“Herbie” Elm Blanket Chest


      This beautiful blanket chest is made of wood from what was the largest American Elm tree in New England. In 2010, the 217 year old elm (nicknamed “Herbie”) had to be taken down in Yarmouth, Maine. Over the years, “Herbie” had survived numerous attacks of Dutch Elm disease, with help from the local tree warden, Frank Knight, but in the end, the old giant lost the battle. When the town of Yarmouth announced it had “Herbie” lumber available, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to help the legacy of this once magnificent elm tree live on. I am one of many Maine woodworkers who jumped at this opportunity. My decision to make a blanket chest came from the idea that this might have been a piece that may have been in use, here in Maine, 200 years ago. Some of the wood I purchased was highly figured and I was able to incorporate that figure on all 4 sides of the chest. There are 2 trays, just inside the top, that lift out, allowing access to the main body of the chest. There are thin cedar boards laid on the bottom , which can be easily removed and replaced as needed. This was my first time working with elm and I found it quite challenging. It is an absolutely beautiful wood and I am pleased with the finished product. I have put together a photo album of this piece as it was being created and I have included a few of those images here. This piece is no longer available for sale, but the owner has graciously allowed me to use it as a show piece this year


Dimensions: 45” wide X 27 ½” high X 21 ½” deep