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Folsom Family Furniture, Or Not?

Part of Angel’s Hill Historic District in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, the New England-style Greek Revival Folsom House was completed in 1855 by W.C. Folsom, a lumber baron and state politician. It is now a historic site managed by the Minnesota Historical Society, overlooking downtown Taylors Falls and the St. Croix River.

The house is almost entirely furnished with items from the Folsom family, so site managers presumed the two oak armchairs in the dining room labeled “STATE OF MINN” were a gift to W.C. Folsom upon his retirement from the Minnesota State Senate in 1877.

Over time, Folsom House employees realized the chairs were of a later provenance, and that they came from the 1905 Capitol Building. Indeed, these are 1087 Armchairs purchased by Cass Gilbert for Capitol offices, and Mr. Folsom never sat in them. While the Folsom family’s furniture fills most of the house, Minnesota Historical Society likely brought the State Capitol chairs to the house in the late 1960s, when the Society took over operations and became site managers of the property. The additions from the MNHS collections made the house feel more fully furnished and suitable for visitors. As of the completion of the CGS furnishings project, the chairs remain in the Folsom House dining room.

Resources and Links

Folsom House http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/folsom-house

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1087 Armchair

  • Attention To Detail: p23
  • Made by Marble & Shattuck Chair Company 1905
  • Size (cm): width 53, height 97, depth 46
  • Purchased by Cass Gilbert for offices throughout the Capitol

Inventory

  • 1905 order: 75
  • 1989 total: 18
  • 2017 found outside of Capitol: 4

Location

(2) Folsom House, Taylors Falls, MN

Current Use

Dining room of Folsom House; because not original to the house, they are not always interpreted for visitors on tours.

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