The Historic Pen Company: Where History Comes to Life
The Historic Pen Company offers our customers the opportunity to purchase and exhibit not only one of a kind hand-made, unique wood products and gifts of historical significance, but also an expanding line handcrafted product and gifts made from materials other than wood that have been reclaimed and salvaged from structures and in some cases trees of historical and/or cultural significance.
HPC acquires artifacts from the John S. Reigart Collection
John S. Reigart was born in 1833/34 in New York City where he resided for most of his life. In his occupation as a bank clerk, Reigart took pride in record keeping and precise penmanship as evidenced not only by his record books but also in the way he detailed the identification labels he often affixed to pieces in his collection of American Historical Artifacts.
During the mid and late 19th century Reigart assembled a comprehensive collection of "relics" from every period of America's history. Clearly aware of the importance of provenance, Reigart included detailed documentation for all of the pieces in his extensive collection in the form of period ink script notes, many of which he attached to the actual artifacts.
Reigart's collection was discovered in the estate of a deceased Connecticut book dealler and pieces have been authenticated by some of the largest auction houses in America.
HPC is proud to have been able to acquire several Witness Wood® pieces of the Reigart Collection some of which will be repurposed into opne of a kind Hierloom pens. HPC is committed to preserving the memory, vision and collection of John S. Reigart and only items that are decaying and a state where their fragility puts them at risk of being lost forever to history will be stabilized and repurposed.
Nepoleon's escape from Elba!
HPC has recently acquired from a California Museum collection, a one of a kind, piece of teak Witness Wood®, originally milled in Austrailia, from the vessel La Natalie.
La Natalie, which sank in1833, is a very interesting ship with a more interesting history. Originally, La Natalie, was a French sloop of war named the Inconstant, the vessel used by Napoleon to escaped from Elba to France. It was then captured by allied powers and sold to a Mexican trading company, which was then sold to the United States as a merchant vessel.
Traveling to Monterey Bay, La Natalie carried Mexican national Don Jose Abrego when she sank on December 1, 1833. In 1834, wood recovered from the La Natalie was used by Don Jose Abrego to build Casa Abrego, a wonderful example of early 19th century adobe construction, which still stands and is preserved as a California State Historic Site in Monterey.
This is an amazing piece of Witness Wood® that drew much attention through the years.
Following a storm in 1924 that exposed the vessel, there were literally hundreds of article about “Natalie” nationwide, including the magazine section of the New York Times of October 26th that contained an article called “Last of Napoleon's Ship of Hope”.
The article is descriptive of the "Natalie" which was dug up so recently out of the sand of Monterey Bay. This ship was wrecked December 1st 1833 and was later identified by a French officer as the French sloop of war "Inconstant". Napoleon sailed from Elba on the "Inconstant" Feb. 20, 1815 an landed a week later near Cannes, France, just 100 days before the Battle of Waterloo. The sloop was later sold to a Mexican Trading company, who in turn sold her to an American company who changed her name to "Natalie".
The French officer identified the "Natalie" as the "Inconstant" in 1846. Part of the bow was salvaged long before the turn of the century and was housed in the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
This unique piece of Witness Wood® is in amazing condition considering this vessel sank 181 years ago and the wood sat in the ocean for almost 100 years. The wormholes throughout, sand and decomposing areas will prove challenging to our Master Pen Makers.
HPC release first Handcrafted Solid Sterling Silver and Witness Wood® Cuff Links
HPC has just released the first sets of CUFF LINKS handcrafted by HPC's Silversmith. Each cuff link is made of Solid Sterling Sliver with a solid Silver post and feature the name of the Witness Wood® as well as our trademark Witness Wood® slogan molded into each design.
The Witness Wood® face is expertly handcrafted and then assembled by artisan woodcrafter Tim Kipps and comes with not only a Certificate of Authenticity that describes the Witness Wood® used in its creation but a silver polishing cloth to keep your heirloom looking like new even after years of use. MORE...
Abraham Lincoln 4 piece Limited Edition
HPC's exclusive Solid Sterling Silver design features our trademarked Witness Wood® slogan cast into the nose cone and is made with very rare wood from Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace in Hodgenville, KY. Pieces of the wood were sold in 1920 by the Ladies Lincoln League to raise money for the building of a library. Very few pieces have survived and HistoryPens.com was thrilled to have recovered a piece that has been turned into a 4 piece Limited Edition Heirloom Collection for and available at the Allen Edmonds Shoe Company. www.AllenEdmonds.com
REMEMBER THE MAINE!
