Another Town Treasure Discovered and Restored

One of the great advantages of having an old building like Deerfield’s Town Hall is that it has been witness to so much of the town’s history. As a result, bits of that history have been preserved within its walls. There was the Theater Curtain and scenery recently discovered behind the stage, and subsequently restored. Now a new treasure has come to light.

Local historian Joanne Wasson (a town treasure herself) recalled that the late Roger King told her the “original” moderator’s desk was stored in the back recesses of the Town Hall. Roger’s family had long been a part of the town. Peg King Park on Ridge Road was given by Roger in memory of his wife, and the Deerfield Historical Society benefited from the donation of many valuable King family documents and diaries.

A search of storage areas in the Town Hall turned up the desk, which was in very bad shape. Two thorough examinations by local craftsmen experienced in assessing antique furniture concluded that it was an 18th century piece, well worth restoring as a beautiful part of the town’s history. Estimates were made for the cost of restoration, and the figure of $1425 was agreed to by the Heritage Commission and the Board of Selectmen. Funds came from the Heritage Commission’s “general” fund (that is, not the Accessibility Fund, which is reserved for their long term goal of obtaining elevator access to the 2nd floor of the Town Hall) and from donations made by local organizations, including the Deerfield Historical Society which donated $200.

As you can see, the desk was in terrible shape, with parts missing or broken. Bruce Charest of B & E Charest Fine Period Furniture Reproductions tackled the job. (Thanks to Bruce for the fine work, and for the photos.) B & E Charest is located in Northwood, NH, and their gallery of fine furniture is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 5, and on Sundays by appointment. Contact them at (603) 942-5480.

This is what the desk looks like now. If you went to the Town Hall to vote in the March 2012 election, you got to see this beautiful piece of restoration on display. It will continue to be displayed in the Town Hall.