Some times you head off the beaten path and you discover little unknown treasures. In the summer I was looking for inexpensive flooring for a room I was finishing, and found I could get some at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Jersey. On the drive to Morris, New Jersey, I passed a sign that said "STICKLEY MUSEUM." My head turned, as any one who loves the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States knows the wonderful furniture made by Gustav Stickley. Of course I had to find out what this museum could be. It turns out that there was a beautiful property in New Jersey that Stickley bought, and then built as a school for boys to learn a trade. The school never took off, but he lived there with his family for a short time as his country estate when he was at his most successful, furnishing every room with pieces designed especially for himself and to his specifications. I took a tour of the lovely grounds and the building with an agreeable and knowledgeable old docent. Below is the main building, called the Log House, which is filled with many of his original pieces, wall hangings and decor. Every room has been loving restored, right down to an old Cornell pennant on the wall of his daughters' room, as it was seen in photographs. Inside, the fireplaces are of brass with typical arts and crafts style mottos beaten into the metal. Everywhere are small soft golden electrical lamps hanging from posts or the ceilings, lighting the dark rooms. It's like stepping into an illustration for a proper home from the Arts & Crafts Magazines of the time. I was so pleased to come upon this hidden gem!
|The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms|
|The tour entry|
|A box of the beautiful joinery used by the Stickley craftsmen. No nails!|
|The gift shop is in the old kitchens. There was a giant stove and ice room because he thought he would have a school here.|
I wasn't allowed to take photographs inside so you can get a better idea of the treasures within by visiting their website:
a Studio by the Sea