The Story of a Sweet Little Vintage Drafting Table

Vintage Table with a story (2)

I have a confession to make. If you were to take me on one of those grand flea market trips I probably wouldn’t buy much.

Oh, I’d see tons of things I would love. You’d hear me say things like “LOVE that!” or “Wouldn’t that make the cutest lamp?” or “I could sooo see that as a pillow. but  I probably wouldn’t make a lot of purchases. Well, I take that back. I’m a sucker for fabric so I’d probably buy that pillow thing but I’d pass by many great finds. I tend to over think these things. And then I suffer from “I can’t believe I didn’t buy that” remorse the next day.

Do you know what makes me say No, Thanks?

No story. I need a story! But you catch my emotions with a story and I’m hooked. Sold!

Today’s little vintage table has actually been in my family for years but I never knew it’s story until this summer.

I was raised in the very small town of Bassett, Virginia. Bassett used to be home to the factories of Bassett Furniture Industries years ago when furniture manufacturing was a booming business here in the States.

Bride & Groom's Table

This little table had been a hard working draftsman’s table for years in one of the Bassett Furniture factories. Around 1933 my grandfather, whom everyone called Mack but I called Papa, bought this little table and took it home to be used by his growing family.

The table was a typical drafting table with tall legs and a hinged drafting top. Papa cut off the legs and removed the hinges to make it a functioning kitchen table. The table isn’t very big, about 54″ long by 30″ wide. My Dad remembers it being the kitchen table for their family of 6 until about 1950.

Sometime mid century my Granny bought herself a nice shiny 50’s style dinette with a silver top and black and white chairs. This is the table I remember. My Mom still has it. 🙂 This tiny wooden table got relegated to the back porch where it became a jack-of-all-trades table.

Vintage Table with a Story

One of it’s duties became the butchering table. (Honestly, it may have been the butchering table prior to it’s back porch days.) Dad said they would cover it with an oil cloth, mount a sausage grinder to the edge and have at it. They raised hogs as a main source of meat for their family.

I’m not the least bit squeamish about raw meat but this just sounds like a gross process. Sorry, Dad.

A few years go by with our little table doing all sorts of duties like being a potting table, laundry folding table…who knows what all.

Sometime during the 70’s my Dad goes by Papa and Granny’s house and see’s his old kitchen table in the trash pile. Now, my Dad is not a hoarder. Not really. No. I’m sure he’s not. Not really. I mean, not like a real hoarder. Moving on….

Dad decided to save our little table from the trash. He brings it home and promptly stores it somewhere (no clue where). 

Vintage Table Top

Fast forward to early 21st century. My Mom finds the table and, being the keeper of all things sentimental, decides to use it. She thinks she’d like to paint it and enlists the help of my sister, Sheri.

Sheri, bless her heart, scraped and scraped and scraped to cleaned up the table top. She said it was covered in a thick, yucky gunk. I’m not sure I want to think about what that gunk consisted of. Once it was cleaned up, Sheri said the wood was way too pretty to be painted that they should stain it. I think she made the right call.

When my niece, Libby, got married our little vintage drafting table/kitchen table was the centerpiece of the reception as the bride and groom table.

Vintage Table with a story (2)

The chairs you see here are the original chairs my Dad’s family used all those years ago. They are so low to the ground that we have to sit on pillows to use this table! 🙂 My Papa was over 6′ tall. It’s hard to imagine how he sat in these short, little chairs.

Prior to Libby’s wedding, this little table resided on the “sun porch” of my parent’s home. It’s duties included everything from dinners to crafting, computers to games but it’s most prestigious honor was the keeper of desserts. All family dinner and holiday desserts. We always know where to find the pound cake.

Since the wedding, Mom moved the table to the center of her kitchen as it’s now the kitchen “island”. It fits perfectly and she wonders why didn’t didn’t put it there in the first place!

And that’s my story. What this little table lacks in monetary value it sure makes up in sentimental value. Even more so because of it’s story.

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15 Responses to The Story of a Sweet Little Vintage Drafting Table

  1. Stacey says:

    Great back story and the table is beautiful! Not staining the top was definitely the right call.

  2. Cindy says:

    Me too Sonya, I love pieces with a story! Such a great family treasure and I loved hearing the story behind it! I had a Granny too…miss her so!

  3. Jessica Sala says:

    Adorable 🙂 I’m down to 11 days!

  4. Aww, I love your little table and its story. I’m so glad your dad rescued it. 🙂

  5. Kim says:

    Such great history and memories in that table. Love the wood planked top. Perfect for your mom’s sun porch.

  6. Sheri says:

    Great job telling the story, sis! It is a very neat table with a lot of stories behind it and I’m sure more stories to come!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Sonya what a great story and I am not sure I would want to know what kind of gunk was on that wood top either!!! I have to tell you, what a great save your father made. I love that this piece has such history and your sister stuck with it. This table is so pretty and I agree the wood top is really to pretty to paint. Love it!!!


  8. Anne says:

    What a sweet story. I have old family pieces, too. They are about all I have left of my family now. My son couldn’t care less about them, but while I am alive my family will be alive with me. Thanks.

  9. Stacy says:

    Wow. I didn’t know a lot of that story. Where have I been all these years? 🙂

    Don’t you know Granny would be so thrilled that her table was Libby and Joshua’s bride and groom table?

  10. Martina says:

    What a wonderful family treasure Sonya…loved hearing the story!

  11. I love that table so much. I can’t even imagine all those kids and papa and granny sitting around that teensy table. Bless.

  12. Pat says:

    Such a sweet story! I love knowing the history of a piece. Thanks for sharing!


  13. Mandy says:

    Just found you via Pinterest. This story made my day! My shopping habits are like yours ~ I pass up so many wonderful things (and often regret it) but once the story begins, I’ve got out my checkbook. Love the blog!

  14. Oh my goodness Sonya I couldn’t agree more on things needing a story. Although, I can’t even tell you how many times I rushed back to buy something only to realize someone else snagged it because I over thought it! I am in love with your vintage drafting table & its story, thank you so much for sharing at ITS PARTY TIME. I’ll be featuring it tomorrow. 🙂 xoxo

  15. LOVE both the table and the sweet story behind it… I’m a hoarder, I mean, Keeper of Things, as well. Saw this featured at Three Mango Seeds.