Fit For A King

Mar 5, 2012 | 3 comments

Reverend Yeatman's Chair

      Some time ago, I wrote about the caned chairs in our back room that need serious help.  It was a more-or-less off-hand reference concerning several chairs but the one I most wanted to have repaired was Reverend Yeatman’s “Sermon Chair.”
      It is a bentwood chair – oak, I think – with a caned seat that was definitely feeling its age and showing the weight of many bottoms.  The chair was given to my mother twenty-five or thirty years ago by Reverend Yeatman’s daughter, Dorothy.  She said that when she was a little girl, their family lived in this house during the years that her father was the preacher for the Baptist church across the street.
      “He used to sit in this chair to write his sermons” Miss Yeatman told my mother.  “Please take it.  It belongs in your house.”
      My mother was thrilled – we all were.  It is the only piece of furniture in the house that hearkens back to the days when this was the parsonage.  In fact, Reverend Robert Yeatman was the last preacher to live here – from June 1898 until early 1901 when he and his family left for the Vancouver area.  A year later, my grandparents moved into the house and here we still are!
      As I recall, when the chair came ‘back home,’ its caned seat was not in very good repair.  I remember that my mother found a blind person who did caning for a living and a new seat was made.  But after another quarter century of use, it was needing some TLC again.  I wasn’t sure how to find someone and that’s what I wrote about last September in my blog “A Hymn and a Prayer.”
      And my particular prayer for a caner was answered!  An acquaintance who reads my blogs has a sister who is the proprietor of the Touchet Cane and Willow Works across the mountains in Touchet on a street called Lover’s Lane!  So Reverend Yeatman’s chair went there for a bit of a visit and came back much improved.
      In fact, after some discussion about the elegance of this old chair, it was agreed that it deserved a bit fancier pattern of cane than previously.  (No extra charge!) What a transformation!  The chair now looks like a throne that might inspire a king’s speech!  I think Reverend Yeatman would have been suitably impressed.  


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    What a wonderful story! You chair has a chance at yet another life and a fancier one than a parson’s chair. I am sure that if it could talk it would tell some tales about those sermons and the goings-on in Oysterville.

  2. Marjorie Saranto

    I am th 93 year old Mother of that canner and her sister. Your chair looked great in my living room, for two days. I know the chair must have a wonderful tale to tell if it could only talk. My best of prayers for you and hope the chair has another 100 years to live. Marjorie

    • sydney

      Thank you, Marjorie! It looks great at our house, too! I’m glad you were able to enjoy it, if only for a few days! I hope you sat in it, too!


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