March 20th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Remember that old Beatles song, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window? It’s been going through my head these last couple weeks as I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get my way on a plan to install this stained glass window into the restroom at Stonehurst, our new furniture and fine art gallery.
The window has a great history. Annette gave it to me. It was one of just a few things she was able to salvage when her 1814 Vernon farmhouse down the road, burned to the ground on Christmas eve 5 years ago. At the time, our Vermont Woods Studios showroom was housed in the sunroom of Annette’s house. She had been letting us use her space in return for an occasional farm chore (actually it was kind of a lop-sided affair on my end but Ken helped out quite a bit and Susan Holmquist– salesperson extraordinaire at the time– helped Annette deliver a baby horse so it wasn’t entirely a one-way street).
Anyway, this stained glass window and three others were removed from St Patrick’s church in Jaffrey, NH back in the days when the Catholic Church was modernizing their decor. Annette’s father happened by and saw the windows in a dumpster and got permission to salvage them. Eventually they made their way to Annette who had them restored by Rick Neumann of Neumann Studios in Brattleboro, Vermont. She installed the window shown above in the bathroom of her farmhouse.
Since the fire, the small window has been out in the back corner of the barn, with only Annette’s annual crop of Thanksgiving turkeys around to enjoy it’s beauty. So I was really excited to be able to bring it back to life when Annette donated it to the Stonehurst project. No one else thought we’d have an “appropriate place” for it, but Douglas finally broke down and pointed out the perfect sized spot for it– in the public restroom. What a coincidence! You’ll have to stop by and see it once Stonhurst is complete.
Now I’m wondering about who created this piece of art and when? Any ideas? St Patrick’s Church was founded in 1885 so I figure the window must have been crafted well over 100 years ago. I guess I’ll have to take a trip over to Jaffrey and see what I can learn from the folks at St Patrick’s.
Honoring the history of a piece of art (and the artist who made it) is something that makes you feel great! I’d like to think that the furniture we’ll be featuring at Stonehurst will be around 100 years from now and people will be appreciating it (and the Vermont craftspeople who made it) just like we appreciate this stained glass.