You have to go to the auction when it's next door. Otherwise, the neighbors will talk. We went, in search of entertainment and gossip. We found both, and a couple of things to buy, as well.
The auction was a two day affair, liquidating an antiques business that has occupied the old Freedom Wright Inn for the last 45 years. The wheel in the picture was always marked 'not for sale' in the shop, as it was original with the old house, said to have belonged to Freedom Wright's wife, and marked with her initials, A.W. The wheel was nearly complete, with the foot treadle and pitman lacking, and the top part of the distaff gone, as well. The bobbin and flyer are complete, and the drive wheel is true. It shows both the correct age and wear for a spinning wheel from 1800-1810. There is a bit of linen thread still on the bobbin, so it's a good bet AW was the last person to use it. At some point (1960's I'm guessing) it received a coat of varnish, but fortunately, they did not sand it first.
Freedom Wright built the inn in 1800. He does not show up in the 1800 census, but is there in 1810, and gone in 1820. The census records of the time only recorded the head of the household, so I do not know her name.
|200 year old flax leader on the bobbin|
I will poke around until I learn more about AW. DH suggested that I start by getting the description of the land from the County records, as that would record all the owners.
If you have any suggestions for me and AW's Wheel, post a comment.