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!
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.
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