Jan and John Maggs Antiques

Newsletter - April  2017


Our lost barn being cleared away - last Friday afternoon.
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Our remaining shows in 2017 have been cancelled. We're looking forward to resuming business as usual in 2018.


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Jabez Newhall's majestic barn in Pumpkin Hollow is no more. Its loss has affected not only the two of us, but also the many friends and neighbors for whom it was a Conway icon and customers whose visits were often as much about our barn and shop as about the antiques stored in it. The barn is deeply embedded in our own personal histories; it has become a part of us. As we have labored to restore and maintain it during the past thirty-two years, it has returned the favor by providing a home for our antiques business. One could say that our livelihood was nurtured by this barn.

We've received notes and emails of condolence from hundreds of friends, customers, and colleagues. We regret that we've been too overwhelmed by the post-disaster recovery to answer more than a few. We are immeasurably grateful for this outpouring of support.

We have begun to make plans to replace the structure with a new barn. This will not be a replica of what we lost; we feel that it would be foolhardy to attempt to replace that grand structure with a modern fake. Rather, we are planning to erect a new timber frame barn that both honors Conway's past and addresses our needs at this time and the needs of those who come after us. We'll keep you posted.
What's next?

When our barn came crashing down as the tornado smashed into it broadside, more than half of our stock and many prized possessions were crushed by the timber frame and its slate roof. Although we expect our insurance to allow us to restore a working inventory and rebuild our shop, it will take time. Constructing a new place of business will take the better part of a year, and we're reluctant to move to new quarters, preferring to concentrate our attention on the new structure and with it, a new beginning.

We've cancelled our 2017 Conway shows and expect to cancel all of our other shows for the next several months. As we rebuild our shop, we'll rebuild our inventory, piece by piece. We expect to return to England in September and October, and have already made flight reservations.

We're nearing the end of a exhaustive analysis of the scores of boxes, tubs, and piles that were rescued from the debris. Sadly, we've had to write off hundreds of things, but many others survived and will, with only minor refurbishments, be ready to return to our website. As we return things to the website, we'll list them here. We expect May's newsletter to contain a good assortment.

Next month we also plan to begin a monthly report on progress towards the completion of a new structure. Our contractor is a long-time friend and customer who, in real life is a restorer of period structures. His sense of history is well-suited to this task, and we know that he will help us to realize our own vision for the new barn. It will be an exciting ride, and we hope you'll follow its progress with us.

Pippin's Page  
Pippin
In last month's newsletter we neglected to assure his fans that he was with us when the tornado went through Pumpkin Hollow and was unharmed. Click his picture to see a photo of him taken a couple of weeks ago.
The Back Page

Thanks to two very generous neighbors, we've been able to store all of our furniture in a large hay barn not far from our home. Jan and I have spent many hours in the barn, evaluating the damage and trying to determine how much can be saved. Alas, the number isn't large, as this pile of furniture parts will show.
If you missed the pictures of the destruction in last month's newsletter, you may click here to see them now. As always, t hanks for reading.  

John and Jan