HPC recently acquired a part of a museum collection that included a small piece of the USS Maine and will create one HPC custom designed Solid Sterling Silver heirloom pen and matching set of cuff links for this very rare piece of US History.
The blowing up of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbor on the evening of February 15, 1898 and the loss of almost 300 American souls was a critical event on the road to that Spanish-American War.
The destruction of Maine did not cause the U.S. to declare war on Spain, but it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse. In addition, the sinking and deaths of U.S. sailors rallied American opinion more strongly behind armed intervention.
The phrase "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!" became a rallying cry for action, which came with the Spanish-American War later that year.
This piece of the USS Maine was recovered in 1911 when the Navy Department ordered a board of inquiry after Congress voted funds for the removal of the wreck of Maine from Havana Harbor. U.S. Army engineers built a cofferdam around the sunken battleship, thus exposing it, and giving naval investigators an opportunity to examine and photograph the wreckage in detail. READ MORE…
HPC releases new Exclusive White House Witness Wood® Twist
The White House Witness Wood® Twist is part of HistoryPens.com’s Solid Silver Collection of fine writing instruments made from exclusively designed custom made hardware and featuring Witness Wood® from historic sites, buildings and events over the past 300 years.
The White House Witness Wood® Twist Ballpoint Pen is created using solid 925 Sterling Silver hardware and Heart Pine removed from the White House during the 1927 renovation. Click Here to Purchase...
USS Constellation pens to be produced
The Historic Pen Company secures Witness Wood® acquired from and certified by the U.S. Naval Historical Display Center, removed when the “original” USS Constellation, after being laid up in Norfolk, VA from 1845-1853, was “broken up” before the building and launch of the second USS Constellation in 1854.
USS Constellation was a 38-gun frigate, one of the “Six Original Frigates” authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. She was distinguished as the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea and the first U.S. Navy vessel to engage and defeat an enemy vessel. Constructed in 1797, she was decommissioned in 1853. Constellation was built in Baltimore and launched on 7 September 1797.
On February 9, 1799, she fought and captured the French frigate Insurgente. This was the first major victory by an American-designed and built warship. In February 1800, Constellation fought the French frigate Vengeance. Although Vengeance was not captured or sunk, she was so badly damaged that her captain intentionally grounded the ship to prevent her from sinking. Constellation was struck in 1853 and broken up. Some timbers were re-used in the building of a new Constellation.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace rare find!
HPC has acquired an original, vintage piece of wood from the Abraham Lincoln Farm in Hodgenville, Kentucky. The Ladies Lincoln League and the Lincoln Farm Association sold this rare wood piece in the 1920's to raise money for the funding of a library to compliment the proposed monument and memorial building on the site. This original piece of wood is from the farm where Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809. This is an incredible and rare piece of Lincoln history as most of the pieces from the period have been lost to time. We have only seen one other piece available at auction in 2011 and research shows one piece that was sold at auction in 2007.
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace site is today part of the National Parks system, thus no wood artifact or any other artifact can be removed legally from the property.
This rare find still has glued to it the vintage tag that reads:
"This "Wood" is from the Lincoln Farm.
Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
Ladies Lincoln League.
For Library Fund.
The tag itself shows the signs of normal wear and its 100 years.
The Ladies Lincoln League would eventually turn the site over to the control of the Nation Park Service but prior to that, the site became a national landmark and the Ladies Lincoln League was responsible for raising money for capital projects and preservation of the site.
The Historic Pen Company will turn this find into hopefully 3 unique fine writing instruments to commemorate the life of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
Please contact: Bob@HistoricPenCompany.com with any inquiries.
The Limited Edition of just 38 numbered pieces of the James Madison Ornament is made from the Belle Grove Mulberry Tree that welcomed visitors as they approached the Birthplace of James Madison: Belle Grove Plantation entrance for more than 200 years.
Present from colonial times, the Belle Grove Mulberry Tree bore witness from America’s Revolutionary period, stood while the White House burned during the War of 1812 while James Madison served as our 4th President, saw both Union and Confederate troops crisscross her grounds during the Civil War, witnessed the pursuit of America’s most notorious assassin, and saw innumerable innovations, inventions and changes to our culture and way of life through the 20th century and into the 21st century, until she succumbed to disease and had to be removed in May 2013.
The James Madison Ornament was cut and engraved with an image of our 4th President on the front and a brief provanance as well as the edition number and the piece number of the edition .
What a great way to show your pride in America by owning and displaying this Limited Edition ornament of a Founding Father, President and Father of both the Constitution and Bill of Rights!
