I stopped in the town of Bridgeport, California for lunch on my way to Bishop. Standing on the main drag and waiting for my sandwich, I came across this sensational plaque (and briefly lost my appetite).
A businessman, Ah Quong Tai, allegedly murders and eats a beloved local named Poker Tom. Townspeople are outraged that he is found innocent and take justice into their own hands. Sensational story!
Metal-cast plaques are an enduring way to honor important people, dates, or events, but they have design limitations that make a story less accessible – like having to use all capital letters in small font sizes. On the other hand, this plaque will last 500 years or more. So, it’s a toss-up. I think this plaque does a good job of transporting the reader to a different time. It also marks an event and the people involved, and in a way that will last well into the future.
How often do you take the time to read plaques around your town? Have you discovered any surprising gems?
A side note: This plaque and others I’ve come across led me to research the E Clampus Vitus organization. All I will say right now is they seem like a very interesting bunch. If you’re into the history of the old west, and need to kill some time, look up a few ECV chapter websites.