelaine is a form of jewelry that has its origin in practical use going back as far as the 17th century and was used by both men and women. A ladies’ chatelaine would typically carry important keys, pencil with a pad to write on, and scissors or sewing kits.
Maud never mentions Mary Wood in the Betsy-Tacy books. Mary was the older sister of Eleanor Wood (Dorothy Drew). The Wood and the Hart families were close friends and lived just a block apart. Milton and Minerva Wood and Tom and Stella Hart both belonged to the High Fly Whist Club and enjoyed picnics and lodge dances together.