Handmade Cedar Chest

The cedar chest in my parent's room
The cedar chest in my parent's room

My mother has had a cedar chest in her room for my entire life. Until recently, I haven’t paid much attention to it, but one day I was curious and asked about it. She explained how her grandfather built it from a walnut tree from the house he lived in as a child. His parents were Danish immigrants; lots of Danes came to the US to become servants. His parents, however, became rice farmers, but I do not know why they decided to immigrate in the first place.
He liked woodworking as a hobby and made small boxes and wooden treasures for my mother and her cousins. He planned to build a cedar chest for all of his grandchildren, but only got around to making one for my mother. It has a nice maple inlay on the top and is lined with cedar. “I put my wool sweaters in it. The cedar keeps moths from burrowing into the sweaters,” she explained. It is a relic that can’t be recreated. It’s entirely hand made, and that is evident in the imperfections of the woodwork. I remember my great-grandfather, and although it was not built for me, I treasure it as my mother does. I will be the next owner of it and can tell the story of it to future generations.

Place(s): Denmark

– T

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more