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Mid-Year 2015
June 11th - 15th
Knoxville, TN
Detailed Agenda:



East Tennessee History Center

The primary location for the 2015 Mid-Year will be the East Tennessee History Center.  Sign in begins on June 11th, 3:00 - 6:00 P.M. Be sure to sign in early!


The East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville’s first Custom House and Post Office, was constructed between 1871–1874 at the corner of Prince (now Market) Street and Clinch Avenue.  The architect was Alfred Bult Mullett, at that time the chief architect for the United States government.

Of neoclassical Italianate design, the Custom House served as Knoxville’s federal building until 1933, housing the federal court, excise offices, and post office.  The Custom House was the first major building built entirely of East Tennessee marble, and the former federal courtroom on the third floor features notable neoclassical decoration.

Located at the Center are: 

  • The McClung Historical Collection, a genealogical research library. 
  • The Museum of East Tennessee History, covering 300 years of life in the region. 
  • The offices of the East Tennessee Historical Society.
  • The Knox County Archives, with records dating to 1792.

For group study, there will be three major pieces of regional furniture in three locations in the museum, with additional furniture and  local context as parts of the study.

Blount Mansion

William Blount was born in North Carolina, served in North Carolina's House of Commons and as paymaster for North Carolina's troops in the Continental Army. He served in Congress under the Articles of Confederation, and as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. 
In 1790, President George Washington appointed Blount to be Governor of the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio (later to become the State of Tennessee). After concluding the Treaty of the Holston in 1791, he announced his capital would move to Knoxville (a city that did not yet exist!), and construction began on Blount Mansion in 1792.
Unlike most homes built at the time, Blount’s home was made of timber, rather than rough logs or hand-hewn timbers. The care in construction, size and shape of the home were a reflection of Blount’s position as Territorial Governor.

Craighead-Jackson House


After William Blount's announcement that Knoxville would be the capital of the Southwest Territory,  James White and Charles McClung drew up a grid of 64 half-acre lots that became the core of the city. The Craighead-Jackson House was constructed by John Craighead in 1818 . on what was originally designated "Lot 15" on McClung's grid. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.  




Betsy White Great Road Style: The Decorative Arts Legacy of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee

Retired director of the William King Museum , Betsy will give the keynote presentation on the Great Road Style.

"Linked historically, culturally, and geographically, the counties that make up southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee are also connected by a shared decorative arts tradition. 'Great Road Style,' so called because of the region’s historical importance as a stage route connecting the eastern seaboard with the western frontier, is evidenced in distinctive forms of furniture, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork."

C. Tracey Parks Moses Crawford  

Tracey  will give a presentation on  Moses Crawford, the earliest-known cabinet maker in East Tennessee. Moses Crawford’s appearance at Sycamore Shoals in 1775 represents the earliest documentation of a cabinetmaker within Tennessee, over two decades before the state entered the union.

Mr. Parks is the editor of the book The Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture and Its Makers Through 1850, by Derita Coleman Williams and Nathan Harsh. 

Amber Clawson The "Tassel" Cabinetmaker  


A student at MESDA's Summer Institute, Amber recently completed her Ph.D dissertation at Middle Tennessee State University on Tennessee cabinet makers . She will give a presentation on the "Tassel" cabinetmaker of Tennessee.  

Al Breed Veneering Curved Surfaces and Creating Mitered Veneered Panels  
2012 Cartouche Recipient Al Breed started his furniture making career at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston at the age of 19 and has gone on to make reproductions for collectors and museums.
In addition to commission work, Al regularly lectures on furniture connoiseurship and demonstrates early furniture making and carving techniques. Recent work includes a Rococo looking glass, a Salem Federal carved tall post bed and a pair of McIntyre shield back chairs, as well as an article on Boston turret-top tea tables with Brock Jobe.
Al lives in South Berwick, Maine and works across the river in Rollinsford, NH. 

Ornamental panels often prove to be quite a challenge.  Based on recent work, Al will talk about the veneering of curved surfaces and creating mitred veneered panels as well as adding ovals and bandings.  He will use a recent New Hampshire chest-of-drawers to illustrate his technique.  Through slides, Al will also provide an overview of the construction methods he used in creating this masterpiece. 

