Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Sturbridge Yankee Workshop | A History

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

We have published a few posts here on the blog that feature certain moments and memories of our own history as a purveyor of home furnishings. For a better overview on where we have been, this post will serve as a compilation of those posts and future posts talking about the history of Sturbridge Yankee Workshop – just click on each title header to read about the topic. And if you have a memory of visiting us in Massachusetts or here in Maine, or still have a previous (dare we say vintage?) version of one of our catalogs, tell us about it in a comment below.

Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

◊Our 60th Anniversary Year◊

A kick off of our 60th Anniversary celebrations in 2013.

◊Pineapples and Sturbridge Yankee Workshop◊

Pineapples in home decor are historical in and of themselves. In this post we discuss how we continue the tradition of displaying this symbol of hospitality.

Antebellum Welcome Anniversary Personalized Plaque | USA | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

◊Sturbridge Yankee Workshop – Then and Now◊

A specific look at the history of our furniture.

◊Sturbridge Vault: 1970 Catalog◊

Snippets of features in a 1970 Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Catalog.

1970 Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Article Snippet

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Thursday’s Theme: The Sleeping Porch

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

We’ve talked about porch style and decor a number of times on the blog, but today we’re honing in on a particular kind of porch that is both purposeful and just plain fun (in our opinion, anyway):

The Sleeping Porch.

If you are unfamiliar with the sleeping porch, you have probably been able to figure out that it’s a space for sleeping. And if you are familiar with them, you either have one (lucky you!) or have at least admired their function. Either way, we hope you enjoy reading about the simple history of this type of porch, and how you can turn your own porch into a space for resting – or at the very least, enhance the coziness of your regular indoor bedroom.

Photo by Circa InteriorsLook for porch design inspiration

Most popular in the southern and western United States and often a feature of historical Victorian or Arts & Crafts style homes, the sleeping porch was designed and designated for the inhabitants of a home (or hospital/medical center) to be exposed to fresh air not just during the day, but also when they were sleeping. Their popularity gained traction in the late 19th century and at the turn of the 20th Century, when immune system health was a concern – particularly the threat of tuberculosis. Sleeping in a screened-in porch allowed individuals to be protected from outdoor elements like weather, bugs, etc., and got them out of stuffy bedrooms – the air conditioning technology we have today had only just started being explored. These porches were not common areas; often they were found just off a bedroom, or used only by the family who lived in the home.

As time went on and air conditioning became more advanced and widespread, many homeowners sacrificed the sleeping porch in order to gain more square footage inside their homes. But as you can see below, sleeping porches are still being used in homes across the country. Here in New England and in Maine, sleeping porches are almost exclusively built on summer camps, because if you sleep on a screened-in porch that isn’t insulated in the winter, your health will certainly not improve. Also, they are not typically separate from the front porch or back porch like original sleeping porches were; basically, if a screened-in porch can fit a bed, it’s also a sleeping porch.

Here are a few sleeping porches we wouldn’t mind spending the night in this summer.

The Quintessential Rustic Sleeping Porch

Photo by Michelle Fries, BeDe Design, LLCLook for porch design inspiration

The Traditional Porch + An Extra Place to Sleep

Photo by SethbennphotoDiscover porch design inspiration

The Private Sleeping Porch

Photo by Andersson-Wise ArchitectsDiscover porch design ideas

The Sleeping Porch in the City

Photo by Richard Bubnowski Design LLCMore porch ideas

The Wrap-Around Sleeping Porch

Photo by Search porch pictures

Do you have – or have you ever slept in – a sleeping porch? Share your thoughts below about the porches above, and your experience with sleeping in the space between the indoors and the great outdoors.

(for more information on sleeping porches, check out these posts from Bob Vila™ and The Craftsman Blog, and see a list of the many Victorian-era porch varieties on This Old House)

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King Cake Recipes (and a little history)

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

This week’s recipe post is in celebration of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday – which just so happens to be today! We’re featuring three recipes for King Cake, a dessert served throughout the Christmas season in honor of the three kings. More specifically, this dessert is served during “king cake season,” extending from The Twelfth Night (January 5th) to the day before Lent begins, or Fat Tuesday.

This cake-making tradition was brought to New Orleans from France, and was enhanced by decorating the cake in the official Mardi Gras colors (which originated in Christianity): purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Throughout history, a bean was baked inside of the cake as a token of good luck to the person who found it. More commonly now, a Jesus figuring or porcelain figure is baked into the cake as the lucky prize. The one who finds it becomes king (or queen) of the feast, and next year’s celebration falls into their hands.

King Cake - Eric Wagner/Flickr

Eric Wagner/Flickr

So no matter how big your celebration, or whether you choose to include the figurine or not, bake a King Cake and enjoy it with your friends.

Recipes:

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