The Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council launched the reinterpretation and refurnishing of The Old House with the installation on Friday, May 12, of a hand-crafted, white oak bed frame in the main room or Parlor. The so-called “Best Bed” is an accurate reproduction of what was considered in the 17th century, or our First Period of settlement, to be the most important piece of furniture in a house of “status.” On order from Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley, New York, are the bed hangings – hand-woven in red worsted – which complete the bed with appropriate mattresses (two: one underneath stuffed with straw, the upper stuffed with feathers), pillows, valences and other hangings that will add a splash of color to the otherwise somber, wooden interior of The Old House.
With funding from the Gerry Charitable Trust and the Century Arts Foundation, the Historical Council has retained Guest Curator John Fiske to lead the project. Over the next three years, many of the artifacts on display in The Old House will be removed (early households were sparsely furnished!), authentic objects or well-crafted reproductions will be borrowed or acquired, and a new Docent Manual will be written for volunteers. Check back to see our progress; the Best Bed will get its mattresses, pillows and vibrant red hangings this summer!