|This legendary Christmas angel has been missing for 50 years! Keep reading to learn how it was rediscovered.|
Angels have played a crucial part of Christmas pretty much since Christmas began. As you'll recall, God sent an angel named Gabriel to Mary tell tell her that she was going to bear a Child, despite being a virgin. Again, angels declared the Lord's birth to shepherds who were watching their sheep in the fields. So it makes since that angels play a huge part in Christmas decorations. That's why the Christmas Angel of Danville, Utah was created. President of the Town Board of Riverville, New York, Otis Ostrich, who's also the co-curator at the Riverville Museum of Natural History explains, “The Christmas Angel of Danville – or Angel of Danville for short – is a little brass angel created by a blacksmith who lived in Danville, Utah named Philip Peters in 1835 as a Christmas gift to his 14-year old daughter, Jane Peters.” He went on to explain that Jane kept the angel for the rest of her life (she died at the age of 113) and after her death, the precious angel was given to her grandson named William Peters. William, moved his family to Riverville, he sold the angel to the Riverville Museum of Natural History and it's been here ever since . . . until the tragic day of the museum's robbery of '64! An infamous museum thief from Italy named Gilbert the Greedy (his real name was Gilbert F. Mulligan, but that doesn't sound as cool) broke into the museum on December 26, 1964 and stole the brass angel, among other priceless artifacts. The museum authorities however were able to catch the thief, confiscated the artifacts, including the Christmas angel, and placed Gilbert in prison. You'd think that the problem was solved, but as a matter of fact, it was only just beginning! The next morning, the angel was reported missing, and no one had any idea what happened to it. The thief was still behind bars and no break-ins were reported from the night before. What could have happened to it? Well, no one knew . . . until an astounding 50 years later when the angel made an amazing reappearance! Lizzy brought up this story to my attention just last Tuesday and recommended that my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater go and get an exclusive at the museum with Otis Ostrich about how it was rediscovered. When asked about the artifacts rediscovery, Otis laughed. Otis is quoted for saying, “Crazy as it may be, we found the Christmas angel! I mean, after 50 years, everyone thought it would be lost forever. But it all happened when one of our janitors, James Pittman (who was a museum guard at the time), was in his room cleaning out his bedroom. He opened up his sock drawer and to his surprise, found the Christmas Angel of Danville sitting underneath his socks he hadn't worn since the 1960's! No wonder we couldn't find it!” After learning this, Daniel and I went to go see James himself and see what his reaction was on finding the angel. “Well, like everyone else . . . [I] never expected to find the angel,” he says. “After all, it's been missing for a whole 50 years. But just yesterday, I decided it was time to go through my bedroom drawers to see what I didn't want. Then as I lifted a pair of socks out of my drawer (I never liked them anyway), I saw the angel just sitting there! Gee, if I had known it was there, I would have had that thing returned years ago! However, I am awfully glad to have played a part in finding it.” The Angel of Danville is now returned to its proper place in the museum's hall of Christmas Through the Ages and can be viewed by everyone who decides to enter the museum. Otis says, “After a roller-coaster-type adventure like this one, I'm just glad to know that the Christmas Angel of Danville is safely returned to its proper spot in the museum and will be able to be viewed by museum guests for generations to come . . . so long as it doesn't get lost in someone's sock drawer again!”
Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond
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