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Oak Furniture A Very Popular Item

The Hartman Furniture Company of Chicago had a popular line of furniture in the early 1900s which was named its Golden Oak line. Catalogs of the company boasted about their extensive line, with pieces for every room in the house and to fit every budget. In fact, they claimed they could furnish a home for either a mechanic or a millionaire. (Today, that might be one and the same; but that was clearly not their intent around 1900.)

One of the hottest selling items was Hartman’s Roman chair. It was curved like a half circle, and rested on legs of an inverted half circle. New, these chairs sold for $4 to $14. Expect to pay at least $200 for one of these golden oak chairs today.

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Quality Of Pewter Varies With Content

Many variations of pewter exist. It is an alloy of tin, in combination with lead or copper. Sometimes, other metals such as antimony are also added to the mix.

The best pewter, or fine pewter, made by early craftsmen had about 80 percent tin and 20 percent copper in it. Pieces were made from flat sheets of metal, hammered to shape, and had a lustrous, silver-gray surface. This pewter was used for items such as flatware, fine tea sets, candlesticks, plates and platters.

Hollow ware pewter was usually 80 percent tin and 20 percent lead. It was used for molded products such as tankards, bottles, coffee pots and noggins (small mugs.) Parts from the mold wee soldered together and the seams burnished.

Trifle pewter contained 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead. It was a dark color and hard to polish. Pieces were softer and heavier, due to the increased proportion of lead. It was used for such things as beer mugs, buttons and toys.

An easy test of the quality of pewter is to rub a piece across a sheet of white paper. If lead is present, it will leave a mark. The darker the mark, the greater the lead content.

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Seattle Streets Commemorate Early Settlers

…a note from history
Seattle’s Boren Avenue is named after one of Seattle’s oldest families. Carson Dobbins Boren was one of the first settlers, part of the group that arrived at Alki Point in 1851. He built the first log cabin in Seattle, on what is now the corner of 2nd and Cherry Streets. Carson, however, could not stay in one place very long, and early on he sold his donation claim, along with his log cabin, to another newcomer.

Mary Ann Boren, Carson’s sister, married Arthur Denny, another of the original settlers. She was one of the five women who had come across the plains by wagon, to eventually end up on a rainy November day at Alki Point. History paints her as a very dejected woman on that day, sitting on a log with her two little children and crying.

However, Mary Ann Boren Denny lived the rest of her life in Seattle and saw it change to a thriving city. The last years of her life were spent in a beautiful home on the street named for her family.

Louisa Boren, a sister to Mary Ann and Carson, was Seattle’s first bride – and she, too, married a Denny. Her husband was David Denny, the young brother of Arthur. She was given the nickname “the Sweet Briar Bride,” after the flower seeds she brought from their previous home in Illinois and planted by their log cabin on a bluff overlooking the bay. The sweet briar flourished in the Seattle climate.

Sally Latimer Boren was the mother of Carson, Mary Ann and Louisa. She had been widowed when the children were small. Not to be outdone by her daughters, she, too, married a Denny. In her later years, she wed John Denny, the father of Arthur and David, giving still another relationship among these founders of Seattle.

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