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Col. Littleton Leather Goods Made in Lynnville, TN USA
Stencil Boards

Stencil Boards

Stencil Boards

When it comes to historic restoration, it’s not unusual to face some challenges along the way. Colonel and the team have had their share during this project.  But, Colonel felt quite lucky with a particular surprise that showed up – something he’d never dream of finding.

The Legacy of Moses Eaton Comes to Lynnville, Tenn.

Payton Hewitt made a rare discovery. While checking out a nearby home being torn down in search of salvageable materials, he found some old boards that were marked with a rare stenciling. He took the boards and showed Colonel. Looking further into it, they found that this stenciling resembled a distinctive art form dating back to the 1700s that originated from a notable artist in New England. This was a rare find, and Colonel knew they would serve a special purpose.

Watch the video as Colonel explains this curious find.

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Moses Eaton and his son Moses Eaton, Jr. left a legacy across New England in the folk art design of wall stenciling.

The distinct art of wall stenciling and the patterns created by Moses Eaton date back to the 1700s in New England.   It was a popular form of decorative folk art through the 19th Century and often used as a popular alternative to wallpaper, which was considered a luxury at the time.  Moses Eaton was the original stencil artist most well-known for these particular designs, and his son carried on the trade.   It is likely that the boards Colonel has now were painted by a follower of Eaton’s work.

Nature offered much of the inspiration behind this artwork.  Colorful displays of flowers, pine boughs, flowing vines, oak leaves, flower baskets and more were symbolic  –  pineapple for hospitality, flowers for friendship, the oak leaf for strength and loyalty.

Stenciling Goes South

Followers of Eaton’s work were known to take the trade south. Stencil art was discovered in Clifton, Tennessee,  in a historic home that was saved from destruction. The home was moved to the Ames Plantation in West Tennessee and is considered to have one of the most extensive examples of this decorative painting anywhere in the region. This was likely the work of a traveling painter who utilized stencils similar to Eaton. This work has been found in other homes located in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana raising the possibility that the Stencil House painter traveled throughout the region working his trade. Though, the true identity of this painter is still largely unknown.

Read more about the Stencil House at Ames Plantation.

A Colorful Touch to the Andrew Jackson Tavern

Nothing like these stencil boards had been seen in this area before.  As Payton inspected the boards, he concluded that they had already been re-used for the house being torn down,  considering their age and probable origination.  That would make the Tavern the third time these boards have been used.

Once the boards were gathered, they were readied for use. Tacks and nails covered these boards indicating that layers of wallpaper once covered them up.  After giving them a thorough cleaning, Payton brought the boards to the tavern, lined them against the wall to match their patterns and devised a plan on how they would be placed together.  They would be installed upstairs in the tavern, on the walls and ceiling.

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Payton and Corey had to spend some time cleaning and stripping the boards of any remaining wallpaper and staples.

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Payton lined up the boards looking for similar patterns.  If he couldn’t find matching patterns, he had to devise a plan as to how they would best work together.
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Colonel decided that the entire second floor would be covered with these stencil boards.  Some of the design is bright and legible, while some is more muted. A coat of linseed oil brought out a richness in the stencil boards, which have added distinction to this historic building.

Coming Up, the Finishing Touches On the Tavern and Final Reveal!

Back to Andrew Jackson Tavern Home 

Andrew Jackson Tavern Chimney

Andrew Jackson Tavern Chimney

One of the most laborious parts of the tavern restoration was building the chimney by hand. A large portion of the reclaimed rock that had been stockpiled on Foxfire Farm was used to build the chimney. Payton and Colonel decided it should be about 28 feet high, reaching a few feet above the rooftop. Watch the video as the chimney is built from the…

Andrew Jackson Tavern Restoration – 19th Century Windows

Andrew Jackson Tavern Restoration – 19th Century Windows

The Art of Replacing 19th Century Windows One of the challenges to this building was that all the windows had to be replaced. Colonel and Payton reached into their supply of materials and found just what they needed to build new ones. New, but old – in the same style as the rest of the restoration on the building. Watch the video…

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Col. Littleton in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

Pick up the July issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and you’ll see Colonel and the town of Lynnville on page 50! They’ve included us in their article detailing “Three Charming Day Drives.”  Some of our neighbors are mentioned as well – Whitehorse Trading Company, Soda Pop Junction, Tenn South Distillery and the Lynnville Railroad Museum. Click on…

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

The Andrew Jackson Tavern – First Impression

Colonel Littleton is a preservationist at heart with an appetite for restoring old buildings and preserving the history and the stories so deeply woven into the crevices of their walls. It’s disheartening for him to watch these buildings fall to neglect. Because, “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” says Colonel.  But, when does Colonel decide to take on…

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel and the Tavern – A Love Story

Colonel is Featured in County Life Magazine Fern Greenbank, publisher of County Life Marshall Magazine and community storyteller, wrote a wonderful article about the Colonel saving the Andrew Jackson Tavern and the history that goes along with it . . . Fern writes, “The colonel is known to love good old-fashioned stories and, well, anything old. This…

Father’s Day Stellar Dad Tribute

We enjoyed reading and appreciate all the entries we received for our Father’s Day “Stellar Dad” Tribute. Congratulations to Philip Kresler, our overall winner who will receive a personalized No. 2 Shave Kit. Runners-up, who will receive a personalized No. 5 Foxfire Knife, include Rodger Klein, Michael Alltrop and Michael Boggs. Winners will be contacted…

