An Antique Chest And It’s Story

Many years ago, I dealt with an antique dealer/friend who always had a list from me for her pickers.

You know, the days before eBay and the internet . . . Waaaay back when.

About 30 years ago, I had a list for the pickers that included a blanket chest.

I wanted to use that chest for a coffee table . . . one that had lots of character and imperfections

that would withstand the abuse of lots of teenage boys with their feet up.

Even though I only had one son, there were lots of his friends around.

I got a call one day saying a blanket chest just came into the shop and I had “first dibs!”

Guest Bedroom/antique chest-Housepitality Designs

Here is the blanket chest, shown last Spring, in the guest room.

Antique Blanket Chest-Housepitality Designs

I love its patina and its many imperfections which include nail holes at the edge of the lid.

I was told by the antique dealer that people often nailed these chests down when they were in transit.

Antique Blanket Chest-Housepitality Designs

When I agreed to purchase this chest, the shop owner said that there was a bit of a bonus that came

with the chest. She then handed me a bag filled with letters, photos and other documents.

Antique Chest Letters and Photos-Housepitality Designs

The shop owner did not want to leave these in the chest for fear that they would grow legs!

I was thrilled . . . a history of this chest . . . it was like “if blanket chests could talk!”

Antique letters/photos/documents

The earliest document was dated 1899 . . . many letters dated in the early 1900’s.

Old letters-Housepitality Designs

This letter had a pretty funny statement. . . A letter from a son to his parents . . . It reads:

“We are going to have a time in June. Praise God. She is going to be married in white.”

Antique Photograph-Housepitality Designs

Antique Photograph/Buffalo Zoo-Housepitality Designs

So many great photographs, like this one taken at the Buffalo Zoo.

Tin Type Photograph-Housepitality Designs

Including quite a few tin type photographs.

Love this one of a baby.

Antique Photographs/checks-Housepitality Designs

There were quite a few cancelled checks dating from 1905 to 1915 and the funny part is that

they were all written in pencil, yes pencil. Most of them for less than $2.00.

Antique photographs/Housepitality Designs

From all of the letters and documents, the patriarch was a pastor and seems as if his sons followed

in his footsteps.

Antique Photographs/Antique documents-Housepitality Designs

Antique Document-Housepitality Designs

Antique Documents-Housepitality Designs

So many wonderful photographs, documents, and letters that came in this antique chest.

I so wished the photographs were documented with names.

And until the other day, I realized that this chest may have been destined for me.

As I read a letter and the saw a familiar name mentioned in it.

Old letter-Housepitality Designs

Part of this letter reads, “Our Revival begins on the Hill Top about the 20th of this month.

I rather think Bro. Standley will be having it.”

Standley?….that’s me…my maiden name!….Now I am wondering if he was a relative!??

Cue the Twilight Zone theme song . . . doo-doo-doo-doo doo-doo-doo-doo!

Yes, I definitely feel that the blanket chest found me!

Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day!

And speaking of wonderful and happy . . .

On Wednesday, I presented to you a most wonderful way to access your favorite bloggers through a new

mobile app for iPhone and iPad users (Androids coming soon).

You can read about the details and see a fabulous video about this home and garden mobile app HERE.

It is truly amazing!

bHome mobile app-Housepitality Designs

I am joining:

French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday

Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday

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  1. That is so cool! I didn’t know it came with all those items inside and to have your name really is strange. doo-doo-doo-doo

  2. What a beautiful chest, and such a cool pack of contents. I love the name connection – you should do some more sleuthing to try to figure it out. I love finds like these!

  3. Shirley, love the story of your blanket chest! Must tell you that I live in a suburb of Buffalo and recognized the towns noted on the old letters. . . South Dayton, Forestville and of course, the Buffalo Zoo. What a small world!

  4. What a wonderful story!!!

  5. Amy Kaminski says

    That is an wonderful find. Very cool chest and the fact that your name is in the letters. A-maz-ing!!! I’m way big on family tree artifacts and find that very intriguing.

  6. Omigosh what a great find!!!

  7. What a wonderful find and yes it was meant to be! I can just hear the son saying the white dress statement!!
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Not only did you get a fabulous chest…you got all the fabulous goodies that belonged with it! How great to have all those old letters and photos and WOW your maiden name!! Enjoy your weekend Shirley:-)

  9. Fabulous find, Shirley!!

  10. What a fabulous find…..I love that it came with it’s very own history all tucked inside. I am dying to know if that is a relative though!!!! Have a great weekend!!!

  11. What a fabulous chest and it came with so many wonderful treasures too. I think it was definitely meant for you.

  12. Shirley,
    That beautiful piece of history was destined to be with you. Love the old memories found inside that the shop keeper gave to you. Love that you found the letter with your maiden name just proving it was really meant for you to have and treasure.
    Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy. XXOO

  13. Jeanette Price says

    Wow! That’s absolutely amazing that this landed in your lap. What also impressed me was that all the letters were written in script of cursive. Our kids these day aren’t even being taught that. Well you have a project now of trying to figure out the history. Happy Valentines Day and have a wonderful weekend!

