Tappan Chairs are a New Hampshire ladder-back design first crafted in Sandwich, NH in the early 1800s. They continue to be crafted in Sandwich to this day. Seven generations of makers, using a medley of modern and historic machinery dating as far back as the 1850s, have contributed to the story of this historic business.
A Brief History
The first Tappan Chair was crafted by Abraham Tappan in the year 1819. Abraham was a resident of Sandwich his entire life, having been among the first settlers of the town in 1768. Abraham’s son Daniel, along with his wife Rhoda, raised 15 children in Sandwich as well, and each had a hand in the chairmaking business. Sons Walter and Winthrop continued the business after Daniel’s passing in the 1880s, and rather than end the family tradition when he retired in the 1930s, Walter chose instead to sell the business to Doc Quinby and Al Hoag, who continued the trade for two decades in affiliation with the Sandwich Home Industries—the original incarnation of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
The business changed hands in the 1940s, passing to Sandwich resident Cy Blumberg after his return from WWII. Cy made other furniture, and even cut hair, alongside his chair work. When Cy passed away in the 1960s, Tappan Chairs nearly vanished as a business when his estate went to auction. But rather than letting the equipment and patterns be parted out, again a Sandwich resident intervened, purchased the lot, and stored the business until Gunnar Berg, a Sandwich cabinetmaker, discovered it and brought it back to life in the 1980s, becoming the first maker to establish a national market for the chairs.
In 2013, coinciding with Sandwich’s 250th anniversary, Gunnar continued the tradition of passing on the business to yet another Sandwich resident, Adam Nudd-Homeyer, making him the seventh generation in Tappan Chairs’ line of craftsperson-stewards. It is under Adam’s tenure that Tappan Chairs now celebrates its 200th anniversary—a celebration which had an early start in 2018, with Tappan Chairs’ move into the former, historic, and long vacant Sandwich General Store building, turning it into an open workshop, showroom, and history exhibit, and marking the first time in the business’s long history that it has had its own free-standing building.
Under its current ownership, the business launched a successful 2014 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign which was designated a Kickstarter global “Project of the Day.” On the heels of that effort, Tappan Chairs developed a national markeng partnership with Chilton Furniture of Maine, and through that connection Adam became introduced to the last living Shakers who reside in Sabbathday Lake, ME. As a result of that introduction, Tappan Chairs has become the only commissioned chairmaker in the world for the living Shaker Community, and crafts a number of models on their behalf annually.
Adam has also continued a tradition begun over previous generations—that of using Tappan Chairs to help raise money for a number of local, regional, and national nonprofits. Since 2013 alone, donations of Tappan Chairs have raised over $50,000.
Bicentennial Events and Celebratory Activities
With the beginning of 2019, Adam is announcing a number of celebratory activities for this important year, the first one being the most significant. In celebration of the generations of townspeople who have supported and nurtured the business, making it what it is today, Tappan Chairs is donating 10% of all retail chair sales this year to be divided among the Sandwich Historical Society, Sandwich Home Industries, and Sandwich Children’s Center, thereby celebrating the stewards of the “History, Heritage, and Future” of Tappan Chairs in town.
Adam also intends to use this occasion to challenge other businesses in the community to match Tappan Chairs’ contributions this year, so that together they can contribute to as many important cultural and social nonprofits and charities which serve the town and its population as possible.
As the year progresses, many more events lie in store. Tappan Chairs is currently seeking a formal celebratory proclamation from the Governor of NH, and has invited him to attend the official “Tappan Chairs Birthday Celebration” on August 3 in Sandwich, kicking off Sandwich’s renowned Old Home Week.
Also in store is the publication of a “Spotter’s Guide to Tappan Chairs,” the expansion of the museum exhibit to feature biographies and photos from the many generations of Tappan Chair makers and their helpers, as well as historic chair examples and patterns from the different periods of their manufacture. Finally, Tappan Chairs looks to release an all-new chair design to symbolize and and celebrate its many generations of makers.
We at Tappan Chairs not only invite you to join us in this special year, but encourage you to help us share this special story of what we have become, which deepens with every year!
