Interesting Woodworking Link

Friday, July 3, 2009

Episode #109 - Ancient Caves, Historic Rustic Lodge & Antique Furniture


“We were just making furniture”

George Mason
Mason Manufacturing
• Los Angeles • California

Well, a bit of time has passed since my last post due to a lot of work to complete before going on a short summer holiday. We surprised the kids with a layover at The Oregon Caves Chateau and I discovered a unique opportunity to examine a wonderful collection of Monterey Furniture. Beth & I stayed in Room 211 and the kids stayed in Room 304. I enjoy the architecture of the National Parks, so this was a real treat on many levels.

Oregon Caves Chateau
(Photo - Historic Hotels & Lodges)


Oregon Caves Chateau - Room 211
(Photo - Historic Hotels & Lodges)

Oregon Caves Chateau - Room 211
(Photo - Historic Hotels & Lodges)

Oregon Caves Chateau - Room 304
(Photo - Historic Hotels & Lodges)

The Oregon Caves Chateau, considered a masterpiece if rustic architecture, was designed and built by Mr. Gust Lium (1884-1965), a local contractor with an outstanding degree of design talent. Lium’s architectural work stands up well against the great rustic architects of the period. The six-story chateau, straddling a steep mountain canyon, was designed to allow diverted stream water from the waterfall and trout pond to flow through the third floor dinning room.

Monterey Chair - Main Lodge
(Photo - D. Pruett)

Details of Hand-Wrought Iron
Hardware & Hand Painting
Monterey Chair - Main Lodge

(Photo - D. Pruett)

Monterey Chair & Writing Desk - Main Lodge
(Photo - D. Pruett)


Detail of Hand-Wrought Iron Hardware
Writing Desk - Main Lodge

(Photo - D. Pruett)


The Oregon Caves Chateau is home of the world’s largest public collection of authentic antique Monterey Furniture. The National Park Service owns the furniture collection. Entering the chateau is like stepping back in time to the early 1930’s since the lodge and all the rooms retain the original furnishings.

Hand Painting Detail of
Monterey
Desk - Main Lodge
(Photo - D. Pruett)

Drawer Detail of Monterey
Kneehole Desk - Main Lodge

(Photo - D. Pruett)


Monterey Chair - Main Lodge
(Photo - D. Pruett)

Hand Painting Detail
Monterey Chair - Main Lodge

(Photo - D. Pruett)

Los Angles Furniture Retailer, Barker Brothers, had the foresight in 1929 to contact by George and Frank Mason of Mason Manufacturing to create a line of furniture embracing the Spanish Revival Movement. The design influences were rooted in 16th & 17th Spanish and early California mission era furniture.


Detail of Monterey Chair - Main Lodge
(Photo - D. Pruett)


Distressed lumber, leather, hand-painted finishes and hand-wrought iron hardware are indicative of the whimsical Monterey look. George Mason’s company produced a full line of furniture and accessories that continued through 1943. Tip a piece over or look on the back of case goods to see the “Monterey” name and sometimes the logo, a horseshoe, burnt into the piece by a branding iron.


Monterey Furniture Brand & Logo

Oregon Caves Chateau
Monterey Furniture NPS Inventory Label

(Photo - Historic Hotels & Lodges)

Monterey Furniture was instantly popular and the fashionable estates of the time were graced with this unique furniture sold through Barker Brothers Furniture stores. Notable celebrities that owned collections of Monterey Furniture included Will Rogers, Clark Gable, Gene Autry, and Walt Disney. Today, Monterey furniture is a collectible and prices are rising as people rediscover the furniture.

Happy Fourth of July!

Thank you to the brave men & women
protecting our freedom and serving
our country in the Armed Services
of the United States!


Some Interesting Oregon Caves & Monterey Furniture Links
Oregon Caves National Monument
Historic Hotels & Lodges – Oregon Caves Chateau
Architecture in the Parks – Oregon Caves
Roger Renick Fine Arts & Antiques – Monterey Furniture Section
Roger Renick’s Book “Monterey- Furnishings of California's Spanish Revival

3 comments:

Neil....a Furnitologist said...

Hey David.......very interesting post. Love the furniture history aspect. I was not aware of this furniture, I like the comment, "we were just building furniture". The chair confirms that folk art can show up in unexpected places.

Thanks for the lesson.

kate powell said...

Hi --
What you are calling "Monterey Chair - Main Lodge" is actually a wood box for kindling.
We love the Monterey Furniture -- you might be interested in going to our website and seeing the info on the conservation work done on the Imperial Line at Crater Lake: http://www.mpfconservation.com/monterey furniture.htm
from Kate, MPF Conservation

Susan Graham said...

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success.