This is a rare opportunity to own a one of a kind, handcrafted piece of art, an heirloom that can be passed down to the next generation only adding to the history that the "Witness Tree" that was the Belle Grove Mulberry has already absorbed!
HPC secure wood from Ford's Theatre
The Historic Pen Company has secured a rare piece of Americana in the form of a small piece if of wood removed during the 1960 remodeling of Ford's Theatre.
Ford’s Theatre continues to celebrate the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education. Today Ford's Theatre is not only a working theatre but an historical monument, world-class museum and learning center, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in Washington, D.C., to explore and celebrate Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.
In 1861 theatre manager John T. Ford leased out the abandoned First Baptist Church on Tenth Street to create Ford’s Theatre and over the next few years, the venue became a popular stage for theatrical and musical productions. On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincolnvisited Ford’s for his twelfth time for a performance of Our American Cousin. At this performance, John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln; he died the next morning in the Petersen House, a boarding house located across the street. Ford’s Theatre remained closed for more than 100 years.
Because the pen has square holes in it from the square cut nails used during original construction, HPC expects to get on 2 high quality fine writing instruments from this wonderful example of “Witness Wood” and is currently deciding how to best utilize this amazing piece of American History.
For more information contact, Bob@HistoricPenCompany.com
Rare Civil War Naval artifact - USS Undine
The Historic Pen Company has acquired a rare piece of Civil War Naval history in the form of a small piece if the USS Undine.
The USS Undine was a steam-powered Civil War gunboat converted by the Union from a sternwheeler into a lightly armored vessel carrying eight (8) brass twenty-four (24) pound howitzers.1 On October 30, 1864, the Undine was captured by Confederate forces, after an engagement on the Tennessee River near Paris Landing. On November 2 of the same year, the Undine, now under Confederate command, was badly damaged and escaped to Reynoldsburg Island after an engagement with Union gunboats. There, two days later, on November 4, 1864, the Undine was burned to the waterline by Confederate forces to prevent her recapture by Union gunboats attacking Reynoldsburg Island.
This piece of white oak was removed from the Undine in 1925 when extremely low water exposed part of the hull. It wasn’t until 1990 when diver for a local preservation company “refound” the Undine and began a salvage operation and planed to raise the Undine, which has been under 40 feet of water since the construction of the Gilbertsville, KY Dam in 1940.
HPC hopes to get 2 pens out of the 6 inch piece of hull and is currently reviewing options to best utilize this amazing piece of “Witness Wood” and turn it into historic heirlooms that can be displayed for generations.
For more information contact, Bob@HistoricPenCompany.com
Stonewall Jackson Prayer Tree Fountain Pen
The Historic Pen Company is proud to offer ONE Stainless Steel Fountain Pen as part of our Civil War Collection: produced from "Witness Wood" and "Witness Timber" from historically significant Civil War sites.
The General "Stonewall" Jackson Stainless Steel - Fountain Pen features the Historic Pen Company's Custom Designed Stainless Steel hardware featuring an HPC - Witness Wood Jewel and is made from a piece of the 350 year old tree that General Stonewall Jackson stopped to pray under following the end of his Shenandoah Valley campaign in May and June of 1862.
HPC has acquired several historic pieces of the massive oak that stood proudly on the edge of a farm field owned by Warren and Catherine Wilkerson and their family until May 27, 2011 when the diseased-weakened oak was blown down by high winds. HPC acquired these pieces with the express purpose of repurposing this "Witness Wood" into several hand-made heirloom custom and exclusively designed pens for the discerning collectors, Civil War buffs and/or the ancestors of one of those who served with one of the great military figures in US History.
General Jackson and 15,000 men encamped between the Middle and South Rivers, gathered for prayer beneath this tree and as history and lore would remember, it became known as the "Stonewall Jackson Prayer Tree"
The Historic Pen Company created this General "Stonewall" Stainless Steel - Fountain Pen and all of our Civil War Collection pens to commemorate all those who gave blood and treasure in the Civil War and to honor all US Servicemen and women who fought from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan to preserve our freedom and way of life.
We hope the owner of this cherished piece of American history will be as proud to own it as we are to have created it. To View or Purchase, Click Here...
First Pen from Sam Houston Pecan Tree
This was the first time we worked with Pecan. It is a custom made pen, using 22K Gold Plate hardware and is made from the Sam Houston Pecan Tree……The house Sam Houston loved best was the one at Huntsville in which he resided for nearly twenty years.