For further inquiry and information, please contact:
Adam Nudd-Homeyer, owner-steward and craftsperson
Tappan Chairs, LLC
Community Christmas Tree Party
The Sandwich Woman's Club Community Christmas Party will be Sunday, December 16 at 3:30 pm in the Sandwich Town Hall for all Sandwich (includes all children at the Sandwich Children's Center and Sandwich Central School and siblings) children birth through grade 3 (and older if they still believe in magic). If you are new to Sandwich, have a new baby or child in your home, or if you have a new little neighbor please let Head Elf, Diane Johnson (284-7168 call/text) know the name(s) and year of birth so that all children will have a gift. Visiting children and grandchildren of Sandwich folk can be accommodated as well. This is not a need-based or religious party; it is a celebration of all the children in our midst to enjoy the season, be entertained a little, and to receive a small present.
Entertainment this year will be a "You are Special" multi-cultural trip around the world with 100 + interactive puppets and singing.
The Community Christmas Tree Party has been a Sandwich tradition since at least the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Even the oldest folks in town can't remember a year when this party didn't happen. In the 30's and 40's, the local girl scouts under the direction of Helen Ingles and others decided to make gifts, put on a skit, sing carols, and have a party for all the children in town. Over the years many individuals and groups have kept this tradition alive.
Timmy Nolan and Charlotte Paddleford (1980's), and Lee Webb (late 80's to mid 2000's) were among the Head Elves. In 2017, the Sandwich Fair added their sponsorship. As you read this, elves are active in our community. Thanks to their efforts, all children from birth through grade three will receive mesh bags of fruits, cookies, candy canes, and gifts of hand-sewn items, hand-knit hats, and/or a small toy or book from Santa. Older kids (grades 4-6) at the school will find gift baskets in their classrooms on Monday. Older kids wishing to attend the party may volunteer to sing, dance, serve as elves, or be reindeer.
Families who do not celebrate Christmas may request that the gifts not be wrapped or wrapped in something other than Christmas paper. They can even make arrangements to pick up the gift after the party if they wish. It is the intent of the committee to include all children who are in town in this event of hospitality and good will. Gift bags can be delivered to those unable to attend the party. Gifts not given out at the party can be picked up under the Christmas Tree in the children's area of the Samuel H. Wentworth Library. Santa will be at the library from 3-4 on Monday, December 17, to visit with children who may have missed the party and/or for those who need to add something to their list.
The Sandwich Woman's Club
The Sandwich Woman’s Club is a civic and social organization that serves the women and children Sandwich. Members meet four times a year for lunch, an interesting speaker or program, and a short business meeting. The ladies raise funds for book and supply money for college students from Sandwich and sponsor the annual holiday party for all children in Sandwich. Woman of all ages in Sandwich and environs are welcome to join. The club is run by a membership of nearly 80 women and an executive board. Regular meetings, programs, and a meal are held on a Wednesdays in March, May, September and December at local restaurants. Funds are raised by a summer raffle held during Old Home Week, a snack bar during the Old Home Week Art Show, and by dues and donations. Annual dues are $10. Donations are always welcome (Sandwich Woman’s Club, PO Box 48, Center Sandwich, NH 03227).
Saturday, December 1st, the village of Center Sandwich will be alive with good cheer and the holiday spirit. The Sandwich Central School, the Doris Benz Center, and the Sandwich Historical Society will have more than 40 crafters from Sandwich and beyond with handmade goods and goodies; these locations will be open from 9-4 Saturday.
For over 40 years, the first full December weekend in Sandwich has been a celebration of craftsmanship. This year is no exception. Many artisans, farmers, bakers, craftspeople, individuals, businesses, and organizations are each doing something in the spirit of community and the holidays.
The weekend will feature a tree-lighting, live entertainment, food, local hand-made gifts, fund-raisers for youth, live animals, and so much more. Combined efforts will mean a weekend of fun and festivities for all who come to enjoy. Each day more is being planned. Maps and events listings will be available around town and information (and photos) can be found on Facebook at Christmas in the Village–Sandwich, NH and right here.
