My present for Christmas, nine days before my eleventh birthday, was a Sears Roebuck lathe, a few basic turning tools and a box full of wood chunks. My dad and I had already built a work bench in the cellar so we set up the lathe and, after extensive orientation, I was on my own. I was big on candle sticks, baseball bats, ashtrays, crude bowls and managed to avoid hurting myself.
That was my introduction to wood working; a practice that has run for seven generations in my known family and probably generations before that in France, later England and, starting in the late seventeen hundreds, the colonies.
Our first ancestral records in the New York City archives, beginning in 1796, include a long line of Guests starting with William Guest followed by sons and grandsons including Williams’ two and three, all of whom had many brothers and sisters which may explain, in part, how New York City became so populous.
The three Williams, along with some of their brothers, were talented woodworkers and furniture makers. Based on conversations with my late grandmother, William one and two may have provided woodwork for St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church (Land marks in lower Manhattan). In the 1950’s the successor family company provided wood work for renovations in both buildings.
My grandmother was pretty discreet but it seemed quite clear that William one and his successors contributed their talents not only to the building of wood work including the bar for Fraunces tavern (historic tavern, restaurant and now museum in New York City) but were dedicated patrons
George Washington gave an historic farewell dinner and speech at the tavern following the conclusion of the revolutionary war. I like to think that my ancestors were there.
This is my first attempt at a blog. It is interesting, at this advanced segment of my life, to learn to run a computer and ramble a little bit about how Cherry Pond Fine Furniture evolved from seven generations of businesses founded on the utilization of our favorite natural resource.
Yesterday, mid-morning, I drove northwards through Franconia Notch. It was one of the most spectacular days of my life in the North Country. The sky was brilliant, the foliage was luminescent. How fortunate we are for the abundant forests…the miraculous, self-sustaining, enduring and versatile material we call wood, and the privilege of transforming it to useful and beautiful furnishings for the ages.