29 Nov Atwood Store Sleigh to be Unveiled at Santa’s Workshop
Just in time for the holidays, a long-forgotten sleigh used to deliver provisions by the Atwood Store, once the hub of Chatham’s Main Street, was discovered under the Eldredge Garage earlier this year and, after months of careful restoration, will be open for public viewing on Saturday, Dec. 9, 1 – 4 p.m. at the Atwood House & Museum.
In fact, the sleigh has been repurposed to deliver warm gloves, hats and scarves to those in need through the Museum’s “Stuff-a-Sleigh” effort on behalf of Chatham’s Angel Fund, says executive director Danielle Jeanloz. “The sleigh has a new life here,” she says.
Visitors can see the sleigh during the Atwood House & Museum’s Santa’s Workshop event, with Richard Noyes demonstrating the craft of creating wooden toys in days gone by. All are encouraged to bring in a pair of gloves or mittens, hat or scarf to put in the sleigh for those in need.
The sleigh was discovered in the basement of the Eldredge Garage before the building was demolished in March. The sleigh is about 150 years old and emblazoned with “Atwood Store” and “Groceries” in gold lettering on its dark green paint. It has a long, open bed to accommodate large, unwieldy loads, and iron runners that curve up at the front.
Brothers Daniel Meservey of Harwich and Ronald Meservey of South Chatham underwrote the costs of recovering and restoring the sleigh. Ronald Meservey and David Alten of Harwich, who did the actual reconstruction, said that due to corroded nails, the sleigh “fell to pieces” when they tried to remove it from the Eldredge Garage. All the pieces were recovered and the sleigh was then rebuilt, repainted and mounted on a permanent platform.
The Meservey brothers donated the sleigh to the Atwood House & Museum in October in memory of William B. Eldredge and Roy B. Meservey.
The Atwood Store was one of the first markets in Chatham, opened in 1849 by Levi Atwood at the corner of Atwood Street (now Stage Harbor Road) and Cedar Street. It was later moved to Main Street, where Bluefins and Ducks in the Window now operate. The Atwood Store stayed open at that location until it was sold in 1965.
The Atwood House & Museum is located at 347 Stage Harbor Road, Chatham.
For December hours and a listing of holiday events, visit www.chathamhistoricalsociety.org.