Mathews resident Catherine Brooks recently shared some information about the county’s Campeachy chair, which is on loan to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.
Brooks said that county officials discovered the chair when they cleaned out the second floor of the old courthouse in the 1960s.
Older residents remembered the chair being in the judge’s office, said Brooks, and since the leather on the seat was split from side to side and the front edge of it was very worn, they asked Brooks and her husband, the late Elwood Kirby Brooks Jr., to reupholster the chair. They were told to use leather as close as possible to the color of the original leather as well as solid brass nails and leather gimp.
Officials knew the chair was pre-Civil War, said Brooks, because there was no record as to when the county obtained the chair or whether it was purchased or donated.
Brooks and her husband purchased the leather from Payne & Company in Dayton, Ohio. They sent a swatch from the back of the chair for a color match. The padding underneath was real horsehair, said Brooks, and they replaced that, as well.