There will be a Farmer's Market at the Mount Israel Grange, lunch with Santa at the Corner House, and lots of workshops, artist studios, galleries, and more open. The Community Church of Sandwich will have the annual Ladies Aid Chowder Luncheon and craft tables in the Methodist Meetinghouse; and there will be wreath making in the Baptist Meetinghouse. The Sandwich Business Group is sponsoring a horse-drawn wagon ride throughout the village which will take folks from location to location.
The Sandwich Home Industries and a group of juried craftspeople, The Arts Center at 12 Main Street (Home of Advice To The Players), Willow Pond Antiques and Goods, Surroundings Gallery, Tappan Chairs, Will Lehman Custom Framing, The Village Green Cafe and Market, Soft Touch Farm, Kindred Spirits Farm, as well as other locations, will be open Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2.
Enjoy some time in the quaint town of Sandwich and buy some locally made unique gifts. FMI, please call Diane at 284-7168.
Congratulations to the Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery for its recognition in the Excursions column of Art New England magazine's September/October issue. The article is not available online but photos of the pages are below.
Our little village of Sandwich is remarkably rich in establishments dedicated to art and craft—making, selling and teaching. Many are located right in the center of town. In addition to the Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery, we have Surroundings Art Gallery, the League of NH Craftsmen Gallery, Tappan Chairs and Willow Pond Antiques and Goods.
Just outside the center of town, you can visit Field Fine Art to buy a painting or take a class. Needle felting supplies and lessons are available at Soft Touch Farm. Other local artisans include Botanical Lampshades, Basket Street Papers, Pease Gallery, Derek Marshall Lighting and Will Lehmann Frames. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the people in Sandwich who are engaged in art and craft making.
The Sandwich Historical Society, also in the center of town, has many exhibits showing arts and crafts in Sandwich's history.
And while we're talking about art in the center of town, we would be remiss not to mention the Art Center at 12 Main Street, home of Advice To The Players, Sandwich's Shakespeare Company that offers so much more than performances of Shakespeare's plays. Theatre camps for young people, improv meetups for all ages, and musical and other performances throughout the year.
We who make our home in Sandwich are blessed to live in such a rich and rewarding environment. We welcome visitors to our little town and hope that you will find a visit here to be a fullfilling and enjoyable experience. Look around this website for a more comprehensive picture of all that Sandwich, New Hampshire has to offer.
Once again the galleries of Sandwich will be open after hours for our annual Gallery Walk from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday evening August 17th. Stroll leisurely through our town viewing fine art and craft while sipping wine and enjoying refreshments at each stop. Best of all – a visit to each gallery entitles you to a discount at the Corner House Inn compliments of CHI’s owner, Don Brown. We look forward to welcoming you to an evening in our town.
Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery at 69 Maple Street will be featuring an exhibit of Crystallized Banned Books by artist, poet and author, Georgia Heard. Also on view are the luminous landscapes in oil and cold wax by Cameron Byron Roberts as well as a sneak preview of our September exhibit…Barnyard Basics. For more information visit www.patricialaddcarega.com, or call 603 284 7728.
The League of NH Craftsmen Sandwich Fine Craft Gallery features traditional and contemporary fine crafts by juried craftspeople throughout New Hampshire. See our display of wedding gift ideas, check out the annual League ornament by Sibel Alpaslan, view prints by Matt Brown, Bruce Peck, William Mitchell and photography by Richard Stockwell, Andrew Thompson, and Dana Clemons. For more information about us and our classes coming up in August, September, and October, visit centersandwich.nhcrafts.org or call 603-284-6831.
Tappan Chairs, at 6 Skinner St., will be opening its doors at the old general store for its first gallery walk. We'll be firing up our most vintage machinery from the 1800's and giving pointers for how to spot historic Tappan Chairs in a crowd...a preview of our planned "Tappan Spotters' Guide" to be published next year!
603 726-6550 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tappanchairs.com
Surroundings is excited to have Ann Musto join our other long standing artists. Come see her perspectives on local scenery. Wendy Lichtensteiger has introduced a new carving subject. Rather than her bird carvings, we have some beautifully carved whales. The gallery also has a lot of new work from all our artists. We look forward to having you see the wonderful artistic talent on display from our locally connected artists. Surroundings Art Gallery is at 12 Main Street, 603-284-6888, www.surroundingsart.com
The Galleries of Sandwich and the Corner House Inn look forward to seeing you on August 17th!