In the south corner of the spacious yard only the stump remains of this native pecan which grew into a beautiful tree of immense proportions. This magnificent tree died in 1974. According to Houston’s granddaughter, Mrs. Jennie Morrow Decker of Houston, her grandfather planted the tree in 1847. While returning from a trip, he had need of a buggy whip to spur his lazy horse. Having none, he stopped beside the road and pulled up a small pecan sapling, which served his purpose well. Arriving at his home, he saw that the roots were still intact, so he planted the sapling in the yard and it grew.
The Sam Houston Pecan produced a fruit which was small but quite delicious. For many years, its pecans were distributed to Texas schools and colleges by Sam Houston State University at Huntsville. A number of the nuts also were sent to other state capitols and to the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The old home place is now a Texas shrine and is located in Huntsville.
HPC acquires amazing piece of Civil War history, Beauvoir, the retirement home of Jefferson Davis
The Historic Pen Company has acquired wood from Beauvoir Plantation, Home of Jefferson Davis.
Severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis has finally been restored and HPC has been fortunate to acquire a piece of the original front porch that was cut away during the restoration.
Unfortunately, along with Beauvoir many of the original artifacts, documents, furniture and art were also damaged and destroyed when the Estate was in the path of Katrina, but finally eith years later, Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Prsidential Library has been rebuilt, restored and open to the public.
HPC feels extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to secure this small piece of history attached to one of the key players in not just the War Between The States but also one of the amazing military and political leaders of the 19th century.
Check our store, www.HistoryPens.com as we will be blogging about what pens we will be able to create from this unique piece of American and Civil War History.
HistoryPens.com secures wood from revamped Ocean City, NJ Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ - October 28, 2013 - HPC has secured a quantity of boardwalk wood removed from the beautiful Ocean City Boardwalk during a recent repair and restoration. Although the quantity is limited, HPC will create several ornament and magnet designs to compliment product made from Ocean City's sister New Jersey Boardwalks in Atlantic City, Point Pleasant Beach, Wildwood, Ocean Grove, Belmar and Seaside Heights, including a 2013 Christmas Ornament. Please visit our Online Store for more information...
White House wood acquired from the 1927 and 1950 reconstruction
The Historic Pen Company has acquired several pieces of wood that were removed and made available to the public following the 1927 and the 1950 renovations of the White House.
In 1927, Calvin Coolidge, tired of the leaky roof, had the attic space expanded into a full third floor by constructing a steel-frame story atop the brick and mortar walls of 1800. The added weight contributed to the failure of the structure by 1949, according to the Corps of Engineers' report, prompting the 1950 or Truman Reconstruction.
HPC, is accessing the stability of the wood and hopes to get a "few" pens made from this wood, some of which goes back to James Madison's rebuilding of the White House following the War of 1812, when it was burned down by British troops.
Our first pen will be part of our Sterling Silver Collection followed by our exclusive Stainless Steel design. Please check back regularly and email us any questions at Bob@HistoricPenCompany.com. This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of American History in the for of "Witness Wood" of the most famous residence in the world.
Christ Church, Philadelphia
The Historic Pen Company has acquired architechural pieces of Christ Church in Philadelphia, PA.
HPC will work on the development of a couple of pen styles that will be made from 1700 and 1800's artifacts removed and replaced in 1902, 1922 and 1968 including not only wood details but a piece of slate tile, iron hinges and latches and cir. 1700's lathe nails.
Members of the Church of England, who built a small wooden church on the site, founded Christ Church in 1695. When the congregation outgrew this structure some twenty years later, they decided to erect a new church, the most sumptuous in the colonies. The main body of the church was constructed between 1727 and 1744, and the steeple was added in 1754, making it the tallest building in North America at the time, at 60 meters. Christ Church is considered one of the nation's most beautiful surviving 18th-century structures, a monument to colonial craftsmanship and a handsome example of Georgian architecture. For more info...
Washington Elm - Silver
The Historic Pen Company is introducing the only Washington Elm Pen to be made for our Sterling Silver Collection.
The "Washington Elm" is the Elm tree under which General George Washington assumed Command of the American Army during the Revolutionary War, July 3, 1775. Although our Master Pen Maker has struggled with wood that HPC was able to acquire from the collection of the now defunct Frank P. Blair Post No. 1, Department of Missouris, Grand Army of the Republic. This rare piece of "Washington Elm" that stood until it succumed to disease in 1923 was presented to the Frank P. Blair Post No. 1 of the GAR, by Thomas H. Lucy of William H. Smart Post No. 30 of Cambridge Mass in 1923. For More Info...
