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Aaron’s Great Great Grandmother’s Dining Set

April 27, 2011

When I heard my friend Aaron talking about refurbishing and reupholstering his grandmother’s dining set, I absolutely had to ask him to contribute his Sentimental Salvage story to share with you all. I absolutely love the story of Aaron’s Great Great Grandmother’s table for two reasons: 1. how often does a guy appreciate the importance of inheriting a table and 2. the table spans almost 5 generations – amazing. Enjoy!

This dining set originally belonged to my Great Great Grandfather. It’s likely 125+ years old according to the gentleman who refinished it last summer. He also mentioned that the table was made of chestnut and that it was very rare because there was a plague at the turn of the 20th century that left the chestnut tree on the blink of extinction.

The table first took up residence in my Great Great Grandfather’s bar/restaurant in PA. When he passed away and they closed the bar, my great grandmother brought the table and chairs home to use in her kitchen. When she passed away, my ma inherited the table. When my ma passed a few years ago, the table was stored in my gma’s garage.

When my girlfriend and I moved in together last fall, my gma decided to give me the table as a housewarming gift. The table meant a lot to both my grandmother and I because my mother used to own it. My ma had always wanted to refinish the table herself but didn’t get around to it. I noticed the table in my gma’s garage one trip back Upstate when I was trying to find furniture for our new apt. My gma was ecstatic when I asked for the table. She helped raise me while I was a kid and we’ve always had a close bond. I think she took great pleasure in knowing that she would be give us something as permanent as a dining room table, especially because I was raised on her Polish/Italian cooking. My gma had the table refinished while Amy picked out the fabric for the chairs. She chose the black and white stripes to add some modernity to the table and we are so happy with how it turned out.

I didn’t know that chestnut trees were at one time almost extinct but there’s actually a book it – really interesting.

That beautiful table certainly holds its own against the dramatic NYC skyline, doesn’t it? The refinishing job is exceptional. Thanks so much for contributing Aaron!

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