Historical display at Wait House. Photo: Lisa Loomis

The Waitsfield Historical Society will open a new exhibit at the Wait House – with an opening this weekend, September 27, from 3 to 5 p.m. The exhibit is "19th-Century Furniture and Quilts."

The exhibit is meticulously staged with the exhibit pieces framed by realistic paraphernalia of daily living, giving the pieces context and creating a sense of place. Curated by Judy Dodds (who says she could not have done it without the help of her husband, Jim) the exhibit offers a view into household life in the 19th century.

“A lot of these pieces are pieces that have been in our collection. The 1820s grandfather clock has been under the stairs. It came to us from the library. The clock was in the Joslin family,” Dodds explained.


The clock, an American Federal tall case clock belonged to Joseph Joslin (1776-1865) who came to Waitsfield in 1798. His grandson, George A. Joslin, purchased the clock from him for $1,000.

Dodds pointed out a Sack Back rocker with a comb attachment and a Windsor-style side chair from the early 19th century that came from the Joslin/Bushnell families whom she said “intermarried extensively, later with the Jones family.” She also pointed to two beautiful drop leaf tables in the exhibit.

In addition to the furniture, the exhibit is accompanied by some old and some older quilts. There is an 1828 quilt presented as a wedding present, a Civil War recognition quilt, a 1976 bicentennial celebration quilt, and a friendship wedding quilt featuring inked signatures of the quilters in impeccable and perfect penmanship.


The exhibit also includes a kitchen cupboard full of fun and interesting kitchen implements from the Jones family. There’s a metal toaster, a metal canteen, cutlery, a stunning pewter coffeepot and mugs, a Civil War canteen and many other fun articles such as a cowbell, a mortar and pestle, a chamber pot (!) and silver spoons.

Refreshments will be served at the opening and the exhibit will be on display throughout 2015-2016. For more information contact Judy Dodds, curator, at 496-2027.