Robson Ranch Arizona Woodcrafter Lends a Helping Hand
Discover the remarkable journey of preserving and transforming a beloved family heirloom. This heartwarming tale recounts how a skilled Robson Ranch Arizona Woodcrafter lends a helping hand to a fellow resident in rescuing their cherished family treasure.
The Legacy of Reverend Elijah Forbes Beachum
My great grandfather, the Reverend Elijah Forbes Beachum, served communities in North Carolina. He died in 1891. The deacons of the congregation built a bed for their beloved minister and his wife. The cherrywood bed, with intricate hand-carved detail, became a family heirloom. It was handed down to my grandmother, and then to my father, Elijah’s grandson.
A Cross-Country Journey
Forty years ago, the bed came into my possession. It’s no longer a bed, but I’m getting ahead of the story. I had never heard of Elijah’s bed until 1967, the year we made a cross-country trip from Washington to North Carolina to visit family. We wrapped and secured the bed on top of the family station wagon for the trek home. The oddly shaped bundle drew comments. People asked my father, more than once, if there was a giant turtle on top of our car. In truth, it did look like a turtle. Funny as the roof-top load looked, the bed was a tangible piece of my father’s family history that he was finally able to bring home.
A Bed with a History
The bed was small by modern standards. It was a challenge to find a mattress to fit, but my parents managed to find one. The bed was installed in the downstairs bedroom in my childhood home. Eventually, the bed went to one of my older sisters, and over time, it came to me. I thrilled to have this heirloom but had no place to keep it. The mattress was gone, and the side pieces began to rot and were discarded. The extant pieces of the bed went up into the rafters of my garage.
Preserving a Family Treasure
Elijah’s bed came with me to Arizona. I wanted to preserve the 150-year-old pieces, handcrafted with love and care, or they too, would deteriorate into dust. Enter Marv Enerson, the skilled Robson Ranch Arizona Woodcrafter who lends a helping hand. Marv agreed to inspect what was left of the bed. I shared its history and that I hoped to save it from ending up in a landfill. As we talked, Marv studied my precious heirloom. Marveling at the workmanship, he determined the remaining wood was still sound. Marv talked about tools and techniques that might have been used to create it so long ago. Then, he quickly came up with an idea.
A Beautiful Transformation
Marv had built a bench from an old bed made of iron and he showed me pictures. It was beautiful, and I became excited as we discussed the project. The pieces went home with Marv, and he got to work. A mere three days later, my bench came home. We left the headboard intact. Marv used the ends of the footboard to create the sides of the bench, reserving the center portion for me to keep. The original slats became the seat. Marv suggested treating the wood with unscented mineral oil.
I’ve dubbed it Elijah’s Bench and it’s beautiful. Thank you, Marv.
Written by Susanne Perry
About Robson Ranch Arizona
Robson Ranch Arizona, located in metro Phoenix, offers numerous social opportunities for active adults aged 55+ through its clubs and activities. Our diverse creative arts program includes mediums like ceramics, sewing, and woodworking, suitable for beginners and experienced crafters alike. Contact or visit us today to explore why Robson Ranch Arizona is the ideal community to make new friends, enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, and actively engage with the local community.