Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Visiting The Deyo House ---

We walked down the rain washed Huguenot Street with just a few sprinkles determined to keep us wet.

Our destination? The Deyo House. I was asked if I would like to see where the clothing archives were kept. Could I say no? Of course not!

Along with quilts, there is a large collection of other antique items including coverlets, ladies underthings and dresses, aprons, bonnets, hats, shoes –gentlemen’s accoutrements as well, and the most precious of all --- BABY THINGS!

We had the house to ourselves, it wasn’t open for tours this day – there was some rearranging going on inside, some spring cleaning perhaps ---and I got to glimpse into all the rooms.

This house started as a simple stone dwelling in the early 1700’s – over time it expanded and was added on to by generations that came into possession. By the 1890s there were only 2 walls of the original house left standing and the house was now one of the most stately around. Not everyone was happy with that fact! Read the story linked above!

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A recent acquisition is this candlewick spread made by Sarah Deyo. I don’t remember the year, but believe it to be early 1800s.

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She even placed her name and other information in the pillow roll header in very precise French knots…the texture is such you just WISH you could run your fingers over it. Of course, I did NOT!

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Here I am hoping my hand above the coverlet so y9ou can see the scale of these knots…the work was just beautiful! I tried candlewicking once back in the 1980s…hated it! LOL! But I love the look of this!

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Isn’t this magnificent? I wonder how long it took her to do it. Did she mark the designs herself? How was it done? SO many questions….

From here we climbed the stairs all the way to the attic….and if there ever were ghosts, let me tell you – this is where they’d be!

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How about this sight to take you way back into the past! Think of how many things were carefully packed away into these trunks – for crossing the sea on a voyage? for storing things away when they were no longer needed? For saving things most dear in a hope chest. Who did these trunks and chests and cases belong to? What stories could they tell?

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The textures and the sizes and the colors --- leather handles and brass brackets and latches and knobby detail. What treasures did these items contain?

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Ashley is on a mission to find me some archive boxes with treasured contents!

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Baby things. Think of the precious heads these bonnets covered…and do you see those booties so tiny? These are early early pieces, delicately hand made for darling little ones.

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I picked up the pair of hand knit booties ---wondering who’s tiny toes these kept warm. They were at one time blue and white ---little boy, maybe?

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Christening gown with embroidery and eyelet lace detail. The tiniest of sleeve gathers.

It’s really amazing to think that this baby would have grown through childhood, adulthood, raised a family of its own, grown old and lived a full life and passed on around 100 years before I took my first breath. It’s an almost holy,reverent feeling, handling these little bits of history.

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Here’s one very cool thing! This is a lady’s POCKET!

These were worn inside or outside a skirt to hold needed items, much the way our purses do for us now ---- a slit in the side of a skirt would provide easy access to the inside pocket when items were needed. This one has a drawstring for tying on. Aren’t the fabrics wonderful?

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A view of the Dubois House on our walk.

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I definitely need more time to spend wandering around Huguenot Street!

Today is a Smith Mountain Morning workshop with the Village Quilters in Lake Bluff, IL! A good time is sure to be had by all!

Have a great Wednesday, Everyone!


  1. What an amazing house to visit, loved the candlewicked coverlet....but...the trunks in the attic, as you say lots of tales, I have one identical to the one on the bottom in the 3rd row, it came to Australia in 1856 from Ireland with my great..great...in-law family, its a family treasure I am proud to be looking after. Thanks again for another history lesson..Take care, Annette

  2. Anonymous8:49 AM EDT

    Ah fun. I would love, love, love to get in to those trunks. You do the most fascinating things and I love how you share with us.
    Have a wonderful day.

  3. I love the ribbon rosette on the bonnet. When I met my MIL, I was candlewicking on an apron for my grandmother. MIL asked what I was doing and I told her candlewicking. She hummped and said, "I've seen that and don't think it's one bit pretty." LOL My MIL left no doubt about her opinions!

  4. Bonnie, as always I just love your photo tours that you take us on. I too tried candlewicking once, just once, made a tiny pillow. That was enough for me, I can't imagine an entire bedspread. What a beautiful treasure.
    The ladies "pocket" was beautiful! I read about Laura and MAry Ingalls making their own pockets, now I will imagine that they made lovely little patchwork ones. :)
    I can't believe they store the linens in the attic though, even if they are archival boxes, I would think it would be too hot.
    Thanks again for the tour, I love "traveling the country" with you!

  5. I have never done Candlewicking, but I did do a project as a gift for my wife years ago that involved tieing very small knots, beads, some cross stitch and weaving ribbon. It was very tedious project, and it is mounted behind glass because of its fragility.

    It is beautiful (forgive me for patting myself on the back), but I'll never do another one. My fingers are nowhere near dainty enough, I had to use tweezers for more than half the knots.


  6. Thank you for sharing your tours with us - you are granted access to special places! The attic looked like a fun place to delve into - so many stories there.


  7. ha ha!! i could say i tried candlewicking also, cause i bought (1980s) the supplies!! thanks for always including us on your journeys.

  8. Pleas don't consider this a snip but me thinks most candle wicking was done with a colonial knot rather than a French knot. Colonial knots look very similar to French knots but lay flatter and do not distort. I usually substitute colonial knots over French knots whenever a French knot is called for.

    Loved your picture show - you have such great historical places to see along the east coast - look forward to seeing more.


  9. Loved the pictures. The quilt top with the candle wicking is beautiful.

    The pictures of the old homes are wonderful, there is such history on the East Coast area, one day I may make it out there.

  10. Anonymous9:38 PM EDT

    It was really great to meet you Bonnie! Seeing your photo journey and enthusiasm makes me remember that I work at a really cool Historic Site. I love all your posts!

    Come back anytime, Ashley (at HHS)

  11. Anonymous4:38 AM EDT

    How I am enjoying this tour with you!!
    My favorite thing to do when traveling,visiting historic places.
    thank you for sharing.



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