Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vintage Thursday: Fireplace Mantel

Sometimes I notice how a particular place in our house has collected items with links to so many memories.

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.

For example:
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.


Coloradolady said...

I so love your mantel. Great post for today!! Happy VTT!

Angela said...

I love how each item on your mantel has a story about them. I do have a few things around my house with a story to them but they aren't all sitting together.

Merry Christmas!


Really enjoyed the picture and the stories with the things on your mantel. A challenge to take a look around my own house. Thanks for it all.

Mama-Bug said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful mantle of memories with us. I love to take little trips down memory lane. Have a great weekend Sue!

Granny Sue said...

I think there are a lot of stories in our homes, often overlooked in the everyday rush. I had not realized that this mantel held so many of them, though. Thanks for your comments!

Jai Joshi said...

Wow, so many memories, Sue. I love your mantlepiece.


Farmchick said...

You have so many wonderful memories on that mantel. Love the butter churn. My mom has one that is much larger, that belonged to her dad.

Granny Sue said...

I actually have several other churns, Farmchick. This one was my favorite, but I have a big one (3 gallon, maybe?), a wooden barrel type, the crock part of a dasher churn, and I think I still have the electric churn somewhere. Not to mention 4 or 5 churn tops like the one on this churn! Where do they all come from? Then there is the butter paddle and the butter mold...all I'm missing is the cow :)

Granny Sue said...

Jai, there are many memories here. I always wonder when I go to an auction, what memories were attached to the items being sold? Surely they had importance to the person who owned them, but apparently the stories weren't passed down.

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