Helen's Chair and the History of the World

Helen's Chair and the History of the World

Summer cottages are the unchanging backgrounds against which many area families chart their growth - and many stories of adventure are hidden among the furniture of these time-worn places.

The quaint old white house at 256 Spear Street is one of the oldest in the village and holds a century and a half of stories - those of ships, ship captains, lighthouse keepers, of a local doctor and his wife who saved a little girl by giving her a home, of boys returning from the tragic American Civil War, of women and men going off to Europe and Asia to serve their country. The world in peace and war.

Still standing among theses ghosts is a tall highchair bought in 1808 for little Helen Job, the first of four daughters of an American diplomat, Frederick W. Job and his wife. Helen's ownership of the chair was followed by that of her sisters Virginia, Mary Bell, and Cordelia.

AS a young woman, Helen worked for the Red Cross during World War I, while Cordelia, was a teacher in the Philippines when World War II broke out, and subsequently found herself a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp for much of the war - to be liberated by the American general, McArthur, in 1945.

The next generation of the family was three girls and five boys. All of the boys served in World War Two - William, Robert, Richard, Frederick, and Jack - some in the pacific some in Europe. William was an Army air bombardier who crash landed a number of his 26 missions, but came home without a scratch.

And soon there was a third, then fourth, and now fifth generation - each and every one occupying "Helen's Chair" - surrounded by that many generations of stories.

The little house and its chair speak the history of the world.

Helen's Chair and the History of the World
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