The Sandwich Business Group presents a house tour of four historic Sandwich homes on Saturday, August 18, from 10 – 3. Learn about the history of the town as you walk through these wonderful homes, two in the village center and two on Wentworth Hill Road, both with amazing views of surrounding mountain ranges. All have undergone renovations by the current owners. Visitors can start at any of the 4 houses and pay and get a ticket. Their ticket will be hole-punched at each house.The suggested donation of $10 for all four homes will benefit the 2018-2019 Sandwich Central 6th grade class trip to Washington DC in April 2019.
29 Church Street: Historically called the E.J. Bryant house, physician Aaron Howe owned the home in 1850. William Ham, another resident, died as a result of wounds received during the civil war and was given the first military funeral in Sandwich.
15 Maple Street: The Heard Family home was built by Quaker Timothy Varney in 1948. James L. Marston, proprietor of a successful basket shop, owned the home for a time, before passing it to Arthur M. Heard in 1920. His heirs are the current owners.
252 Wentworth Hill Road: The Wentworth Homestead was built by Col. Joseph Wentworth in the grand style of a southern mansion. The views from the house are extraordinary.
284 Wentworth Hill Road: The Isaac Adams Homestead (formerly Chestnut Manor) is perhaps the best known house in Sandwich. Originally built in 1844, Isaac Adams added other houses to the original house, numerous outbuildings, and developed extensive gardens. Subsequent owners made other changes to the property, and the current owner is doing extensive renovations, bringing the buildings and property back to life.
Sandwich Home Industries, the fine crafts gallery of Center Sandwich, NH welcomes local craftsperson, Diane Johnson, who will be teaching two felting workshops at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Gallery in Sandwich on August 2, 3 and 11.
The first class is for families to create a project together. Wee Felting World - Family Project will be held in two sessions August 2nd and 3rd 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Tuition is $85 per family of 3 or 4, materials included. At least one adult must accompany children ages 3 and up. Both large and small families are welcome! In Session 1 you will be creating fields, a pond, flowers, a shelter, and paths. Session 2 teaches you how to make a tree, some rocks or bushes, an animal, and a person or two (could also be a fairy, gnome, or mermaid). Everyone works on different parts and then combines everything into one interactive project.
On August 11th, from 10 - 12, Diane will teach Simply Sandwich Souvenir - using wool from local sheep, goats, and alpacas to create a unique Sandwich Souvenir. Whether you live here year-round, come here seasonally, or are visiting the area for the first time, this is a chance to make a truly personal souvenir of Sandwich. You may choose to make a sheep, an angora goat, or an alpaca. The core wool will come from one of the sheep at the Sandwich Creamery (after class, you can take your project to the Creamery, eat some ice cream and visit the sheep and cows). The surface fleece will come from an animal that lives here in town. Along with that wool fleece, you will receive a picture with the name of the animal from which the fiber was shorn. Tuition is $40, materials and felting kit included. To find out more about all of our summer and fall classes, go to centersandwich.nhcrafts.org.
A founding member of the League of NH Craftsmen, Sandwich Home Industries is located at 32 Main Street, in the historic village of Center Sandwich. To register for classes, contact email@example.com or call 603-284-6831. The gallery, representing over 170 juried craftsmen, is open daily during the summer/fall season.
This week: Sandwich Home Industries, the fine crafts gallery of Center Sandwich, NH welcomes beginner to experienced makers and menders to join them for Visible Mending with Juno Lamb on Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Center Sandwich. Bring clothing you wish to “visibly mend”—ripped blue jeans or button-down shirts are a great place to start. Please give them a ring to register, 603-284-6831.
What is visible mending? Using techniques inspired by many cultures and traditions, colorful threads, and diverse fabrics, visible mending offers us a fun and “mendful” way to care for and embellish beloved garments, extending their use and deepening the story they tell. Many of the techniques also translate to invisible mending.
