Tappan Chairs are a New Hampshire ladder-back design first crafted in Sandwich, NH in the early 1800’s, and they continue to be crafted in Sandwich to this day, over seven generations of makers, using a medley of modern and historic machinery dating as far back as the 1850’s.
Adam Nudd-Homeyer is the current owner, making him the seventh generation in Tappan Chairs’ line of craftsperson-stewards. It is under Adam’s tenure that Tappan Chairs now celebrate their 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’ long history that it has had its own free-standing building.
Adam Nudd-Homeyer writes:
We welcome you to stop by and visit our shop on August 3 (Saturday), from 10 am - 1 pm as we formally celebrate our bicentennial in Sandwich! We'll have some cake and light refreshments to share, and one or more state "dignitaries" will also be present! We will also be making some exciting announcements...
1. Firstly, we'll be unveiling the first of a "200th year only" style of commemorate rocker (of course!)...
2. We'll be revealing the details on our acquisition of TWO national furniture brands--something that we have been working on for nearly a year, and which is finally happening now(!)--and which we expect to bring a half dozen or more skilled jobs to Sandwich over the next year or so...
3. Finally, we will be announcing our transition in the coming months from an LLC to a benefit corporation, with its core purpose being the support of non-profits which benefit Sandwich and its greater community!
So please save the date and stop on by! If you've never been in our new shop at the old Sandwich General Store (Skinner St./Upper Main St. in Center Sandwich), or haven't been in for awhile, we've added a number of new things to see and learn about for both the business as well as the two historic buildings that we now occupy. And of course, we'll be on hand to give the full scoop on all of these exciting developments...
Please join us—we hope to see you there!
(603) 726-6550, www.tappanchairs.com
Friends of the Samuel Wentworth Library are pleased to present local author Mj Pettengill, discussing her recent book, The Angels' Lament, in the Community Room of the library in Center Sandwich on Tuesday, July 23, at 4:00 pm. This event, free and open to the public, also features light refreshments. Autographed books will be available for purchase.
The Angels' Lament is Book Two in the Etched in Granite Historical Fiction Series.
For the Hodgdon women, 1872 is a year of reckoning. Alone and determined, 17-year-old Sarah Hodgdon boards a train, trading farm life in New Hampshire for the textile mills of Fall River. Woefully disillusioned, she finds herself trapped in a brutal factory and living in a filthy tenement.
She is tormented when she learns the fate of her family. Returning home is no longer possible. About to drown in a sea of spindles, she meets lamplighter, August Wood, who illuminates the gap between the affluent and the undesirables that dwell in the murky shadows.
Stripped down to her bare instincts, she retreats into a secret world, that if revealed, would shatter all that remains. Everything collides when Bess, the captivating woman across town, emerges, navigating the dense world of the local elite, offering a glimpse into an era when women were beginning to take the stage. Survival, a resilient thread of music, interweaves their compelling stories, binding them together, unveiling grievous misdeeds from the past.
Mj Pettengill is an author and social historian with a focus on cultural narrative and traditions, collective and intergenerational trauma integration, ancestral healing, and social welfare development.
She is a cellist and has a background in Civil War Musicology and trumpet performance. Before transitioning to the world of writing, she performed as a soloist and with various musical organizations featured in numerous Living Histories, Reenactments, and Historical Events throughout the Northeast.
Mj works and creates in her woodland studio and lives on a farm in North Sandwich, New Hampshire. In addition to writing and music, she is a wildcraft herbalist, aligned with her passion for nature and the ancient healing traditions, customs, and folklore of her ancestors.
Jenn Elliot writes: Please join the Sandwich Friends and Fiber Group, this Saturday June 8, 11am - 1pm, as they join thousands of other knitters around the world all gathered to knit in public. The group will be outside the Sandwich Home Industries, on the grass or under the the porch is case of rain at 32 Main Street, on the Green Center Sandwich, NH.
Bring your knitting, finished items for show and tell, and lawn chair. Crocheters, spinners and fiber artists of all kinds are welcome to join in. Or just stop by to meet and greet us and see our knitting. Bring your own snacks or swing by the Village Cafe for coffee and a pastry or sandwich. Many thanks to Martha Nichols, manager of SHI for graciously hosting us.
