My Great-grandfather, Casmear Pramasis Koontz (call me C.P.) was a cabinet maker by trade. He learned from his father, Ezra Peter Koonz, who was also a cabinet maker. He made this Hope Chest for his youngest daughter, Florence Marie, my grandmother. The chest is made of solid cedar wood with copper decoration. Great-Grandfather died in 1914, so that seriously helps to date the piece. Grandma married Grandpa, Lee Norton Goodliff Weaver, in 1918.
I remember seeing the chest in my grandparents’ upstairs room — the one my mother and aunt shared as children. I can still see the ring of white paint on the lid where someone set a can of paint — never heard who was the culprit. My mother took possession of the chest when Grandma sold the family home and moved into an apartment. The chest went to my parents’ upstairs room which my brother and I had shared as children. Mom stashed extra pieces of her good china, photo albums, and quilts made by her grandmother, Effie Clarissa Lee Weaver (more on that in a later post).
I took possession of the chest when my brother and I cleaned out our parents’ home after their deaths. My brother got the gate-leg table that I had asked for, so this item was designated to me. The first thing I did, before bringing it home, was to drop it off with some other pieces at a furniture refinisher to have it restored to its original state (i.e. without the white paint can ring). This is the finished restoration. And it is in constant use with off season linens storage.