  14. What a wonderful story! I do think that the chest found you! Have a great Valentine’s weekend!

  15. Amazing chest and I would have been thrilled too! So many treasures inside, and so neat that your name is on one of the letters! What treasures!
    (When on my Iphone6 I cannot leave comments for you. Just wanted to mention it in case others were having a hard time also 🙂

  16. That chest is so cool! And you have all that providence…wonderful! It was as if it was meant to be! Now, you’ll have to research your family history to see if and where the good Reverend and his family fits in! Have fun! 😉

  17. What a wonderful chest Shirley. The memorabilia inside is priceless…so full of history! Do you think you will research the name and see if you are related? What a journey that could take you on! Have a great weekend,

  18. What a wonderful blanket chest and all of the documents and pictures that came with it! Such a treasure!

  19. What a wonderful treasure to find. You should check through the church and see if you can find the minister, maybe you are related. It is a beautiful blanket chest. I have a cedar chest that is over 100 years old and it is still beautiful.
    Have a great weekend. We are enjoying weather in the 80’s and all the Spring flowers are blooming.

  20. Wow, Shirley what a gorgeous chest and treasure filled with all of those wonderful old letters and photos. Seeing your name too makes it all the more special.

  21. What a wonderful treasure! Sounds like you may have some ancestry research in your future.
    I have a chest that my Dad made for his mom in shop class in high school. I treasure it. He also made my mom (his girlfriend at the time) a small cedar chest. It was my toy chest growing up. My mom gave it to my youngest daughter who is her namesake.

  22. That is amazing! When I saw the first picture, it looked so familiar to me..then as I scrolled along and saw Buffalo, NY, it really took me back. (that’s where I am from) This is the coolest treasure ever. SO hard to understand and believe that families just let these treasures go. I have so many other peoples treasures I don’t even know and I hold them so near and dear to us. Pretty ironic too the maiden name the same.

  23. WOW, that is so amazing. That chest WAS destined to be with you! I wonder if could help you find out more? I just downloaded the app, saw it over at Yvonne’s and didn’t realize you were part of it too! Fabulous! Happy Valentine’s day to you both.

  24. Shirley,
    This gave me cold chills!!! 🙂 I have an old immigrants chest/trunk that I bought at auction. It has a date on it and the families last name. I always wonder where all it has been and what all it has held inside of it.
    I hope you investigate to see if you are related to the previous owner. Don’t you just love antiques! Love it!

    Happy Valentines day to you!

  25. Patty Soriano says

    oh, I hope the next place you went was !! Sounds like a great mystery that needs to be solved !!

  26. Beautiful chest. Just like all your other lovely things! Happy Valentines Day.

  27. Shirley,I love looking at old photos and wondering about the lives of the people in the photos. I always wonder why people give up photos of their ancestors . . . while I scrolled through your photos I saw “Orchard Park” and thought it couldn’t be the town I live in and then I saw the Buffalo Zoo mentioned. I have lived in the Buffalo area all my life and in 1974 my husband and I moved to Orchard Park. Orchard Park was settled by the Quakers and at one time was called “East Hamburg”. The town adjacent to OP is Hamburg. Finally, a woman of the town (sorry, I don’t remember the name) said, “Oh, what a lovely park of orchards” and that’s how OP got it’s name changed. I can certainly, if you like, do a little research on your family name and see if you are indeed related. It would be interesting to find that this chest made it’s way from OP to you and back to it’s true owners.

  28. Your blanket chest is a treasure, Shirley! I love the story the photos and letters tell too! I agree, this chest was meant to find you! Wow! What amazing stories! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  29. Wow, you’ll have to delve a little deeper there, Shirley, and find out if he is an ancestor. That is too much of a coincidence. What a great piece and it is one of those that you could probably put anywhere in your home.

  30. What a wonderful surprise to get with the chest, which by the way is gorgeous!
    Enjoy the weekend.

  31. Great find and a marvelous story…

  32. What a treasure chest and how wonderful to get the contents with your purchase Shirley, and your name too, it does seem like destiny!

  33. I used a chest as a coffee table as a young married, so originally in beginning to read this post I just identified with that but oh MY this post was much much more…what an absolutely amazing story!

  34. What a wonderful treasure Shirley! I bet it was so much fun to read thru the letters and look thru the pictures. Thank you for partying at my place!

  35. Love your room & the blanket chest! Would love to know the name of the blue paint. Thanks.

  36. …of inviting someone to a party, for example you would ask ‘Are you going to the time this weekend?’ Loved reading!

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