Antiques may be inanimate objects, but they tell some great stories. For five generations each piece at the Martine Inn had been very special to somebody. As the objects were passed from person to person they were cherished, cared for, protected from fire, flood, war, disrepair, and the dump. One cannot help but feel privileged just to see and use these precious items. A candlewick trimmer, for instance, tells us how important candlelight was to prior generations. If the wick was too long, the candle would burn too fast. Candles were handmade in the autumn, when the cattle were slaughtered and a by product, tallow, became available. Families had to produce enough wax to last through the year, or endure some very dark nights. Our candlewick trimmer at the Inn is a beautifully crafted silver piece.
Some early settlers used a rope bed. It was made by stringing rope through the frame of a very sturdy headboard, footboard and side rails. A cloth bag containing straw would be placed on the criss crossed ropes creating a mattress. “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a familiar saying which dates back to these beds, one of which we have in our Early American room. We have adjusted to the times, however, and that rope bed is now topped with a Serta mattress.
This unique craftsmanship is missing in most of our everyday purchases for the home. Antiques illustrate hand carving, matching wood grains, inlay, etching and other skills rare in today’s world. Antiques are not throw away items. The leg of the left front of a chair is not an exact copy of the leg on the right front. They make look the same, but the carver and the character of the wood means they are slightly different. Run your fingers lightly over the finish and you can feel the blade marks from the tools. The Chippendale set in our Parke Room has that special quality just waiting for your rub.
Every room at the Martine Inn is furnished with museum quality antiques. Step into this other world, and marvel at the creations and the stories that abound!