If time allows, Al may entice us with a little of his extraordinary carving.  ..... 

Don Williams Making New Finishes Look Old  

Don recently retired from a long career at the Smithsonian.  He now runs The Barn on White Run.

Don is also responsible for the upcoming exhibition of the H. O. Studley tool chest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 15-17, 2015.  The exhibition coincides with the Handworks 2 tool exhibition being held in nearby Amana, Iowa.

Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton Constructing a Shenandoah Valley Tall Case Clock  
Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton continue the tradition of Mack S. Headley and Sons.
This will be an in-depth study of the construction techniques used to build a tall case clock, commonly called a grandfather clock. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, ownership of this type of clock was considered an indication of success. 
The clock Jeff and Steve have chosen is one of many made in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with a mix of many European influences carried down the valley from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Eastern Virginia. These clocks were made during the Federal period but with Chippendale features.
Jeff and Steve will cover the construction joinery used to build a case that includes the waist, the base, and the hood. This is an extremely intensive project and not all aspects of the construction process can be covered, but it will be their goal to send you off with a firm understanding of what is needed to complete this project at home.
During this presentation, they will cover how to combine the use of both hand tools and power tools while investigating the period construction methods used in building what was, in its time, one of man’s most cherished and admired possessions. 


Carl Fourshee ,              

Attendees will receive a Klingspor bag and sandpaper.  
Klingspor Woodworking              


Spouse Activities


There will be three options for spouse activities: 
Feather Star 1. Quilt study/turning.  Limited to 20 persons.
ETHCWilliamsPark 2. Personalized tour of the Museum of East Tennessee History.
MY2015KennedyHome 3. Work on ancestry, using the ETHC facilities.


Day Trip

Ramsey House  


Attendance will be limited to fiftysix persons, maximum.

Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey. The Ramsey Family was one of the first families to settle the Knoxville area.

Colonel Francis A. Ramsey was one of the founding trustees of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee.

Hollybrook Farm  

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Down the road a piece from the Ramsey house are two restored log houses (with additions) in a beautiful setting. Inside you'll find a combination of unrestored period furniture along with period furniture that has been restored and  "new period pieces".

In July 1989 the main house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tobler Vineyard House.  The present owners also added an 1876 single pen, 1 ½ story cabin on the site of a log granary that served as an infirmary for the Union Army during the Civil War.

David and Marty's writeup on Hollybrook Farm





Sales of SAPFM logo shirts will be available by pre-order for pick up at the conference.
Sales are by mail only and must be picked up during the mid-year conference.  Print out the pdforder form and mail it in with your check.  Shirts are available in all sizes and most of our normal styles.



MY2015KHilton     Knoxville Hilton Downtown
  501 West Church Avenue
  Knoxville, TN
    865 523-2300
  The Hilton is an easy block-and-a-half walking distance from the East Tennessee History Center.
  The special SAPFM rate is $99 per day for the first sixty persons who register. Parking is $8 per day.  This rate will apply to the two days before, and two days after the event, as long as rooms are available.

The group code for the special rate is SAPFM. Go, and after putting in your arrival/departure dates, click on “More Options” (located under arrival/departure dates). Add the group code into the box labeled “Group code” under "Add Special Rate Code".  

Do not use an online booking site like Orbitz or Expedia to make your reservations.  They are not set up to provide the special SAPFM group rate.



Members: $335
Includes Friday and Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, evening receptions  
Members' Spouse or guest: $105
Includes Friday and Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, evening receptions  
Non-Members: $395
(Includes a one-year SAPFM membership)
Spouse Activities
Each activity:   $20
Day Trip
Ramsey House/Hollybrook Farm:  $55
Hotel, Parking
Hotel, SAPFM daily rate:  $99
Parking, daily rate:    $8



ETnHistCtr Map1
  East Tennessee History Center
  601 S. Gay St. 
   Knoxville, TN 37902
The Society of American
Period Furniture Makers
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P.O. Box 379, Williamsburg, VA 23187

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