walking wheel

So I mentioned that I got a walking wheel at Christmas time, right? It wasn’t a Christmas gift exactly, so much as something that was given to me while I was visiting my family anyway. I’m actually rescuing it from my uncle’s basement. Apparently my family has this antique great wheel for generations*.

drive wheel

It has spent the last 15 or so years in my uncle’s basement and it’s probably been disassembled for 20 or 30 (maybe more) It certainly hasn’t been used except for decoration since the early 1900’s.

spinning wheel 1965 spinning wheel 1960

However we have these photos of it (assembled and with all it’s parts at least in 1960) from when my mom was a kid. Although in the second one you can see the drive wheel is already missing a spoke, and the head has been stashed somewhere, probably for safe keeping…

miner head

It’s still in really good shape, although it’s missing a few key bits (which may or may not turn up now that I’ve described them to my uncle) But the wheel head (above) and the drive wheel itself are in really good shape.

drive wheel nails

I believe that after a good wash with murphy’s oil soap, a good rubbing down with oil and some replacement parts I’ll be able to get it spinning again.


I’m very excited about this, in fact my whole family is! We’ve managed to figure out that its original owner was my great-great-great-great grandmother Nancy Minot

nancy minot

Her husband was a ship’s carpenter. We’ve learned that the Miner’s heads were apparently made by a company in Chesterfield NH and sold on their own. All this leads us to believe there’s a really good chance that my great-great-great-great grandfather made this wheel in the 1850’s for his new bride!

*a spinning wheel in my family, and it took HOW MANY years for someone to mention it to me??


5 responses to “walking wheel

  1. So cool! I look forward to seeing your progress restoring it. What a treasure!

  2. That is awesome! Do keep us updated on your progress with restoration and any further family history connected to it.

  3. Wow! That’s an awesome story and a wonderful object to have in you family for so many generations.

  4. It’s FANTASTIC! A little elbow grease and I bet it’ll be even a bit better (if that’s possible).

    I had the same conversation with my gram. Who remembered her mother had a wheel in the family homestead house which then got tossed on the trash heap at some point. Just typing that pains me. :P

  5. This is like Antiques Road Show on the net!! Your family has a great history, and I would love to know more! Things I find priceless, my husband views as junk.

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