Thursday, December 16, 2010
Vintage Thursday: Fireplace Mantel
Take the mantel over the fireplace in the log room. What might seem to be simply a miscellaneous collection of vintage items is actually a look back in time.
The little woodcutter on the right end was bought in Canada by my son Jon and his wife. They got it for Larry because the woodcutter reminded them of him.
The kerosene lamps came here when we first moved in, our only light before we installed electricity in 1989 or so.
I used the butter churn to make butter from the rich yellow cream from our Jersey cows, Dollie and Honey.
The small gray and blue crock was a gift from a very good friend, locally made by another friend.
I used the washboard in our pre-electricity days to do small amounts of laundry; large amounts meant a trip to laundromat and hanging out lines and lines of clothes, even in winter.
The cowbells were worn by our two Jerseys, and I remember so well hearing their ringing as the cows grazed around the pasture. We no longer keep milk cows, and I still miss them.
The stone that is just barely visible near the left end of the mantel says "Tale Teller." I bought it on my very first trip to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, in 1997.
Just past the stone is a tall coffee grinder I bought in 1975 from my friend Reta who had an antique shop then--as she still does today. I used to use it daily to grind our coffee.
The two cast iron spiral candleholders are the most recent additions, bought in Petersburg WV--I was told they came out of a Masonic lodge.
Then there is the mantel board itself. It was one of the joists we used to build our tobacco barn in 1982; when we tore the barn down a few years ago, every board in it was re-used somewhere around this place. This one was still lightly scented with the rich smell of burley tobacco when we put it up.
And the stones for the fireplace? They came from right here on this farm for the most part. A few were leftover cut stones from when we built the root cellar back in 1986--Larry used a hammer and chisel to slice them like bread to use in the fireplace. The others were sandstone gathered from around the farm.
Look around your house. Do you have similar collections of memories in nooks and corners, on shelves and in cupboards? Stop a minute and take a little trip back in time, right in your own home.
And don't forget to visit Coloradolady's blog for many more posts of neat vintage collections.