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Heirlooms & Keepsakes ~ Vermont December 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, People.

In addition to the heirlooms from mom’s side of the family, we also enjoy a number of treasured heirlooms and keepsakes from my relatives in Vermont.

You’ve met my grandfather through his letters.  Here he is with my grandmother, my dad and Aunt Marjorie.


My dad refinished this antique candle box from Vermont.

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A quilt started by Great Aunt Lucy (my grandmother’s sister) before her death in 1962 and finished by my mother in 1986.  We used it as a bright guest room comforter for a number of years.

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A quilt rack made by dad to display the quilt that covered the spare bed in his childhood bedroom.

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A tin coffee pot from my grandfather’s attic.

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This box belonged to my dad as a child.  I use it to store recipes.  Under lock & key!

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This was dad’s boyhood tool chest which now houses old letters, photos, and other keepsakes.

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Dad refinished this antique harvest table for his living room.  I adopted it a few years back.

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Here’s another view.

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This picnic hamper came from my grandfather’s house in Vermont and reminds me of all the picnics we enjoyed on his hill and at Quechee Gorge.

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A wooden bowl from my grandfather’s pantry, perfect for ripening bananas.

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I refinished this table from my grandfather’s house the year after he died.  I consider it his wedding gift to us.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Family Heirloom (Grannymar)



1. katecrimmins - December 21, 2014

I am surprised you have so many antiques. I know you cherish family heirlooms but you’ve always struck me as a sparse and simplistic kind of person who wouldn’t cart things with you. They are beautiful. I only have a few treasures from my mother as most of her furniture wasn’t so great but I do have a high boy and I love it. For one thing, it’s more practical than today’s furniture. The drawers are the full width of the cabinet and deep enough but not too deep. I have an Ethan Allen triple dresser with drawers so shallow, it takes a couple just for underwear! These are the things that keep family close no matter where you are.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

You’re right about our efforts to simplify. I keep things we use and/or enjoy (many heirlooms satisfy both criteria). I jettison stuff that serves no purpose other than to collect dust.

When we sold our last house, we left most of the furniture in situ ~ dining room, living room, music room, bedrooms. We brought our books, our clothes, our financial records, and the antiques.

Your high boy sounds great. We inherited two dressers with the villa which take up lots of space without offering much in return. One day, we’ll donate them and get something with better volumetrics.

2. NancyTex - December 21, 2014

Lovely and useful treasures: the best kind.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Yes! Hope you’re having a Cool Yule!

3. Valleygrail - December 21, 2014

I love items that have history, tell a story. I treasure the sewing machine cabinet where my daughter scratched her first attempts at writing the ABCs, or the wood sofa back that my son gnawed on when teething. The list goes on. They are not just pieces of furniture, they are snippets of life and love.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Well put, VG. And why give your son a teething ring when you already had a wood sofa back that would do? 😉

4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - December 21, 2014

Beautiful treasures!

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Thanks, Kate. Most of them are smile inducers for me.

5. sufilight - December 21, 2014

Lovely treasures and memories. My favorite is the tin coffee pot because it gives me a cozy feeling of the good old days.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

I have an affinity for that tin coffee pot too. Simple elegance.

6. Grannymar - December 21, 2014

I love the pieces that have a story behind them. They are a reminder of those who have gone before.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Putting together these posts made me realize how many holes remain in their tapestried story.

Grannymar - December 22, 2014

Stories for the future!

nrhatch - December 22, 2014


7. diannegray - December 21, 2014

These are lovely, Nancy. I also have a wooden bowl and i was never sure what to use it for – ripening bananas? – wow, great idea 😀

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

We have bananas in it most of the time . . . with occasional tomatoes, peaches, and pears that need a bit more ripening.

8. anotherday2paradise - December 21, 2014

These are all so gorgeous, and I think that family heirlooms, especially those which have been lovingly crafted by those family members who are no longer with us, should be handed down from generation to generation. I know they are only material possessions, but they are part of our inheritance. My MiL has a wooden fruit bowl just like yours, and I hope we will get it one day. I’m sure no-one else in the family will want it. 🙂 The grey and gold quilt is exquisite.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

I agree and hope to pass some of these items to our nieces and nephews as they get older and start setting up house.

You’re probably right about the fruit bowl ~ no one else seemed interested in it when we adopted it. But we use it daily.

9. Tiny - December 21, 2014

Wonderful that you have such beautiful and practical heirlooms. I would treasure some material memories of my family, but since we have moved so many times from one continent to another I only have a couple of small table clothes made by hand by my grandmother. I still hope that one day I can bring over some from my childhood home in Finland.

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

I try to “hold them lightly” ~ using and enjoying them without becoming too attached to having them. But it is nice to have tangible reminders of our long lost relatives around, especially in items we actually use. Hope you can tuck a few things into your suitcase next time you’re home.

10. Jill Weatherholt - December 21, 2014

All of these pieces are wonderful, Nancy. I love the wooden tool chest. What a great place to tuck away keepsakes. Thanks for sharing!

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Thanks, Jill. It is perfect for its assigned use ~ it slides out easily when access is needed, and tucks away nicely at other times.

11. pix & kardz - December 21, 2014

oh, what a cool collection. that wooden bowl for ripening bananas caught my eye. my mom used to have one just like that but unfortunately it did not survive her last move. don’t know whatever happened to it.
and those quilts are lovely, too. all that detail. thanks for sharing!

nrhatch - December 21, 2014

Thanks, Kris. I had fun wandering around and snapping shots to share . . . I kept thinking of another thing and another.

We’ve used the wooden bowl for most of our 30 years of marriage. It’s a real work horse.

12. jannatwrites - December 21, 2014

I like the history behind these items, and how they are both useful and sentimental 🙂

nrhatch - December 22, 2014

I have a confession to make . . . . I have NEVER made coffee in that coffee pot. It’s decorative only at this point. :mrgreen:

13. L. Marie - December 22, 2014

How lovely that you have your grandfather’s things. Unfortunately, I have nothing belonging to either grandfather.
Whereabouts did your grandparents live? I went to school in Montpelier.

nrhatch - December 22, 2014

My grandparents lived in Hartland, just north of Windsor and south of White River Junction.

Except when he was in Montpelier “under the dome.”


14. Carol Balawyder - December 23, 2014

I have an antique harvest table just like yours! 🙂

nrhatch - December 23, 2014

Ours has been used in a number of different ways ~ from game table to TV table.

15. beeblu - December 26, 2014

These are irreplaceable treasures – how wonderful to have them. They all tell a story.

nrhatch - December 26, 2014

Simple lines, a reminder of simpler times.

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