The setting of our 2021 holiday catalog is a 200-year-old home perched atop a pastoral plot overlooking the ocean. The story of how this “Pink House” came to be struck a chord of familiarity with the humble beginnings of our very first showroom.
In the 1970s, throughout the countryside of Maine, shrinking memberships of small congregations led to a wealth of abandoned churches, many in poor repair and most available for purchase for little money–or if the buyer was willing to move it– nothing. With their love of restoring old homes and furniture, Tom and Mary marveled at the opportunity to purchase a church and vestry building in 1974 for the token sum of five dollars. The grange hall workshop needed a proper showroom to support the growing business, and if moved, the vestry would be an ideal setting to showcase our wooden furniture.
To move the vestry, Tom hired a local weightlifter and rough carpenter to take off the roof and cut the remaining post-and-beam building into four equal parts– he finished in three days. Tom managed to load, haul, remove and position the first three sections of the vestry without incident. But the fourth section was trouble.
Tom recalls one of the more memorable moments of moving that fourth section. “It had a privy room protruding from one side, making it too wide to fit through the planked sides of an old wooden railroad bridge. It got stuck halfway across. I told our contractor to put her in low gear and go. And go, he did! A small portion of the building tore off, tumbling onto the tracks some thirty feet below. Of course, our local policeman came by and asked us for a permit. Permit? What permit? Since we were nearly done, he shrugged, cautioned us about low-hanging wires, and drove off.” Once the final section was in place, the roof and foundation set, and a woodstove added, our first official showroom opened in 1976.
The setting of our 2021 holiday catalog shares a similar story. In 1865, the “Pink House” was built by Edwin S. Prescott in Skowhegan, Maine. Though not pink at the time, this elaborate fourteen-room Victorian home included ornate architecture, intricate plaster molding and trim work, grand staircases, gold leaf medallions, chandeliers, cast-iron paned windows, and a solid oak mantle surrounding the fireplace.
When the current owners chose their perfect Maine vacation spot, their ideal location lacked one thing, a house. Drawing the architectural plans for their dream home, they envisioned a modern home with lots of character. As the cost of building a new home that fit their description began to surpass their budget, they started looking for old houses for sale. Scouring the internet, they found the nearly 200-year old Prescott home listed for sale. Instantly intrigued by the architecture, pristine hardwood floors, and the pre-Civil War wrap-around porch, they were sold.
Soon, the arduous and delicate work of dismantling, transporting, and reassembling the fourteen-room Victorian home, piece by numbered piece, including the granite foundation, one-hundred miles south, began. Given the historical nature and size of the house, the homeowners would transport it in fifteen parts. Over the next three years, the diligent and patient work of restoring, rebuilding, and updating the home took place.
The Pink House’s historic architecture, coupled with the owner’s passion for preserving and painstakingly restoring it to its original beauty, created a timeless backdrop for our holiday catalog. With aged hardwood floors and banisters, marble fireplaces, and elegant chandeliers, each element enhanced the beauty of our furniture, creating a space that felt lived in and loved for generations. The ability to celebrate the centuries-old craftsmanship throughout the home offered us a resounding moment of gratitude one finds in owning something that is made to last.
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