A Family Heirloom

A few months ago I was digging around my mom and dad’s storage building. My kids LOVE to explore the building and find new treasures to claim and bring home. Grandma and Grandpa have no problems with this arrangement. I am usually the one who has to “deal” with their latest exciting acquisitions! However, on this warm fall day, it was little old me that spotted a treasure.

I remember seeing this beautiful cabinet most of my life. Jars and other sundries were always neatly stored on it’s shelves. My mom wanted it in the house, but there simply wasn’t a place for it. I’m ashamed to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I knew it’s story.

This shelf was built for my grandmother by my grandfather. She needed a sturdy shelf for all her home canned goods. I never met my grandmother, she died before I was born. My father was the youngest of 10 children, and his father (my grandfather) died when he was only two years old – he has no memory of his father. He does, however, have lots of memories of this cabinet. He told me of how he would sit and watch television as child and would be frightened by the sounds of the jar lids popping and sealing. He has also recalled to me many times watching his mother make fig preserves and store the jars in this cabinet.

The cabinet was built from rough cut wood ,whatever was available, milled at a family mill that used to be right down the street from their home. Each piece was cut, by my grandfather, with a handsaw. None of the nails match, none of the boards are same size, but it’s SOLID and in my opinion, it’s absolutely perfect. We estimate it’s age at between 80-90 years old.

I can picture the man who made this cabinet. I can picture the woman who stocked it with food for the family. I can picture a little boy sitting near it waiting for the sound of the “pops.” I can picture my family enjoying and appreciating it for years to come. Here’s to the next 90, and may my children love it as much as I do. So grateful to have this treasure in my home.



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4 thoughts on “A Family Heirloom

  1. Great story behind the cabinet. It not only holds your jars, but lots of memories as well. It will (and already has) outlast most of the mass produced cabinets that are manufactured today! What a great treasure!

  2. Wow, I love it! I think it’s a beautiful cabinet. I absolutely love that it has a story and such a rich history behind it. I have so many things passed down to me from my grandma and they are my favorite treasures! I’d rather have a piece like this over something brand new any day.

  3. I know the feeling. Beside my sewing machine stands my grandmothers sewing box. I suppose she bought it or got it as a present when she married (1937). As a little girl I sat at her feet when she darned socks and mended clothing and I enjoyed looking at the little tools and different yarns in the box.

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