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The Little Red Hutch

Every house you live in, it seems there’s always a space that needs something special, a space that needs a certain piece of furniture to fill it. Well for me I go after the old something first, there is not much in my house that isn’t an antique with history, some I know the history  some I just have to imagine. When living in Alturas, the dining room being small had this space that just needed a certain sized cabinet or hutch, I could vision it but finding the right size was harder than I thought it would be until one day I spotted a hutch in front at a junk store.  I drove by it several times in the course of a week or so, and what really kept me from stopping was, it looked bigger than I was looking for and it was forest green! My will to get that space filled made me stop, I discovered it was in need of repair not to mentioned that green had to go, there was something about it that made me look at it differently beyond the repair, it was the history, giving it a good look I believed it to be handmade.  When I made that assumption, I bought it.

So we started the repairs which my wonderful husband had to get involved, well we had different ideas on what it should look like and pretty much that little hutch sat for awhile till we could agree.  We discovered indeed it was homemade, it actually was two pieces, the top was the pie safe and the bottom was on rollers with two big bins for flour and sugar and two smaller drawers.  The top was meant to be mounted on the wall, and the bottom to roll under it until pulled out to make baked goods of some kind. We did a lot of repair work first, we discovered it was built with square nails which gives it some history, we bought new hardware because some of it was missing, so we ordered hardware from the around the period of when the hutch was built, husband made the two pieces become one making it into a hutch.

The final steps were to paint it, put the new hardware on and replace the cutting board which was missing, our first choice was to strip it, but we discovered it had three layers of paint all different colors. So we sanded the rough spots, and painted it one of my favorite farm colors Red.  The inside of the drawers are white, and we added a little black to match the hardware.  The final step was the cutting board.

In steps Doug Dollarhide, a master wood crafter, he could make anything out of wood and did. His wife and him traveled around selling his crafts at fairs, and bazaars that’s how I met him. I gave him a call about the cutting board, no problem for him he said just needed the size.  When it was ready he invited me to come to his workshop in Davis Creek, CA to pick it up.  What a wonderful place it was, almost like a candy shop but with wood! When he showed me the cutting board and told me about the wood, I was speechless you see he didn’t just make it out of just any wood, he made it out of the shelving that came from the old Davis Creek Mercantile – old growth Pondarosa Pine was used years ago to make the shelves. The cutting board has history , so a note is in the drawer of the little red hutch that tells it’s story along with the cutting board to give it the history it deserves, along with the memories of a great master wood crafter that knew that little red hutch needed unforgotten history.

This is our dinning room today, the little red hutch has a new place, just the right fit to show it’s history.

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