April 10, 2012

Great-Grandpa's Trunk

Great-Grandpa DeMeulenaere's Trunk
A few days ago my husband went to help clear out his grandmother's house. She passed away in January this year but the family wanted to wait for nicer weather to tackle such a sad but necessary task.

Kak as the family called her, lived in an older yellow brick farmhouse which was full of her beloved antiques. She had family treasures from ancestors on all sides of her family as well as her husband's. She also bought her own antiques and had a good eye for beautiful and unusual pieces.

One of the family heirlooms Kak had was this trunk on the left which her father Archie made by hand. It's quite large and has a slightly curved top. It sat in a spare bedroom covered with antique quilts.

Kak spent the last 20 years making lists of where each family heirloom or prized antique was to go. She remembered the history of every piece she bought and every item passed down in the families. And she knew what grandchild or great grandchild was to be given the privilege of caring for each heirloom when she was gone.

Many of the items had names written on tape attached to the back or the bottom of the piece. Other smaller items were listed and described, with the name of the person who was to have it on her death.

This trunk had my husband's name on the bottom on a piece of green tape. It was his great-grandfather's and we know it was built by Archie (aka Achille DeMeulenaere) after he arrived in Canada from Belgium, so after 1900. Kak couldn't remember when her father made it but we are hoping to find out more information from Archie's grand-daughter who we co-incidentally "met" online yesterday!

Meantime the trunk sits in our sunroom where it can be enjoyed and treasured for many years to come.


4 comments:

Bret Petersen said...

It is so nice that she was that organized and prepared. What a treasure for your family to have!

Susan D. said...

What a marvellous family heirloom! I would love to have something similar in my family - but alas no.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

How wonderful to have such a treasure, and that she had so carefully shared out the heritage items.

Anonymous said...

What an insightful woman! The care of making such a list while still having the ability speaks volumns and could well be a model for those of us over thirty!