Thanks to my husband, John Plocher*, for reassembling and restoring one of the fumed oak chairs carved by my Great-Grandmother, Ella Rachel Bolli Van Gilder. We found the chair in pieces in the attic of 2125 Broderick Street, my parents’ home in San Francisco, when we were clearing out the house for sale in 2012. I have several other pieces carved by my Great-Grandmother – including another of her chairs. I am delighted to have one more.
Ella Rachel Bolli Van Gilder was a remarkable woman who early in her life worked with Jane Addams at Hull House – a settlement house for European immigrants in Chicago. She later returned to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she married Walter Van Gilder. They were both were enthusiastic craft workers (in the Arts and Crafts style) and gardeners, in addition to his founding and managing Van Gilder Glass Company. My mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, grew up in their house at 1007 Circle Park Drive in Knoxville.
* with help from John Gibbs – Workshop (Campbell, CA)
This is what the chair pieces looked like when we pulled them out of the attic:
Here is the chair today, after much effort by John:
1911 portrait of Ella Bolli Van Gilder:
1007 Circle Park Drive in Knoxville: photo taken by Eleanor Creekmore when she was 10 years old, in 1941:
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Images Copyright 1941 by Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, and 2016-2018 by Katy Dickinson.