“green bay local no. 485”

by | Sep 7, 2021 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 32 comments

Well, this is the last of my Gold Rush Days finds from 2021, but I saved a good one for last!  I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go to an antique market that particular day.  I am almost always in the mood to shop for antiques, but it was a hot and sticky Friday at the end of a very busy week.  I just didn’t know if I wanted to go through the trouble.  But, I had a list that had been sitting on my desk for several weeks of things I’d like to look for at the market and my friend Cheri was planning on going whether I went or not.  She got to the event early Friday morning and started sending me pictures of things she spotted that I might like.  That was enough to get me out of bed to get ready to go.

I remember thinking, as I walked into town from my parking space by the shed in someone’s yard, that I probably wouldn’t buy anything unless I could tuck it into my backpack.  The idea of driving through the crowds to pick up bulky things just seemed like too much of a hassle.  (Can you tell I was in a funk?!)  I would probably just stay for an hour or so, look around, check it off the list, and go home.

Meeting Cheri instantly perked me up.  We’ve been to Gold Rush Days two other times together and we always have a great time and find interesting things.   My attitude started to improve, but after about 30 minutes of looking, nothing really excited me.  But then, I spotted this awesome blue and white banner draped over a table.  I was drawn to it immediately because of the color, but also because it would be a unique piece of art.  I figured it would be expensive, though.  Most things with typography on them just are these days.  I turned the tag…  $42.  What?!  Only $42!!  I said aloud to Cheri, “How is this even still here?!”  I rolled up it to immediately claim it as mine.  That booth happened to be where I found the antique cabinet for the family room as well, so I hit the jackpot with that vendor and immediately got over my notion that loading anything in my van wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

I do need to iron it (mom), but here is the banner hung in the family room…

green bay local no. 485 banner | miss mustard seed

Isn’t it perfect?!  I think I ended up getting it for $35 along with a small discount on the cabinet, so it was even a better score.

I asked the gentleman I purchased it from if he knew its story.  He said he was buying some items from an estate in Wisconsin and the gentleman running the sale told him he should buy this banner, so he did.  I was hoping for a bit more information on it than that!  What is it for?  A union?  A moose lodge or rotary blub?  A scout troop?  I did a Google search to see if I could find anything and I didn’t, so let me know if you have any ideas.

green bay local no. 485 banner | miss mustard seed

I initially wasn’t sure if it would work in the basement family room, but the blues play nicely together.  Even more so in person than in the pictures.

green bay local no. 485 banner | miss mustard seed

My favorite part is the lettering, which looks to be made of twill tape.  I’m drawn to the homemade quality of it and the fact that it’s imperfect.  I am not a perfectionist when I make something, but I can be a little hard on myself over my mistakes.  I often devalue my own work because of imperfections or perceived imperfections, but I need to remember that it’s imperfections, repairs, and the clear evidence of someone’s hand that makes something even more attractive to me.  It shows a level of care that isn’t present with things that are machine-made.

green bay local no. 485 banner | miss mustard seed

In other basement family room news, I got the primer coat put on the fireplace and couldn’t help but do a little bit of styling.  It looks a little one-note at this point, but the tile will be painted with textured paint and followed up with a coat of a dark blue/gray color to look more like slate.  I think it’ll provide a nice transition between the blue walls and mantel and the black firebox surround.

primed fireplace | basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

I do love how the leather-bound books and natural elements look with the rich blue paint color.  (In case you missed it, it’s Oval Room Blue.)

antique leather books | basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed

I was hoping to get some more painting done last week, but the week just got away from me.  The room is already feeling better, though, and much more intentional.  I’m getting excited about adding the curtains and pillows, hanging things on the wall, etc.  There’s a lot still to finish, but it’s all coming together slowly.

antique leather books | basement family room makeover | miss mustard seed



  1. Babs

    Great find! I feel the same way as you do about imperfections…I am not allowed to make them but others may. I have always felt that “perfection” is highly over-rated in most things. I am learning to relax a bit and not be too hard on myself.

    • Wendy Aarestad

      I work for Teamsters Local Union No. 344 in Milwaukee I agree with the others that it is connected to a Union! It is a great find.

      • Ruth Steinhoff

        It constantly warms my heart when finding treasures that were handmade. The effort, the person’s hands, the warmth generally put into any item….takes me back to times that had a slower pace, using materials at hand, and perhaps enjoying the company of others to put together their project. Love the tape fabric for letters & numbers. And blues are my special passion in anything antique. Love your projects. Watching and sharing your experiences!

  2. Martha Nesbit


    I am not 100% sure, but this banner reminds me of a Carpenters union banner. It reminds me of one that my Dad had in his office when he was over the carpenters union. I was a young girl, but this definitely makes me think about about it. Again, not sure! It is really a neat find. Looks good in your basement room!

    • Irene Kelly

      IAFF 485 Intl Assoc Fire Fighters Union

  3. Terry A.

    This room is looking great! I’m glad you found so many fun and interesting items at Gold Rush!

