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Where does time go?Rediscovering Joseph Wakeman Mather’s pocket watch.

An appraisal of items in the Homestead was conducted prior to the establish-

ment of the Mather Homestead Foundation. In that process, the appraiser

listed in “Second Floor – Guest Bedroom” an “18 kt. Yellow gold Jules Jurgensen/Copenhagen pocket watch…Watch is stamped: 13453 with patent mark: Patent 1867 January 15…”


However, recently, during a curator’s review of materials in the Homestead, no watch was to be found in the second floor guest bedroom. Where was it?


It was safe—in the safe. And with it some interesting notes provided by Bertha McPherson as to the provenance and further history of the watch.


Bertha tells us that the watch was purchased by Stephen Mather’s father, Joseph Wakeman Mather, in San Francisco in March 1876 for the sum of $342.50. The chain for the watch “was given to Edward Reynolds McPherson Jr. as wedding present – August 16, 1932.”


The value of a Jules Jurgensen watch has grown exponentially from $342.50. However, it will remain as one of many priceless heritages we treasure today at the Mather Homestead.




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