Why mend when we can go buy a new t-shirt for five bucks? The global fast fashion that allows us to do that has enormous environmental and human rights costs. You can learn more, if you wish, by watching The True Cost, available free on many streaming services. “It’s not just the damage being done around the globe,” Lamb says. “We pay a personal cost, as well, when we give up our agency and skills to multinationals, and forget that we can create and care for the physical objects in our lives. And we miss out on a lot of fun!”
Fun, connection and an opportunity to slow down in a busy world, to work at human speed, rather than digital speed. Repetitive motion activities such as sewing and knitting increase serotonin in the brain and decrease cortisol; they are by their nature soothing (except when your thread gets tangled). And these are wonderful activities to do in community—working with your hands allows plenty of time for chatting and getting to know your neighbors. If you enjoy it, you might consider hosting a regular mending “sewcial”.
Juno Lamb is a lifelong maker, mender, textile artist and teacher. She’s constructed and embellished wedding garments, knitted in binary code, painted a farmers’ market worth of vegetables onto silk shoes, made a diversity of dolls, and mended more clothing and textiles than she can remember. One of her motivating desires is to work with secondhand textiles—to repurpose and reuse castoffs. “And scraps!” she says. “Like the threads in my great-grandmother’s box marked ‘string too short to be used.’” Another is to work in community, “to create opportunities for people to realize they can do this too, whatever the ‘this’ is.”
Sandwich Home Industries - League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Gallery
603-284-6831, firstname.lastname@example.org, centersandwich.nhcrafts.org
Adam Nudd-Homeyer writes: Since the "Grand Opening" of our new location in the old Sandwich General Store, we have had an incredible and heartwarming amount of interest and support from our community and visitors alike. Including our opening day on June 21, our hosting of the annual summer trip of the Guild of NH Woodworkers the following weekend, and daily traffic, we have greeted nearly 300 visitors in our first two weeks--and sold a few chairs, mugs, t-shirts, and bumper stickers as well!
Although we still have some machinery left to get into final place and operation, and the museum exhibit remains in the works, we have all told made the transition to our new home with few hiccups, and have lost little time as we have juggled production. Our biggest challenge remains working to get ahead of the curve on our orders so that we can retain some regular floor models! We have also experienced a new and unexpected delight: using our storefront to generate exposure for the beautiful work of local craftspeople such as Suzanne Weil, Steve Sabella, and David Gagnon, and also publicly share the important partnerships we have nurtured with Chilton Furniture, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community, the Mount Lebanon Shaker Museum, and the American Chestnut Foundation. We have a lot to pay forward, and it's wonderful to find ourselves positioned so well to do so now.
Also amazingly, we have made the adjustment to regular work hours, opening our doors to the public from 10 - 4 Tuesday through Saturday, and whenever else we happen to be at work (almost always). Please stop in and see the life that has come back to the historic old general store in downtown Sandwich, and learn about the the many lives of Tappan Chairs in our great little town!
Tappan Chairs: (603) 726-6550, www.tappanchairs.com
Location participants: Surroundings, Carega Gallery, Marshall Lighting, Field Fine Art, Will Lehmann Framing, Tappan Chairs, Sandwich Home Industries, Historical Society and Transportation Museum, Willow Pond, Farmers’ Market, Elevens, and The Corner House Inn.
Helpers and exhibitors out front and behind the scenes: Don Brown, Cindy Oxton, Nancy Hansen, Taryn Flynn, Jessie Chapman, Sue Sabella, Susan Davies, Diane Johnson, Vicky Galkina and her crew, Lobin Frizzell, Dick Seery, Rich Benton, Casey Clothier (and her 2 little helpers!); and Sandwich Central School & Diane Booty for the popcorn popper.
Gift Basket: Oxton Landscaping, Peggy Merritt, Surroundings, Field Fine Art, Will Lehmann Framing, Corner House Inn, Wayside Farm, Dessert Table, NH Furniture, (I know I'm forgetting someone! but thank you everyone!)
A special thanks to the Sandwich Fire & Police Departments for bringing over the cool vehicles!
I hope I haven’t forgot anyone – if so my apologies! It couldn’t have happened without all of you. So send your comments and suggestions for the file for consideration in planning for another year.
Thanks again everyone! Wendy Shambaugh & the Committee (Cindy, Jessie, Nancy, Taryn)
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