"Old Ironsides" - USS Constitution
The Historic Pen Company has added a quantity of wood and hardware from the original 1927 reconstruction of the most famous US Navy Ship in US History, the Frigate USS Constitution, nicknamed "Old Ironsides" when British Royal Navy cannon balls bounced off the hull of the Constitution during the it battle and capture of HMS Guerriere, a turning point in the War of 1812.
Additionally, HPC secure some wood removed from Old Ironsides during the 1973 restoration as preperations were being made for the nations Bi-Centennial.
HPC will be releasing a limited quantity of our new custom Sterling Silver pens as well as our not yet released custom Stainless Steel design.
The first pens for our Sterling Silver Collection will be available the last week in September, so check back regularly or send us an email to reserve your heirloom pen made from some of the the country's most important "Witness Wood".
HMS Victory Rollerball - made from HMS Victory oak with Rhodium and Black Titanium hardware
HPC is going to sell you "The Brooklyn Bridge" !!!!
The Historic Pen Company has just acquired 2 small pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the architectural wonders of the Industrial Revolution.
Over the next several weeks HPC will be evaluating the integrity of the wood to determine just what type of pens we will be able to turn from these pieces that were made into paperweights and distributed in 1983 as part of the 100th Anniversary Celebrations of this Iconic Engineering Wonder.
Please come back for updates, as we expect to only be able to get 2-4 pens from these historic pieeces of Americana.
You can also check our Blog for updates!
HMS Victory - Lord Nelson - Battle of Trafalgar
The Historic Pen Company is proud to introduce the first pen made from a small collection of wood from arguably the most famous ship in the history of the British Royal Navy - His Majesty's Ship Victory.
The HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Nay, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is most famous as Lord Nelson's flag ship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The world's oldest commissioned warship, HMS Victory was taken into dry dock in 1922 in very poor condition and HPC has been able to secure a few pieces of Pitch Pine, Oak and Teak along with two small pieces of copper that were part of the 30+ tons of materials removed and replaced as part of the 1922 restoration program that returned her to her Trafalgar configuration.
The HMS Victory - Silver and Teak is a one of a kind pen made from the piece of HMS Victory teak wood and features HPC's exclusive Solid Silver hardware in a slim line design. Purchase...
Country Music fans: HPC secures a piece of Grand Ole Opry Stage
The Historic Pen Company has acquired a small section of the STAGE FLOOR of the Grand Ole Opry House! Between 1974 and 1980 this stage flooring laid beneath the feet of Presidents, royalty, astronauts, foreign dignitaries and the greatest stars in the word of Country Music.
HPC hopes to be able to get 2 fine quality pens out of the piece of the Opry Stage Floor that if it could speak would proudly tell you about the appearances of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan and George Bush. It would talk about visits from Princess Grace of Monaco, UN Ambassadors, Apolo and Soyuz crew members and rock star Bruce Springsteen. And just a few of the immortal Country Music Stars who's footsteps this "Witness Wood" would be familiar with include: Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Rickey Scaggs, Barnara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.
Stay tuned, HPC will shortly know if we can get 1 or 2 pens from this historic piece of American Entertainment History. If you are a fan of Country Music this is a must, a rare heirloom that you will be proud to dispaly, use and pass down to future generations.
HPC preparing exclusive custom designed pens styles for Fall 2013 release
The Historic Pen Company will release 3 new custom pens this fall that will enhance the exclusivity and collectability of our historically significant "Witness Wood" products.
In keeping with our mission of preserving and repurposing historically significant and rare woods and other materials that would otherwise be lost to history, HPC is developing a series of custom made and exclusive pen designs and hardware from precious and semi-precious metals that will be available exclusively through HPC.
The first three releases will include two pens whose hardware is made from .999 fine Silver and one that will be Stainless Steel.
HPC is very excited about these additions and will continue to develop new and exciting custom designs that will add to the heirloom pieces that we preserve.
The Old North Church 1723
HPC has recently acquired a beautiful piece of an original wooden beam from Boston's famed Old North Church of Paul Revere and Revolutionary War fame.
The Old North Church is where the famed "1 if by Land, 2 if by Sea" lights were shined, warning people of the approach of the British. This piece was part of a beam originally installed in the church in 1723 and was replaced during a renovation in the 1980s.
It was sold at the time to a Director of the UACC who has been a leading memorabilia and autograph expert since 1968. For more information about the Universal Autograph Collectors Club visit: http://uacc.org/about.php
HPC hopes to be able to get 2 unique pens out of this historical piece of American History.
