Sunday, January 2, 2011

The table from the lake house

Long ago, the Hopkins family had a lake house on Lake Oscawana, New York. The house was old, very primitive, had a ton of character and was located right on the lake. I don’t know too much of the history of the house but I do know that my great grandfather was at one time the Mayor of Peekskill and the family all lived there. The house was originally purchased/built by my great-grandfather as a vacation home for his family.

My grandparents, Gram and Poppy Hoppy (Hopkins) eventually became the main caretakers of the lake house as the family eventually scattered up and down the east coast. Every summer, from May until September, they’d live up there. Eventually it got to be too much for them as they got older and none of their kids wanted to take over the house because it was too far, and lets face it, an 80+ year old lake house located five + hours from home in area that was virtually impassable through the winter wasn’t something that people with young families were willing to take on.

The house was sold. The furniture was scattered amongst the family and that was the end of the lake house.

Had I been the age I am now, I’d have taken the house myself. Sadly, I was but a na├»ve 20 year old when this all went down and unfortunately, I never appreciated the lake house for what it was until I got older and had a family of my own.

When my Poppy died and my Grams got too sick to care for herself, her house was sold and the furnishings given to the kids and, in my case - being more than 10 years older than my cousins, their granddaughter.

I chose the old lake house table.


The table is OLD. No one can really tell me too much about it, other than it's been around FOR-EV-ER and was refinished many, many times. My poppy was a very talented furniture maker but it doesn’t appear that this was his handiwork.

The table is square (which I LOVE) and opens up to seat 10 easily. This table has been in my kitchen since 2001.

And it will remain in my kitchen for the duration. It reminds me of the lake house and of my Grams and Poppy.


The poor thing has seen better days.


The wood working is fairly detailed.


The finish on the top has virtually worn itself off and the table creaks and moans.


I like the white but with two kids eating at that table on a daily basis it looked dingy and dirty and I wanted something a little easier to take care of.


We took the table apart and Brian tightened all the joints.



The table is on wheels and when we removed the wheels I discovered that the wheels are not plastic, as I expected, but rather ceramic. I have no idea if that can help me date the table or not, but I don’t really see ceramic wheels on furniture made today.


They’re well made and in great shape, so they’ll be cleaned up and put back on the legs where they belong.


The table has obviously been repaired many times and was in desperate need of tightening up.


Brian had to put some more screws in to tighten everything up.



Here’s the extensions for the leaves.


I love this part of the table. It’s definitely not how tables are made nowadays!


The table is down in the workshop and I’m scraping, sanding, priming, painting and staining.

Hopefully I’ll be able to bring it back to its former glory so it can serve our family for years to come – Stay tuned!!


Anonymous said...

A great piece with some real potential and a story to boot. Love it. Yay to you for giving it new life.
Happy New Years.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

I love the table. And I love the story behind it just as much. Looking forward to seeing it refinished!


Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Wonderful table! It must be quite old to have those ceramic casters. Hey, at least your naive self got something really good back then.

Also, I wanted to tell you that IN NO WAY is my room that clean on a daily basis - there were piles of dirty clothes and laundry baskets and snotty kleenexes and pill bottles, etc....right out in the hallway during the photo shoot! ha

Hartwood Roses said...

I'm sitting on the edge of my chair, waiting anxiously to see what the table looks like when you finish with it.