The Thompson-Ames Historical Society
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“Waste Not, Want Not”
We often find ourselves marveling at the ingenuity of folks who lived in by-gone times.
Life in Gilford, as captured in Thompson-Ames Historical Society’s settings, exemplifies many of the challenges encountered.
Using materials at hand, especially wood, the homesteaders’ ingenuity is reflected in the spinning wheel, furniture (chairs, drop-leaf tables, spool and trundle beds, baby’s cradle, cupboard and blanket chest), household items (oven peel, bowls, butter molds, bootjack, shelves, clothes pegs and hanger), and even toys (building blocks, finger tops, climbing bear).
To keep alive awareness of wood-working skills, volunteers meet each Thursday morning to puzzle over vintage wooden toys which they then try to replicate.
One challenge faced recently was to try to put in working order an antique treadle wood lathe that may have been made in Laconia. Many volunteers contributed to the success of the endeavor. Milton Jensen repaired the broken cast iron frame. Susan Percy MacDonald provided a belt similar to one used on a treadle sewing machine. Gus Pinto, who improvised a tool rest, worked with Stan Piper to shorten the belt to improve tension, making it possible to use gouges for wood turning. By Saturday, August 28th, the antique wood lathe was up and running -- an attraction that fascinated many an on-looker during Gilford’s Old Home Day.
T-AHS’s Homestead Room also offers visitors a peek into the arts and crafts of creative women and girls of by-gone eras. A braided rug, homespun, handmade quilts, antique samplers – all these are preserved and on display.
We marvel at how a scrap of wood or of fabric can be artistically transformed into a useful item that also is pleasing to the eye. -- A frugal philosophy of “waste not, want not” is an enduring theme that many people down through the ages have given voice and effort to carry out.
The third Saturday morning of the month is the time that has been set aside by volunteers at Thompson-Ames Historical Society to spot light vintage arts and crafts and give novices as well as experienced crafts persons the opportunity to gather together to work on crafts of their choosing and help one another solve problems while they enjoy some light refreshments and socialize.
Volunteers Carol Anderson and Stan Piper will serve as hostess and host respectively on Saturday morning, September 17th at 8 Belknap Mountain Road, in Gilford Village, the site of the historic John J. Morrill Store/Mount Belknap Grange.
Karen Vadney hopes to be on hand to share a modern version of frugality as she uses discarded neckties to weave seats and backs for wood-framed chairs -- another popular Gilford Old Home Day demonstration.
Also, the Homestead Room and the Historic Store will be open to the public on Saturday morning.
Whether it’s knitting or rug braiding or weaving with neckties or assembling a wooden toy of historic design that tickles your fancy, you are welcome to come or to just stop in on Saturday morning. Weather permitting the gathering will take place outdoors under tents, or, in case of inclement weather, indoors.
For further information, please telephone 527-9009 or view T-AHS’s website www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org.