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Meeks Furniture “Comes Home” Part Two

Last month I shared the story of my trip to Columbia, Missouri, to meet Louesa Danks and see her collection of Meeks furniture. Several years after this visit, Louesa’s friend, Jeanne, called to tell me that it was time to pick up the furniture. Louesa was selling her house and moving to a retirement home. I found a professional furniture mover from St. Louis with experience in moving antiques, recruited two Minnetrista men—Jon Gray and Dick Cole—to accompany me and headed for Columbia.

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The trip went well, and we reached Columbia in good shape. After a night’s rest, we met the furniture mover at Louesa’s house. Then the trouble began. The furniture mover took one look at the several pieces of tall furniture that barely cleared the low ceiling and said, “I’m not touching that furniture. Good-bye.” Jon, Dick, and I looked at each other, wondering where to go from there.

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There was only one thing to do. We decided to move the furniture ourselves. Dick backed the box truck into the driveway, the packing blankets were gathered, and we took a collective deep breath. Out came the smaller pieces—the side chairs, rocking chairs, settees, side tables, and bed. Those went into the truck neatly and easily. Pieces that were smaller yet, including a doll-size chaise lounge and the dolls, hand carved building blocks, a quilt and a condiment set, were carefully packed and stowed in the Minnetrista van.

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Last, and most certainly not least, were the two pieces that we most dreaded moving—the writing desk with the mirrored back and the hall stand. Both pieces are more than seven feet tall and have numerous protrusions that needed to be protected. Dick, Jon and I inched them out of the house, coaxed them up the ramp into the truck, and gently laid them on their backs. We surrounded them with plenty of padding, strapped everything in, made our good-byes, and headed back to Muncie. After a nerve-wracking trip, during which we were sure that the slightest bump was going to wreak havoc with our precious cargo, we arrived in Muncie and unloaded the truck. All was well. Everything had arrived safe and sound.

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Since that trip in 2000, pieces of furniture have been seen in several exhibits. Most recently, the desk was part of a Heritage Collection display during the Silver Ball gala. Last month I shared photos of several pieces of furniture. This month, I’m sharing photos of some of the small items. Enjoy!