Archive for the ‘History or Fun Facts’ Category

Throwback Thursday: Bear Necessities – Holiday 1998

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Today we’re throwing back to Holiday 1998, and to a bear-y charming spread that emits warmth and whimsy.

Throwback Thursday: Bear Necessities - Holiday 1998 | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Blog

As you can see, these bear home accents are quite fit for country homes, especially those with a log cabin look or rustic lodge style. What made the Mission Shelves and Boat Shelves (handcrafted in Maine) necessities is the fact that no matter what the inside of your home looks like, you don’t have to sacrifice style for storage and organization.

Throwback Thursday: Bear Necessities - Holiday 1998 | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Blog

Head over to our Facebook page to weigh in on your favorite item from this spread, and if you have any vintage Sturbridge Yankee Workshop catalogs, tell us about them in the comments or send us a picture via Facebook.

Throwback Thursday: Bear Necessities - Holiday 1998 | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Blog

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Looking Back at 60 Years of SYW

Monday, December 23rd, 2013
This year, we here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop celebrated our 60th anniversary as a company. Customers and loyal fans were delighted to discover a variety of exclusive designs in honor of the celebration, in addition to celebratory contests and special looks at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop’s past through historical articles and videos. As 2013 comes to an end and our 60th Anniversary makes way for our 61st year, we would like to take one final look at how far we have come since our founding in 1953.

1963 SYW Catalog Cover

Stafford Chair Quality Upholstery For Your Home

We have been a long standing destination for furniture and home furnishings since we opened our doors in 1953. The pages of our catalogs are graced with early American style, Colonial reproductions and authentic classics. Today we continue to feature many of the same styles as they did 60 years ago, offering the same quality and attention to detail. For example, our customer favorites, the Stafford and Kingfield Chairs are crafted in America; a welcome addition to the wide range of made in the USA products that we have to offer. In 1963 we offered what was called “Our Special Chair”, available in five prints, most notably the color Breen, “brown with overtones of green.”

Kingfield Chair 1963 SYW Our Special Chair

Early American Chairs & Their Modern Cousins

Long standing customer favorite items such as the range of Windsor and ladderback style chairs, rockers and stools have been carried for 60 years. In the 1963 Sturbridge Yankee Workshop catalog, ladderback chairs were offered in seven finishes; today they are available in a country complementary range of four.

Ladderback chairs, according to our 1963 catalog, are said to have arrived in America on the Mayflower, making them historical treasures for any home then and now.

Windsor Rocker
Ladderback Seating Collection Historical Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Wood Chair Styles

Historical Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Windsor and Ladderback Chair Styles

Historical Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Article on Pewter Then and Now With Articles

Since our founding, we have featured home decorating tips and tricks throughout the pages of our catalog. Today we continue to feature worthy articles here on our website, like this one you are reading now, and here on our blog. Here we show just a snippet of what an article on the history of pewter looked like in our earliest days of catalog production. We also have many videos that feature our products, including assembly videos and extra special looks at our history and our items. We hope you enjoy browsing through our articles just as much as you enjoy browsing through our catalog!


Keeping True to Our Roots

Here at Sturbridge, we strive to be better each day while continuing to honor and learn from our past. As a company with 60 years of business experience, this is a task that we undertake with much pride. Our products have been customer favorites for over 60 years, and we look forward to serving you, our valued customer, for many years to come. We thank you for sharing in this year full of celebration with us.

The Story Behind Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Furniture
1964 Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Christmas Catalog

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Heartwarming Hearth Gifts

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Have you ever noticed how the fireplace is a central theme around Christmas time? We here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop are taking a moment to explore the origins of this theme and feature fireside gifts to warm your home, and your hearth, all season long.

The Yule Log, Edible, And Not

Ever had a yule log for Christmas dessert? You know the one, the log-shaped cake covered in frosting, resembling a freshly cut tree branch. The roots of this traditional dish actually go much deeper than most of us may know. Today, the term ‘yule log’ is used to describe a dessert, especially in French cultures where it is known as bûche de Noel. Historically, the yule log would refer to what began as a Northern European Winter Solstice festival, dating back to the 6th or 7th century. This type of yule log, the inedible sort, references a log that would be burned each year to celebrate the solstice.

Red Snowflake Knit Stocking
It was believed that burning the log would offer prosperity and protection from evil. In fact, a piece of the log would be kept to start the fire for the upcoming year; another sign of the deep meanings that this tradition held for our ancestors.

Solstice Morning Print History of Santa and the Chimney

In many cultures, the fireplace remains a central part of Christmas celebrations. Although prominent in the modern era, this tradition dates back to the pre-Christian period in Norway. Odin, the Norse version of Santa, would enter through chimneys and fireplaces on the solstice. We also see that same trend in Italy, with the gift giving witch covered in soot, and for St. Nicholas when he tossed coins for children through the chimney, as the windows were all locked.

Here in America, we continue to celebrate the arrival of Santa through the chimney, believed to have started in the 18th and 19th century through influence from the 1823 poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. Stockings are also hung by the chimney with care, as referenced in this same poem.
Santa Stops Here Sign

Gifts for the Fireside

Here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we embrace all celebrations and traditions, as we have for over sixty years. In our earliest catalogs we featured “Gifts for the Fireside”, and continue this tradition today. Whether you celebrate Christmas with an edible yule log or the flammable sort, cherish your own family traditions with heartwarming gifts for your hearth this year.

1963 SYW Catalog Gifts for the Fireside

Hearth Rack Store Firewood and Keep Those Mittens Warm

Stoke the fire all season long with easy to access wood and kindling stored in an American made Hearth Rack. Available in many sizes and styles, these racks will keep your fire burning all season long. If lacking space near the hearth, try a braided basket for corralling your firewood, instead of a storage rack. Sturdy enough for long term use, and keep splinters out of your hands and arms when transporting firewood inside. Keep mittens, hats, scarves and boots dry after a cold walk outside on Christmas day with a drying stand perfectly suited for placement near the warmth of a fire. Available in many styles, and powder coated for protection, there is no need to worry about putting on cold mittens for a jaunt in the snow.

Wrought Iron Mitten and Boot Dryer Stand Portico Cablelock Braided Utility Basket

The Look of a Fireplace, Without a Hearth

If you do not have a fireplace, you can still celebrate the magic of Santa’s arrival, with a magical touch of course. Emulate the look and feel of a fireplace with brightly lit candles as a table centerpiece, or along the mantel of a closed off fireplace. Used inside or outside, powder coated for weather protection, wrought iron pillar candle holders are a great option for recreating the look and feel of a fireplace or wood stove.

Wrought Iron Fireplace Pillar Holder

No matter how you celebrate holiday traditions, take a moment this Christmas to appreciate how the symbolism of the fireplace, yule log, and chimney folk lore are central to your family. Share the magic of Christmas year after year with quality goods from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop.
At Christmas Time Sign Celebrate Holiday Sign

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