By Joanne Kosuda Warner
Our Board has been getting ready for our anticipated Memorial Day opening.
We have focused our attention on the parlor, the room on the right as you enter the building. This room is exhibited as a sitting and dining room for visitors who did not want to dine in the Tap room. As the parlor walls had not been painted in many years, a refresh was in order. We chose a golden yellow color to warm up the space. The furniture and lighting has been re-arranged, but the biggest change was yet to be uncovered …
During a routine examination of the Pleasant Valley Meeting House (one of the other historic structures owned by the Andes Society for History and Culture), we realized that under a solid red carpet was an intact ingrain carpet! The Meeting house was built during the 1850s but we couldn’t believe that the carpet was that old because of its good condition. A portion of the red carpet was lifted and we saw the original green, red/orange, black and gold ingrain carpet woven in a traditional small medallion. Perfect for the Tavern parlor! “Ingrain” is a type of machine produced carpet which refers to the dyeing of the wool yarns before weaving. Woven on a jacquard loom in 36 inch strips ingrain was available to the average American by the late 1840s.
A team of us spent an afternoon removing the wooden pews, pulling carpet tacks, cutting the heavy thread that held the strips together and rolling up our dusty prize. We were able to replace the red carpet and re-install the pews. The age of this carpet was still a mystery though.
Jim Andrews remarked that this month’s “100 years ago from the Recorder” column noted that the PVMH purchased the pews from the Bovina Methodist Church in 1921. Based on this information it is likely that the Meeting house installed the carpet at that time. Ingrain carpet was still being produced in the 1920s, not the most fashionable type of carpet but a sturdy, colorful and warm floor covering!
Come visit this Spring and see our 100-year-old carpet installed!~