Local Craftsmen Add Pieces to Government House Collection by Bethany Ziegler
“It’s very satisfying to … be a part of that whole history,” said McMartin. Calling it history is an understatement. Each piece of furniture at Government House is in the care and custody of the Maryland State Archives in perpetuity. This means that while each governor and their family members are able to use the pieces while living there, they stay in the house once new leadership is elected. And the folks at the archives are protective, too ~ they’re the stewards of furniture dating back to the 1700s, and maintain it all exceptionally well. “It’s a great feeling to know that, barring some calamity, they’ll be cared for for generations, centuries even,” Beggins said. “There’s
In the heart of Annapolis is the Maryland State House, the seat of our state government. Just across the street from that sits Government House, the official residence for the sitting governor ~ currently Larry Hogan ~ and his family. And just inside Government House, can be found a number of pieces of furniture that originated in Talbot County. All hand-crafted by McMartin & Beggins Furniture Makers, the most recent of these pieces ~ two walnut console tables ~ were delivered in September, just about a month after a Wye Oak center table went to the same place. This delivery brought the number of McMartin & Beggins pieces built for the State to a total of five, including the governor’s desk itself, a piece also made of the mighty Wye Oak, the official state tree of Maryland. The new center table boasts inlays of Black-eyed Susans, Maryland’s state flower ~ an appropriate tribute to its new home. For Jim McMartin and Jim Beggins, having built each of the state pieces is an honor.
Maryland Governor’s desk. 55