Restored Victorian furniture is back in Warren County, where it was purchased over 100 years ago.
Two sofas and two chairs from the estate of David Beaty were returned to the Warren County Historical Society.
According to documentation provided as part of the transfer, the pieces were part of the collection of the Fenton History Center in Jamestown, NY
Michelle Gray, executive director of the Warren County Historical Society, said Fenton acquired pieces that were originally part of the Fenton family home and, in light of the county’s Beaty connection, donated the pieces at the Historical Society.
Gray said the Warren County Historical Society agreed to put the pieces back together some time ago, but the process was delayed by the pandemic. The pieces finally arrived about a week ago and are now on display in the company’s Victorian Parlor at its main office, 210 Fourth Ave.
Photographs supplied with the furniture show that they were once in fairly poor condition and underwent a $3,000 to $4,000 restoration in the late 1970s by Jamestown Royal Inc., which acknowledged in a letter that the repairs were “It’s going to be tedious work.”
A letter from Fenton to the restoration entity highlighted “all the favorable comments regarding the furniture” and say it “the pieces are really beautiful and add a certain grace to the museum.”
The most obvious remnants of the Beaty estate in Warren are Beaty Park and Beaty-Warren Middle School.
Information from the Warren County Historical Society explained that the Beaty property extended to Buchanan Street, and that by the 1840s the estate extended from Jackson Avenue along the Conewango north almost to Russell.
The first owner of the furniture was probably David Beaty, born in 1811 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
David was born in 1811 in Beaver County and died in 1889. He arrived in Warren County in his early twenties, initially working in the lumber industry.
As with many men of that era, it was the oil boom that proved to bring them wealth.
Beaty had set up an operation on Oil Creek south of Titusville (think Colonel Drake)
“This occupation gradually assumed greater proportions and over time absorbed all of Mr. Beaty’s time and attention”, according to Schenck’s History of Warren County.
“The boy who left home with a dollar and seventy-five cents in his pocket, and with adventurous audacity traveled 130 miles to the destination which he had chosen as the field of his labors, should succeed, and succeeded beyond his original calculations.
According to Schenck, he moved permanently to Warren after his home was completed in the early 1870s, owning an estate that exceeded 500 acres in addition to nearly 4,000 in Dakota.