My Great Grandparents Home

Circa. 1930s. 24 Broadway, Machias, Maine. View from the front parlor through the wide, wooden, sliding doors into the sitting room and the dining room beyond. When I was in High School, my friends and I sat and listened to rock and roll music in this room. There, we mastered the skills of the hula hoop prior to a local contest in the 60s. There were dances in the parlor with a parquet wood floor fashioned by my father. I have no idea what the balls are but must be decorations hanging from the archway. The sliding doors are open wide with velvet curtains to slide shut instead of the doors.

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I have this rocking chair in my home. It was at the family summer camp at Indian Lake ever since I can remember. My mother told me the rocker came from the Means cottage, Edgemere, at Roque Bluffs.

Most of the furniture in my home today belonged to my great grandparents. In a future post, I’ll take you for a tour. Here’s a preview. Nellie’s table. It sat in the barn after my grandmother Harriet died in 1948. The marble top was missing. I replaced it with slate and oiled the wood with Hope’s 100% tung oil. It’s a beauty.

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My grandmother Harriet’s oak desk sat in the barn for decades. I oiled it with tung oil and it came alive again. The charcoal drawing is by Nina Bohlen, a friend of my parents, and given to me by my mother. The bronze fisherman and duck are treasured gifts from David and Kate Watts and belonged to Delia Houghton from Roque Bluffs.

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My Great Great Grandmother’s Things

are in my little home. They possess the warmth and love of her life, her daughter Nellie, my grandmother Harriet, my mother Louise. They stayed safe under the care of these women and the house at 24 Broadway. I found it tucked away in the attic. A cotton chair back cover (I think), embroidered with a G for Getchell, became a cafe curtain in my bathroom.

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This old blanket embroidered with M J G 12 (Martha Jane Getchell) was on a bed in the house I grew up in and used for more years than I count, likely since 1912. It’s a bit thin and tattered along one short edge but it’s still a warm, usable, wool blanket I treasure. I will tuck it around my grandchildren when they visit. Since Martha Jane Getchell died in 1913, I expect this was a gift to keep her warm during the last year of her life or it was her gift to future generations.dscn1913

The bathroom contains another story or two. The hooked rug on the wall was a kit purchased by my mother but never used. I found it when I began to sort out the things in the attic. When I went to live with and care for my mother in 2003, I brought the kit downstairs. Mom liked to watch one TV show in the evening so I sat with her and started the rug. It wasn’t long before Mom lost interest in TV. I set the rug aside, about 2/3 remained unfinished. Last winter, I picked it up again and enjoyed finishing it, remembering sitting with my mother.

I don’t know who possessed the early 1900s standard bathtub or the fixture set into a marble shelf. But, I am sure it came from an old downeast Maine home. I found the tub and faucet at a local used furniture store with my life-long friend David, in answer to my vision of an old tub in my home. “It will be hard to find a old tub in good shape Sherry,” he said. We walked into the store and there it sat, as if waiting for us.

In a future post, I will write about the furniture of my great grandparents, William and Nellie Means, found in the sprawling barn at their home, now sitting in my home.