One If by land, Two if by sea
The enduring fame of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
Founded in 1722, Christ Church in the City of Boston, known to all as the Old North Church, is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and most visited historical site. In 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the majority of the congregation were loyal to the British King and many held official positions in the royal government, including the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, making Robert Newman’s loyalty to the Patriot cause even more extraordinary. The King gave the Old North’s its silver that was used at services and a bible.
In addition to the Old North Church, the Old North campus also includes the 1713 Clough House, one of Boston’s oldest surviving brick residences; a chapel built in 1918 for Italian immigrants, which now serves as the Old North gift shop; two adjoining townhouses, used for administrative, educational, social, civic, and parish programs; three large courtyards, and two formal gardens.
Each year, a half a million visitors make the trip to Boston to experience this unique and stirring monument to liberty.
Please visit our company store to see this and other items of historic signifigance: www.HistoryPens.com
Birthplace of James Madison
HPC has just released the first pens made from the Belle Grove Plantation Mulberry Tree to commemorate Belle Grove Plantation the birthplace of our 4th Prsident, James Madison.
The Belle Grove Collection has been established to commemorate the extraordinary history that is Belle Grove Plantation in Port Conway, Virginia.
Belle Grove Plantation is the birthplace of our 4th President and "Father of the Boll of Rights", James Madison.
As well as being the ancestral home of his mother, Nelly Conway Madison, who returned home to her parents Belle Grove Plantation to give birth to her first child, Founding Father and future President: James Madison, Belle Grove history is intertwined with that of Virginia from its colonial beginnings in 1668, through the Civil War where the Port Royal/Port Conway area saw constant movement of Union and Confederate Troops.
Although its Civil War history is just now being researched in detail, it is known that on morning of April 24, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth and David Harold used the ferry at Belle Grove to cross the Rappahannock River to Port Royal where they stopped at Garrett’s Farm just 3 miles away. That afternoon, the detachment pursuing Booth and Harold, arrived at Belle Grove Plantation, where they rested in the front yard and were offered a meal. One of the officers, Lt. Everton Congar, was even allowed to sleep in the front hallway of Belle Grove. A short time later, the detachment crossed on the same ferry as Booth and Harold, and on April 26, 1865, the detachment caught up with Booth and Harold at Garrett’s Farm, capturing Harold and killing Booth.
The Belle Grove Collection will include several fine writing instruments and other items produced from recently removed trees and other materials that are being removed due to disease, maintenance, restoration and preservation. The first several items will be produced from a centerpiece Mulberry Tree that sat on the Bowling Green directly in front of the main entrance. After years of attempts to save the this enormous beauty, she finally succumbed to disease and infestation and it was necessary to take "her" down in April 2013 to prevent damage to the main house. For more information or to purchase click here...
Check Us Out in Civil War News!
"Washington Elm" Pens are a real Challenge!
As several of our customers await the creation of HPC pens made from the famed "Washington Elm", the Elm tree under which General George Washington assumed Command of the American Army during the Revolutionary War, July 3, 1775, our Master Pen Maker has struggled with wood that HPC was able to acquire from the collection of the now defunct Frank P. Blair Post No. 1, Department of Missouris, Grand Army of the Republic. This rare piece of "Washington Elm" that stood until it succumed to disease in 1923 was presented to the Frank P. Blair Post No. 1 of the GAR by Thomas H. Lucy of William H. Smart Post No. 30 of Cambridge Mass in 1923.
Our hopes were to get 5 or 6 pens from this very fragile and dried out piece of the elm and although we took great care in stabilizing and turning the wood, our results were not as expected. Considering the nature of the wood, it looks like there will be only enough wood for 4 pens, that means only 4 lucky collectors will be able to add these rare beauties to their collection.
The first of these heirloom works of art has been completed for a Morris County, NJ Revolutionary War buff and its photo available here.
HPC will be working on the next pen before the end of June for another customer, that leaves only two of opportunities left to own a true piece of American Revolutionary War "Witness Wood" in the form of an heirloom pen that we hope will be passed down and revered for generations. Click Here to Purchase or Review
Check out HPC's ad in each monthly addition of Civil War News. Visit this address and receive 2 free issues of this amazing monthly newspaper, perfect timing for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg...
HPC makes pen for President Obama
In this the Centennial Anniversary Year of the Borough of Seaside Heights, New Jersey and at the request of the Borough of Seaside Heights and specifically Mayor William Akers and Special Events Director, Michael Graichen, the Historic Pen Company was commissioned to create a high quality writing instrument to commemorate the May 28, 2013 visit of President Barack Obama to the Jersey Shore and to the community.
