Our Vermont furniture showroom, Stonehurst, has a lot of interesting history. Besides it’s own history as a former girls boarding house, farm house, and lost ski resort–Stonehurst is also unique in it’s details. We used re-purposed and reclaimed materials as much as we could during the renovation, resulting in a space that is imperfectly beautiful and charming. This stained glass window is an example of just that. Given to us by Peggy’s friend Annette, this window has a great story.
St. Patrick Parish in Jaffrey, NH is set in the foothills of Mt. Monadnock. It’s a picturesque stone Catholic church built with farmers field-stones at the turn of the century, and still stands today. This stained glass window and three others were removed from St Patrick’s churchback in the days when the Catholic Church was modernizing and updating their decor. Annette’s father happened to drive by and saw the windows in a dumpster, and got permission to salvage them.
6 years ago on Christmas eve Annette’s 1814 farmhouse burned down, and this window was one of the few things that she was able to save. Eventually, she gifted it to Stonehurst and we were ecstatic to make this historic piece a part of our showroom.
This antique handcrafted stained glass window currently sits in our public restroom at Stonehurst. Seems like a funny spot to keep such a special window, but visitors to Stonehurst agree, it’s a great fit for this artistic glass work!
We’d love to invite you to Stonehurst to get a glimpse of this lovely window yourself! Plus, many other little decor details that make Stonehurst much more than just a furniture showroom.
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.