Full Chisel Blog

June 10, 2013

Painted & Grained Furniture at Historic Cove Fort, Utah

On a recent visit to Historic Cove Creek Ranch Fort in central/southern Utah I had an opportunity to photograph a fine collection of original pioneer era painted and grained furniture.  I actually made some of the chairs that are also on exhibit.  Also items from the Blacksmith shop and fences around the barnyard.


Said to be the original bellows from the fort, quite sure it is new leather. Bellows nozzle

Nozzel reinforced with rawhide, a good application. chairs and grained table

Ladder and Arrow back side chairs with mahogany grained table, not black stripes and edge.cochineal overshot quilt and mahogany grained rope bedstead

Croch mahogany rope bedstead with cochineal dyed overshot bed spread, log cabin patchwork quilt on blanket roll.cove fort

Entrance to the fort, the keystone and plaque were probably carved in Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. cove fort exterior

Exterior shot of the Fort, made from local volcanic rock, the fort was built for protection against the local Native American Indians. Cove fort exterior wall

The walls are very thick and there is a chimney for each room a total of 12 smokes. Croch mahogany grained bedstead with striping

Another fine croch mahogany rope bedstead.  The blanket roll should be loose, an extra blanket was wound around it and if needed pulled over the top.  The headboard is called a ‘rolling pin’ headboard because of its shape.  Some say because many are loose that it was used to flatten the straw and feather ticks [mattresses], this is a myth, you want the ticks fluffy not flat! curly maple blanket chest

Pine blanket chest grained to simulate curly maple. Detail Iron bracket on blacksmiths forge

Detail of rope holder on blacksmiths bellows. Edible fence

Strangest fence I have ever seen, held together with rawhide.  How many critters and farm animals would make a meal of this?  Silly modern interpretation. Farm yard

Barn yard. Finely grained chest of drawers with glove boxes, grained table and gondola chair

Mahogany painted and grained chest of drawers with glove boxes and black painted split column and handles.  The gondola chair is one of the 25 chairs made for the LDS Museum of Church History and Art back in the 1980’s. indigo overshot quilt

Indigo overshot coverlet on maple grained bedstead. kitchen and questionable clock

A view of the kitchen, the tall clock is suspected by many to be of newer manufacture. kitchen with gondola chairs

Another view of the kitchen area including more of the gondola chairs.  All of the rooms have connecting doors to allow movement around the sides of the fort without having to go outside. Loop hole in Fort wall

One of the view ports [loophole] around the ramparts on the sides of the fort. Mahogany and maple grained bedstead

Pine rope bedstead grained to look like mahogany with maple panels. maple burl game table

Tripod game table made of pine and grained to look like curly maple. maple grained armless spinning wheel rocking chair

Pine side [armless] rocking chair, low construction for working on a spinning wheel. nice grained set of chairs

Matched side winsor chairs, mahogany with black stripes. nice pair of rope beds

A pair of pine rope bedsteads grained to imitate curly maple. oak grained bedstead

This bedstead is painted to look like quartersawn oak. Ogee clock owned by original occupant of the Fort

Original ogee shelf clock said to belong to the original residents. Ox stantion

Ox shoeing stantion, because cows can’t stand on 3 legs like a horse. polychrome firewood box

Polychrome wood box, even the utilitarian pieces were painted. Proper gutter and downspout in copper

Last time I saw these copper gutters and downspouts they were bright copper, a few years in the weather put on a nice verdigris patina. quilt and clothing

Nice quilt and some original pioneer clothing. Stenciled rocking chair belonging to original owner

Rocking chair said to belong to the original residents, black paint with bronzed stencil work. telegraph office, maple grained table

The desk in the telegraph office is pine painted and grained curly maple.  Note the lead acid battery pile under the desk. Wooden Fort Gates filled with sand

The doors of the fort originally filled with sand for protection of depredations that never happened.  Four Native American braves showed up at the fort, Mr. Hinkley invited them to dinner and there were never any problems.

I recommend a visit but be warned there are some dry cities in Utah, so take along provisions.



  1. Stephen,
    I tracked down your blog page from Wood Central. One comment here:

    Stephen said: “Strangest fence I have ever seen, held together with rawhide.” Yes, rawhiders used the material to make everything, even fences. It is odd to think that the material would show up at an established residence, however. Rawhiders were mostly mobile.

    Comment by Bruce McCrory — June 29, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

  2. Wow! Great post. Love to see historic graining.

    Comment by Norman — July 3, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

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