The Office (no, not the NBC sitcom)

Created in 2007 from an unused bedroom, the office has become a place for recordkeeping, reading, collecting, and watching television.

A large partners desk anchors the space. Mary and I have shared the desk and have a “wall of fame.”

Comfortable chairs, diplomas, fraternity memorabilia, recognitions, and Liddell home place image

It’s apparent that we have collected family memorabilia throughout our lives. Liddell and Donley family objects are displayed or placed in archival storage. Some of the objects are over two hundred years old. Some are from the childhoods of Mary, our sons, and myself. The collection includes the original 1818 Gwinnett County land lot deed that my great-great-great-great grandfather, William Liddell, received as a perk of having served as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. The wax seal of the State of Georgia that hung from the document is still on its cloth tape. Original tintype portraits of ancestors find safe storage in acid-free boxes.

I researched the genealogy of my mother’s family from an early age. When I started teaching at Duluth High School in 1976, I was lucky to have a gifted artist as a student in one of my English classes. Gregory Jarrell took my rough charts and created a large family tree that I have kept framed and displayed for over forty years. I made sure that each of my Liddell aunts and uncles received full scale copies of the family tree.

Liddell Family Tree, Gregory Jarrell, artist, 1979
This detail of the chart shows the flowers of the thistle , a symbol of Scotland. The sailing ship references the Liddell brothers’ emigration to the American colonies after the Scots rebelled against British rule in their homeland.
This detail shows one branch of the seventh, eighth, and ninth generations of the Liddell descendants in the United States. As the chart is ink and poster-board framed under glass, there are obvious limits to keeping it up-to-date.
19th Century Yarn-winder
A weaver at Knott’s Berry Farm uses a yarn winder or weasel to measure and wind a skein (80 yards of yarn) Wikipedia image

A weasel’s gear ratio is usually 40 to 1. The circumference of the reel is usually two yards. The weasel pops after 40 revolutions. An 80-yard skein is wound around the yarn winder.

Liddell Family Tree , yarn-winder
Liddell House built in 1840. Photograph of Thomas Haney Liddell and Elizabeth Collier Liddell with granddaughter circa 1903
Early 19th century six board chest
Donley Store Singer sewing machine, Canton, Georgia, circa 1920
Originally a treadle machine, it was electrified at some point.
CSA Officer’s saber of Colonel George Washington Mills (1839-1910)

The chest is a pioneer piece from the Liddell plantation in Gwinnett County. It may have been used on a horse or mule-drawn wagon for storage of valuables as the family traveled from the Carolinas into Georgia in the early 1800’s. It is constructed of hand-planed pine and has dovetailed joints, wooden hinges, and a hand-forged hasp and latch.

Early 19th century powder horn
Evan Michael Green’s Challenger Space Shuttle toy 1980’s
Hitchcock stenciled chair late 20th century
Miniature steam engine

This working toy steam engine was purchased in Germany by William Donley Green while on a 2009 Stetson University Summer Study Abroad Program. It replicates an older version (missing parts) that was originally purchased for Michael Perry Green from Lenox Toys and Hobbies at Lenox Square in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1960’s.

1880’s Eastlake side chair

The chair was probably part of a bedroom suite used in the 1840 Liddell house. It remained in use in the 1957 Liddell house. The chair was repaired, recaned and gently refinished in 1977. The original finish was not stripped.

Biltmore House figurine c. 1980’s
Bill Cecil, Jr. and Michael Green met at Lenoir-Rhyne College at a talk in 2007. He is the CEO of the Biltmore Company. The company owns and operates Biltmore Estate. Bill is the great grandson of George W. Vanderbilt, the builder of Biltmore House.
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye flash model camera circa 1957. The camera belonged to Charlotte Liddell Green.
Funeral program for Moses Frank Liddell (1919-2016). Frank Liddell was the brother of Charlotte Liddell Green.
Flag used in funeral of Moses Frank Liddell, a veteran of WWII

The office holds artifacts from family history. Mary Donley Green and I have enjoyed preserving old and interesting objects from our families. Some of the pieces merit more detail, but that might best be done in future blog articles.

Michael Green

January 29, 2022

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