October 8, 2006
his spoon was one of many items once sold in the Cloister Gift Shop of the Mission Inn. Despite the small size of the spoon, the manufacturer successfully incorporated oranges into its design.
The shop was located near the lobby of the hotel. Items available for sale included books, crosses, statuary, Native American crafts, artwork, bells, postcards, and spoons. Guests could also buy a piece of furniture, artwork, or other objects from their hotel room. Some items were custom-made for the hotel. The Inn hired craftsmen to build furniture and other wooden articles in a wood working shop across 6 th Street.
Just as Frank Miller and his family collected bells, dolls, crosses, and aviation insignias, some people collect souvenir spoons commemorating Civil War battlefields, cities, states, famous people, bridges, ships, and animals, among other things. These souvenir spoons are usually for display, not for daily use. Marks on the backs of the spoons often indicate where they were made. The spoon with the oranges and the Raincross symbol is known as a salt spoon. Such spoons are not widely used today; at one time, however, it was common to keep a small bowl of salt on the table with a salt spoon, rather than a saltshaker. Some table settings included smaller individual salt dishes and tiny spoons for each person.