  4. Lenore

    What I think is endearing is that the period is after Local and should have been, at least in my estimation, after No. but it makes me love it more. It seems like a Union banner but that might be because I was raised in a Sheet Metal Local 109 family in CA. For some reason, there was a lot of talk about Local this, Local that. Now I am thinking that twill tape would be fun to add to a tote bag, sign or something. Hmmmm….

    • Pat Godfrey McRee

      That “wandering period” is my favorite part too, Lenore! Perfection is so yesterday.

  5. Ann C

    I’ve only ever heard the term Local with a number as a Labor Union of some sort. Nice tho for sure.
    I love the Oval Blue. I’m fairly new to following you and I noticed you painted all the trim the same color as the walls. Is that a new trend again? Apparently that was the trend in the fifty’s and my folks just continued it when they moved in. But now the house is mine and it’s taken me some time to get the trim all painted white.

    • Linda Greiss

      Marion, The room looks great! I love the banner. What did you hang it on? A nail? Do you know yet what you are going to hang over the fireplace? How about a painting by your sons? Looking forward to seeing the finished room!

    • Susie

      Love the leather books and trophies on mantle.

    • Kimberly Westby

      This has been a trend here in Ontario, since the early to mid 2010’s, and continuing. Look at Canadian House and Home magazine to see what I’m referencing.
      I guess it depends if one wants the trim to ‘pop’ being white, or blend,what is the colour of the window frame, in that a black frame [ another trend ] , may look off with white trim.
      It is really, personal preference, versus what is expected or decorating ‘rules’.
      Love the Oval room blue.


  6. Debi

    I love how the room is coming together but I have to ask…where did you get your leather arm chair. I have been looking for years for one that wasn’t huge. I know you’ve probably have had it for years but I’m still asking.

  7. Judy Button

    Where do you buy all your neat pillows?

  8. Colette

    That’s a really cool find and not something I would have thought to buy, but you have such a great eye for things like that!! I so love the oval blue color of your walls. Will you paint the trim with a different finish, or have you already talked about/done that and I missed it?

  9. Rachel Stone

    Hello Marian!

    The blue you chose is gorgeous ~ especially with the brown book covers!

    Do you have a source for the cotton boll needlepoint throw cushion in the chair?

    I’m actually designing a quilt with that pattern & would love to have a coordinating pillow. Thanks!

    • Irene Kelly

      IAFF 485 intl Assoc Fire Fighters

  10. Sandy

    The banner is great and that spot is perfect for it. Also the fireplace is looking so lovely!

  11. Crystal Brown

    Love how this room is coming together. That banner is so unique and that’s what I look for in art. Will you be painting a large portrait or landscape for above the mantel? That would be the cherry on the mantel make-over. Question, I don’t remember if you said you were going to change the hardware on the cherry built -ins, or if you have already. I’d love to see some maybe more vintage style, unlaquered brass, or even black for a more masculine look. It’s a small thing I know, but has great impact and I know you are a detail person. Really loving the trim painted the same as the walls, very libraryish…

  12. Julie | Home On The Hill

    Taking on what someone else commented about the period being after ‘Local’ & not after ‘No’, made me think that maybe it wasn’t a mistake, maybe they meant the word to be Locality? If you search for it using locality you find ‘Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program
    Sunrise Lake (No. 485)’ which is interesting. 🙂 Probably not what it represented but sounds like a nice place!

  13. Donna Burke

    I’m so happy to see this style in your house. This is the style of my own house- gentleman’s library. It’s hard to explain the style to others- but THIS IS IT. I’m so excited to see the end result! My house is an 1895 Victorian, but I prefer this style, so no over the top Victorian fluff for me. This is so beautiful. I feel inspired again!

  14. Donna Burke

    What kind of feathers are those?

  15. co

    brotherhood of boiler makers and iron ship builders of america , lodge 485 green bay wisc ?

    • co

      i searched this:
      history green bay local union “485”

    • Margot

      This would be appropriate for the Green Bay Area!

  16. Debbie

    I find perfection boring.
    Someone said “Perfectionism is the highest form of self-abuse”. I believe this to be true. Your room is really coming together, those blues and browns are gorgeous together.

  17. KathieB

    Love how it’s turning out. That leather chair is so divine.

  18. SueA

    Love the blue on blue on blue. So elegant!

  19. Cheri

    I’m so happy you joined me at Gold Rush …. it’s just not the same unless you are there! You scored big time with the beautiful cupboard that was meant to be … and that banner is perfection!
    Love, love, love the mantel !

  20. Debbie Klausing

    Could it be from the Acme meat packing union? They donated money in 1919 for the uniforms of the Green Bay Packers, which is where the Packers got their name.
    Just a tidbit I got from my husband.

  21. Denell Shaw

    Hi Marion,

    I love this piece so much!!! Not only as a vintage collector but I’m from Green Bay!!!! If you ever decide to part with it, you have a customer right here.

  22. Teresa

    The banner looks like it was made for this area! A local is a union of some trade. My late uncle was in local #10 (plumbers/pipefitters union) in the Richmond, VA area.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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