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Destroying American History

When we bought our house three years ago, it came with a pool table in the basement. It's an old 8 foot slate pool table. The previous owners had no idea how long it was in the basement. All they knew was that it came from an old city tavern that went bankrupt. It was in desperate need of refurnbishing from the woodwork, cushions, and pockets. It was quite a bit of work. It was taking over the basement and just served as a huge storage table for boxes. We've been wanting to redo the basement as a bar/game room for me and the kids. I tried to sell the table but there was no offers. So today, my father-in-law came down and we started to dismantle. I knew it was old by the type of bolts that they used. They didn't use the typical screwdriver or ratchet formations. So that was a real treat to get the rails of. Then came the one inch thick slate. Luckily, it was in three pieces so it wasn't too heavy. Each piece still weighed over 100 pounds. It's good slate and will serve a purpose for me. I'm going to make a chalkboard out of one piece and I know someone that makes quoit boards. The rails and slate was the hard part. The frame was left. My father-in-law is a historian and an outdoorsman. He was surprised to see what type of wood the inside frame was made out of. It was made out of American Chestnut. This type of tree is no longer alive. While we cleaning up our mess I noticed a time stamp on the inside of one of the rails. I was guessing the table was a little over 50 years old. Boy was I wrong. The table was manufactured on Feburary 9th, 1903. The table was just a few days away from its 106th birthday. It was made a day after my birthday (if I was alive in 1903). I almost feel bad at destroying such craftsmanship. You don't see things built like they used too. However, my basement is wide open now. It's like a whole new room opened with so many possibilities.