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Tables tough as Old Ironsides?


AMHERST- Pieces of America's seafaring history can be found at My Feathered Nest, which carries unusual benches and tables created by Weathered Benches of Carlisle, Mass.

According to Mb Lincoln, owner of My Feathered Nest, during a 2010 excavation at the site of the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, workers discovered massive timbers of white oak and live oak buried beneath the mud. Published accounts said those trees had been harvested for use in the eventual restoration of the USS Constitution, the 1797 frigate known as Old Ironsides, and sister ships of the era.

But it was never used, and for more than a century, the timbers rested at the bottom of the harbor.

When it was discovered, some of the wood was sent to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, where a project was underway to rebuild the museum's resident whaling ship, Charles W. Morgan. But some of the timbers made their way to the Carlisle-based furniture company called Weathered Benches.

The company uses thick slabs of the wood to create simple, natural tabletops and benches that show off the rich color and grain of the wood without giving up a sense of the history of the timbers. Some of the wood the company came from trees that would have been more than 500 years old, Lincoln said.

"Every piece is different," she said. "It's like having a piece of American history in your home."

For more information visit www.weatheredbenchescompany.com.



- Nancy Bean Foster

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