Pre-Civil War furniture given to local museum

ANNE REINER/Sun-Gazette The Rowley House Museum recently received a gift of antique J&J W. Meek furniture, donated by John and Anne Rich of Jersey Shore. Museum officials standing behind a few of the pieces are, from left, Eiderson Dean, vice chairman of the board of directors; William Hoffmann, tour coordinator; Robert K. Kane, museum curator and board secretary; and Edward Lyon, board chairman.

The Rowley House Museum recently became the proud owner of a set of pre-Civil War furniture donated by Anne and John Rich, of Jersey Shore.

The settee, gent’s chair and two side chairs were made in 1855 by the J&J W. Meeks Co. in New York City. They have subsequently been passed down through the Rich family for generations before eventually being donated to the museum, according to Robert E. Kane, museum curator and board secretary.

The Meeks Firm made furniture for famous establishments and people throughout the United States, including the White House, the Astor Hotel, Tiffany’s and President Abraham Lincoln, Kane said.

The set is one of only two known sets in the county. One now resides in the Rowley House Museum, displayed in the formal parlor, and the other is owned by Kane.

The furniture is made of Rosewood, the most expensive wood at the time in furniture making, according to Kane.