Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: The McKinley Hall Tree

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, they often become items tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and record your memories so the family treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Friday Night Family Heirlooms

The McKinley Hall Tree

This “hall tree” always hung in my mother’s house and later she gave it to me. As a young child, I constantly told her, “don’t save these old things for me, I want new things.” Good thing she didn’t listen to me… what did I know!

mirror 2

The McKinley Oak “hall tree”

This “hall tree” originally had a boot box attached when my mother was growing up, but by the time she inherited it, the bottom was falling apart and she only kept the top mirror part. If only she had repaired the bottom… I always wanted one with a boot bottom!

Although the mirror has issues, I left it original, but when I viewed the photo, I first thought my wall had black lines on it and had to take a double look… and then remembered it was the mirror that had the issues. (Did you notice what photobombed my photo?)

I had been advised at an antique store to keep it original and not restore, but sometimes I wish I had put a new mirror. This mirror is beveled around the outer edges, and to repair with another similar one would have been quite expensive.

mirror 1

My “hall tree” hangs above the bookcase where most of my genealogy books are.

I asked mama what happened to the bottom, and … “The lid was cracked on the bottom box, so I just cut the top with the mirror off. I guess I could have repaired it, but I never even thought about doing that, at that time. I don’t know where it came from, it was always in our house when I was small. Either it came from one of their parents or daddy bought it second hand. I know daddy didn’t buy it new… he didn’t buy anything new! The only time he ever bought something new was a bedroom set mama had wanted, and he bought it for her; I still have the vanity and the tall bureau to that set.”


Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at:
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6 Responses to Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: The McKinley Hall Tree

  1. Evelyn Smith says:

    I think it is beautiful and can’t see any imperfections. Papa had one with the boot box and I always wanted it but that didn’t happen. You know how it goes when your mother is not the only child. I can’t remember if I have a picture of it or not. I do know that it sat at the foot of the stairs in the house on Forsyth Street in Macon, then in the hallway, across from the kitchen in the house on Vineville Avenue, also at the foot of the stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. love your heirloom…very beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael says:

    Beautiful. Have you ever seen any similar? Maybe you could find one online and incorporate the missing boot box. Although, after so many years without, I suppose it’s taken on a new life of its own as just a mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

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