Wooden Chair Passed Down Through Generations

A woman shares the story of inheriting her grandfather’s handiwork, and then passing it on to the next generation.

| January/February 2014

  • Made from hickory wood, Grandma’s hearth chair holds a special place in the hearts of tight-knit family.
    Photo By Frankie Roland

Grandma Wood was a tiny woman, and Grandpa called her Tint, for tiny. He tried to make things easier for her, such as having low shelves built in the kitchen, among other things.

The item I remember most was the wooden chair he made for her so she could sit beside the fireplace in the evening and warm her feet. It was simply a straight-back chair with short legs that made her practically sit on the floor. Grandpa made the entire chair out of hickory wood, even to the weaving of the seat, and he called it her hearth chair.

I was fortunate enough to spend summers with my grandparents for several years, and one of my best memories is of sprawling on the floor by the fireplace in the evening where a small fire was burning to ward off the chill of the mountain. Grandpa would read from the family Bible, and then Grandma led in prayer before we went off to bed.

When Grandma died, I learned she had wanted me to have her hearth chair. I was pleased and humbled. For many years Grandma’s hearth chair sat beside my own fireplace. A few years ago, we downsized and moved into a small apartment in a retirement community, and now it sits in my daughter’s living room beside her fireplace.

I’m sure it will eventually be passed down to her daughter, thus making five generations to have enjoyed the handiwork of Grandpa Wood’s hickory hearth chair he made just for his Tint.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Read more heirloom stories in Keepsakes Passed Down Through Generations.



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