The logging arch is definitely a one-of-a-kind object, and that’s partly why it got so much attention going through the parade last year. But for the most part, a lot of what comes into small community museums is pretty standard: typewriters, treadle sewing machines, Rogers syrup cans, flat irons, that sort of thing. I once had a potential donor spend about 15 minutes, carefully unwrapping an object from about fifty plastic shopping bags, telling me the whole time that I’d probably never seen anything like it. It turned out to be a butter mould.
Which is why it is such an absolute highlight of the job when we receive something that is truly unique – not only to our collections, but unique full stop.
Yes, it’s a pool table. Yes, it’s a little smaller than most, and a little older (bought in 1895, by George Hendren, who hauled it out here from Ontario a few years later). But what makes it unique is the fact that it turns into a couch.
I won’t go so far to say it’s the only one like it in the world, but there definitely aren’t many of them around. When Anne Jensen, great-granddaughter of George Hendren, offered it to us, she, I, and the appraiser she was working with were all searching for more information about it. And we all found references to one other: a slightly more recent (about 1911) table that had been sold at auction somewhere in Georgia or South Carolina.
It’s one of only two objects in the entire museum that no one has told me they remember seeing or hearing about anywhere else.
The other one is the Vaughn Flex-Tred tracked garden plough at the top of the page.