Back from the past: restored 1890's ice box is ready for its closeup

It may come from the fact that I was born and raised in Virginia's Peninsula area. Surrounded by the history of Yorktown and Williamsburg. The ghosts from our country's past were everywhere.

I've always held a fascination and wonder for antiques from the past – primitive furniture mostly – that was used by our ancestors in their homes, shops and workplaces. From dry sinks to pie safes, from step back cupboards to wooden iceboxes and farm tables and beyond, their faded paint, worn patina, scrapes and knife cuts almost speak out loud their past and individual stories. And as a Fort Myers interior decorator, I love working vintage pieces into the beach houses, traditional and contemporary homes where a little wow is needed.

In fact, with a little imagination, sometimes one discovers a piece that almost cries out to you, “Look at me…if you only knew the history I have been through…the people who have used me in their daily lives…the conversations that I have heard from owners long-since gone.  And while my looks have long since diminished, I am still standing.”

Such has been the case with much of the antique furniture I have found and collected over the years, one-of-a-kind pieces that I will always treasure. And up until recently, I thought I’d seen just about every antique that could possibly take my breath away.  I was wrong.

Last summer, on a website of a well-known architectural salvage firm in Roanoke Virginia, I stumbled upon an offering of what can only be called the “mother of all ice boxes.”

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