Following the devastation of Super Storm Sandy on October 29, 2012 and the destruction of the famous Seaside Heights Boardwalk, the continued support of people nationwide has served to strengthen the community during its recovery. Continued support through the Office’s of Governor Chris Christie and President Barack Obama and the visit on this the 29th day of May, 2013 by President Barack Obama to experience first hand the recovery efforts from the devastation that struck the New Jersey coast, is most appreciated and commemorated in creation of this one of a kind, handcrafted fountain pen made from Original Seaside Heights Boardwalk wood.
The President Barack Obama fountain pen was handcrafted by Historic Pen Company’s Master Pen Maker, John Greco over a period of 3 days: May 25-28, 2013. It is made from Authentic Seaside Heights Original Boardwalk Wood salvaged by the Borough of Seaside Heights during the clean up following Superstorm Sandy. Each pen is 5.875 inches in length with a circumference of 2.3125 inches and is enhanced with 24K gold plated hand-carved rhodium and iridium hardware, nib and crystal clip.
Pens Made from Destroyed Boardwalk Given to Prince Harry by Seaside Heights
HISTORIC PEN COMPANY/Seaside Heights creates Original Boardwalk wood gift for Prince Harry and Governor Christie
Manahawkin, NJ - May 13, 2013: The Historic Pen Company began with a simple goal: the reclamation, salvaging and repurposing of wood and other materials from historic sites throughout the United States that would otherwise be discarded and lost to history.
Additionally, the Historic Pen Company offers a historic and culturally significant, revenue-producing alternative to support the ongoing operation of its client historic sites while also limiting the destruction of these one of a kind resources, thus preserving not only history, but the integrity of the environment through the repurposing of these materials.
In this the Centennial Anniversary Year of the Borough of Seaside Heights, New Jersey and at the request of the Borough of Seaside Heights and specifically Mayor William Akers and Special Events Director, Michael Graichen, the Historic Pen Company created a “pair” of high quality writing instruments to commemorate the May 14, 2013 visit of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales to the community.
Following the devastation of Super Storm Sandy on October 29, 2012 and the destruction of the famous Seaside Heights Boardwalk, the continued support of people worldwide has served to strengthen the community during its recovery. Continued support through the Office of Governor Christie and the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales to experience first hand the devastation that struck the New Jersey coast support this recovery.
The Governor Chris Christie and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales pens were handcrafted by Historic Pen Company’s Master Pen Maker, John Greco over a period of 5 days: May 7-12, 2013. The pair were made from Authentic Seaside Heights Original Boardwalk Wood salvaged by the Borough of Seaside Heights during the clean up following Superstorm Sandy. Each pen is 5.875 inches in length with a circumference of 2.3125 inches and is enhanced with 24K gold plated hand-carved rhodium hardware and crystal clip. Although created as a matching “pair”: because to the complexity of the Boardwalk pine and grain, each pen is a uniquely different one of a kind work of art.
The pens were presented to Governor Christie and His Royal Highness during their May 14, 2013 visit to the Borough. More...
HPC Authentics Logo
The Historic Pen Company has released its new logo for HPC Authentics, the line of larger ornaments and other items that are made from authentic historic and culturally significant woods. The HPC Authentics quill and ink logo was specifically designed to enable its engraving on the reverse of each Historic Pen Company item to guarantee the provenance of of the material signified on the item. HPC handmade pens, pencils and smaller items will still be paired with Certificates or Letters of Authenticity, but the HPC Authentics logo will serve as your guarantee that the item you acquire is made from the material it represents.
Gettysburg 1863 Fountain Pen finds a new home!
"Hellmira" - Infamous Civil War Union Prison Camp - Elmira Prison Pens
The Historic Pen Company has just made available the first several pens in a series made from Elmira Prison, 1864-1865.
Elmira Prison Camp, Elmira, NY - in use from July 6, 1864, until the fall of 1865, was dubbed "Hellmira" by its inmates.
During the 15 months the site was used as a prisoner of war camp more than 12,100 Confederate soldiers were incarcerated there; of these, nearly 25% (2,963) died from a combination of malnutrition, continued exposure to harsh winter weather, disease from the poor sanitary conditions, and a lack of medical care. The camp's dead were prepared for burial and laid to rest by the sexton, an ex-slave named John W. Jones, at what is now Woodlawn National Cemetery. At the end of the war, each prisoner was required to take a loyalty oath and given a train ticket home. The last prisoner left the camp on September 27, 1865. The camp was then closed, demolished and converted to farmland.