WKIPDAY is unique in that it’s the largest knitter-run event in the world. Each local event is put together by a volunteer or a group of volunteers. For more on World Wide Knit in Public Day, see http://www.wwkipday.com/
"Better living through stitching together"
Why was Pablo Picasso so inspired by printmaking that he bought his own etching press? Many other artists, including Rembrandt, Matisse, and Winslow Homer, have used printmaking to express their artistic visions. Learn the characteristics of hand-pulled prints and why they have captured the interest of so many famous artists. On March 24th, Peggy Merritt, a Sandwich printmaker, will talk about her craft at the Benz Center in Sandwich.
Peggy will describe various printmaking techniques, including etching and lithography, using images from well-known artists and from her own work. The audience will have an opportunity to examine these prints closely, as well the plates and tools used to produce them. She will also talk about current practices and modern materials that reduce hazards in the printmakers’ studio and increase the breadth of artistic expression.
“I love to express my imagination in hands-on work,” says Peggy. “The technical details of printmaking also appeal to my background as a chemist.” She hopes that her talk will remove some of the mysteries about her chosen medium.
The printmaking talk takes place on Sunday afternoon, March 24th, at 4 o’clock at the Benz Center on Heard Road in Center Sandwich. It is part of a series of free Sunday afternoon seminars offered this winter and spring by the Sandwich Home Industries. The final talk in this series is scheduled for April 14 when Rebecca Goodale will talk about art books, including her “Illuminated Autobiography.”
Sandwich Home Industries Lecture Series
What could a fourth century Italian pavement possibly have in common with the New York City subway? Mosaics! Mosaics are everywhere! Explore the past and present of this glittering art with Cindy Stanton, who has studied and practiced mosaic art for many years. Cindy, who lives in Moultonborough, will show how mosaics have evolved, and how they have decorated spectacular churches, elegant homes, and today even subway walls. Some mosaics are used to tell stories. Cindy will demonstrate common mosaic methods, tools, and materials, and show where mosaic collections can be found in New England and elsewhere. After the presentation, participants will be invited to handle some of the materials.
“I’m planning a hands-on mosaic workshop for later this year,” says Cindy. “Participants will work with a variety of materials and create their own 4 inch by 4 inch mosaic.”
The mosaics talk takes place on Sunday afternoon, March 3rd, at 4 o’clock at the Benz Center on Heard Road in Center Sandwich. It is part of a series of free Sunday afternoon seminars offered this winter and spring by the Sandwich Home Industries. On March 24th Peggy Merritt will discuss the art of printmaking, and on April 14 Rebecca Goodale will talk about art books, including her “illuminated autobiography.”
In September Kathryn Field was an Artist-in-Residence at the Sandwich Central School for two weeks. Each grade got to experience drawing and printmaking every day for a week. The students did a fabulous job learning to transfer their drawings onto foam plates, inking them up and finishing with a 3-color print.
Each student produced 3 final prints. The works were then displayed at the Sandwich Fair and are on permanent display at SCS.
The opportunity to offer an artist-in-residence program at the Sandwich Central School came about through the efforts of the Association for School and Community—the new PTO. The funding to bring this program to every student was provided by the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts.
Kathryn teaches adult and children's art classes in her Sandwich studio. Her students range in age from 6 – 96 and from beginners to advanced painters. You can find a listing of upcoming classes for April and the summer at her website FieldFineArt.org.
One highlight (among many) at Sandwich's annual Winter Carnival, is the transformation of a block of ice into a beautiful, cold, short-lived sculpture by Brian Stockman. This year he made a fox to represent Sandwich Central School's mascot.
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
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.
News & Views
This is the new blog that goes with our website update. An archive of blog entries from May, 2015 to May, 2018, is available here.
Personal Mastery Programs, a Sustaining Sponsor of this website, is proud to support the Sandwich Business Group in its efforts to promote small business in Sandwich and enrich the community through events and initiatives.
To learn more about Personal Mastery Programs, see the listing under services on this website, or go to www.pmpcoach.com