In 1866 the Confederate Officers Quarters was dismantled and the wood was used to build 4 houses in a row on Grey Street. A recent renovation to one of these documented homes afforded HPC to purchase from the owner, the original construction spruce, yellow oak, hemlock and black walnut lumber being removed so an addition to the house could be constructed.
This is truly a rare opportunity for any collector, Civil War historian or buff or genealogists who’s ancestors served, were incarcerated or died at this infamous Union Prison where the mortality rate of 25% was exceed only by the Confederate Prison Camp Andersonville (29%).
To do this “Witness Wood” justice, HPC has created a series of pens that include the first in our Solid Silver Collection, pens that will not only be made of the rarest and most historic of woods but also include 100% solid silver fittings and hardware. Click Here To Purchase and see more…
HPC has acquired a 10” round piece of the famous Lincoln Oak tree
The Lincoln Oak was a large oak tree in Bloomington, Il under which both Abraham Lincoln and Stephan Douglas gave several speeches throughout the 1850’s. Although the Lincoln Oak was not a site of one of the famed Lincoln/Douglas Debates, it was the site of many exciting political speeches.
Located in an area of Bloomington, IL known as Dimmett’s Grove when Lincoln and Douglas spoke there between 1855 and 1860, a platform was typically constructed under the shade of the old oak.
The original Lincoln Oak died of disease in 1976 and was replaced in 1980 when a new oak tree was planted in its honor.
In 1976, following its removal, several pieces of the Lincoln Oak were taken to the city maintenance building where Parks Superintendent Carl Guhlstorf gave “chunks” of the Lincoln Oak to local residents who stopped by. HPC was able to acquire one of these “chunks” in February 2013.
HPC estimates the ability to make 4 or 5 Historically significant fine quality pens from this piece of Lincoln Oak. Although several dozen “chunks” of the Lincoln Oak were distributed by Superintendent Guhlstorf, this is the only known piece to have surfaced since the tree’s removal.
HPC acquires a piece of blood stained floorboard from Gettysburg Battlefield Hospital
At the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, the property owned by Daniel Sheaffer and his wife, Sheaffer's Farm, consisted of one the brick house, several outbuildings and a sawmill located on White Run Creek. The Historic Pen Company is proud to announce it has secured a small piece of the 2nd floor, floorboard of this Battlefield Hospital. More...
Seaside Heights Boardwalk Collection
The Historic Pen Company is working with the Borough of Seaside Heights during its 100th Anniversary this year, in the development of an extensive line of Seaside Heights Boardwalk Commemorative collectibles from wood and other materials. Although HPC has focused on a series of pens, window ornaments, magnets and similar items, a series of original art in the form of wood carvings and other items will be ready for the “Reopening” of the Seaside Height Boardwalk sometime this spring.
Like with all HPC product, the materials used are of historic and/or cultural significance and are limited in quantity, quality and availability, so don’t miss your opportunity to acquire a piece of NJ Shore History and the memories that come with it.
TALK ABOUT "WITNESS WOOD" - What stories this wood could tell - San Quentin State Prison
For those of family genealogist who may have had a "cousin" spend some time in San Quentin Prison in San Rafael, CA since it opened in 1852, you can now own an artifact in the form of a fine quality pen made from wood recently removed and salvaged during the deconstruction of the 1885 Italianate style Prison Hospital. More...
Wildwood Boardwalk Collection
The Historic Pen Company has just introduced the first several items in the Wildwood Boardwalk Collection made possible through HPC’s exclusive agreement with the City of Wildwood. The initial product offering includes: Fine Quality Pens, pencils, Christmas and other ornaments, key fobs, bookmarks and assorted key chains. HPC’s will regularly introduce new items and designs for our retail partners and consumers.
HPC’s artisans are extremely excited by the variety of the wood that has been replaced and repurposed into the Wildwood Boardwalk Collection. Along with an assortment of species of wood that have been introduced into the Wildwood Boardwalk over the decades and because of the various species, treatments, rot and spillage of all sorts of food and drink, HPC has created product of varying colors, grains and other interesting features.
Cedar Bridge Tavern - The Last Battle of the Revolutionary War
The City of Wildwood partners with The Historic Pen Company
The Historic Pen Company has partnered with the City of Wildwood, NJ to create an exclusive line of high quality historically significant pens and other wood products produced from wood removed from the historic Wildwood Boardwalk.
The “Wildwood Boardwalk Collection” will feature a wide range of collectible wood product that will complement a series pens to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the City of Wildwood and the memories the millions of people who have visited New Jerseys Best Beach and boardwalk over Wildwood's first 100 years.
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