Command Car Restoration

Command Car Restoration

THE DISCOVERY Having been a long-time aficionado of anything with wheels, and especially military vehicles, it was no surprise to anyone (especially my wife) that I ended up acquiring a 1941 Army Command Car. As you can see in these pictures, it was in need of more than a tune up. After receiving a lead from a friend, I found myself driving…

Colonel’s Christmas Poem & Story

Colonel’s Christmas Poem & Story

COLONEL LOVES CHRISTMAS TIME! All the festive lights, the big tree, presents, good food and special times with family and friends down on the farm – a true country Christmas. Even better when it’s a white Christmas! He also loves holiday stories and music to get in the mood, and he’s put a couple together for you…

Janie Pearl’s Thanksgiving Kitchen

Janie Pearl’s Thanksgiving Kitchen

THE MAGIC IN THE MEAL By 3:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, she had a chicken in every pot, a cast-iron skillet of cornbread in the oven and homemade biscuits ready to bake. These were all key ingredients for her legendary Chicken and Cornbread Dressing with her own special gravy. What she pulled off in her little…

American Buffalo by Colonel Littleton

American Buffalo by Colonel Littleton

Nothing Says “AMERICANA” like American Buffalo. Our history is filled with stories of this majestic animal that thundered across the plains in the early days of America and is forever a symbol of our heritage. Watch the video to learn more about Colonel’s vision for our unique American Buffalo products. Shop American Buffalo Collection HERITAGE…

Rancher’s Brands

Rancher’s Brands

Authentic rancher’s brands create a one-of-a-kind piece. One of our most popular categories in our PRIVATE STOCK COLLECTION features leather products made from hides with RANCHER’S BRANDS. These are authentic rancher’s brands from the hide of a western steer that are handcrafted into the design of each product right here in our Lynnville, TN workshop.…

Italian Bridle Leather

Italian Bridle Leather

Leather is one of the world’s most ancient traditions. In the old area of Santa Croce sull’Arno, Italy, in the province of Florence, street names are still dedicated to the heritage of the leather workers. This is where generation after generation of leather artisans have practiced their craft for centuries producing some of the finest…

American Alligator

American Alligator

Over the years I’ve clocked a lot of hours digging through antique shops and flea markets in search of vintage alligator pieces. American alligator is, to me, one of the most beautiful and luxurious leathers in existence and a vintage find, although rare, is certainly rewarding. The exclusivity and expense of products made of alligator…

Col. Littleton Goes TOPGUN

Patrick Rice received a special gift from his family, a personalized Col. Littleton No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase, to commemorate his achievements. Rice is serving in the TOPGUN squadron as air to air combat specialist for the US Navy. Patrick is standing in the back row, 7th from the left, US Navy and Marine Corps We…

Col. Littleton Employee Ready To Run

Col. Littleton Employee Ready To Run

Naleta Hurt is a hometown girl from nearby Cornersville and our Customer Service / Purchasing Manager at Col. Littleton, and she’s gearing up for a special race. Outside of work, while her most favorite activity is to spend precious time with her granddaughter, Ella Danielle, it is these spring months that have extra special meaning…

How Would You Caption This?

How Would You Caption This?

Here’s a letter from our customer, Mr. Houghton, who joins our special list of regular customers (whom we lovingly call “Colonel Addicts”). Mr. Houghton, please let your wife know it HAS NOT been proven that a Colonel Littleton addiction is bad for your health. We appreciate the business and know you are better off in…

Col. Littletown Takes Americana Downtown to Omni Nashville Hotel

Col. Littletown Takes Americana Downtown to Omni Nashville Hotel

Col. Littleton takes Americana traditions downtown! In November 2013, Col. Littleton gained some premium display space in the newly opened Omni Nashville Hotel’s Retail Shop, the Five and Tenn. It seems to be a natural partnership, and hundreds of visitors have already discovered our products. Located on Fifth Ave downtown, the Omni Nashville Hotel sits…

Our Craftsmanship

Our Craftsmanship

I see a real resurgence in the country today for products made in America.  Our focus is to design and create products that speak to the time-honored traditions that have made this country great such as handmade craftsmanship, authentic rich leathers and quality workmanship. There’s a nostalgic feel about the products we make . .…

Leather Notes

Leather Notes

Notes About Our Leather Col. Littleton leather goods are made from full-grain cowhide, handcrafted in true Americana fashion. Most of the hides (with the exception of Italian Bridle Leather, which we use primarily for belts) are tanned especially for us at a small tannery just down the road. Our Master Leathersmith hand grades and hand…

All In the Family

All In the Family

We love to see how appreciation for our “functional works of art” is rooted in a family. This letter came from our customer Captain Zachary Lanier Nash, United States Air Force (Pictured on the right here). (Pictured: Dr. Christoph Halfmann and Captain Zachary Nash sporting their No. 5 Cinch Belts) Dear Col. Littleton, One hundred…

Dave Ramsey visits Col. Littleton Leather Workshop

Dave Ramsey visits Col. Littleton Leather Workshop

Financial author, fellow Tennessean and all-around good guy, Dave Ramsey stopped by Col. Littleton Friday for the 50 cent tour. (We all hid our credit cards.) Dave and his friend, (and Col. Littleton customer) Barry McCall, visited with Colonel getting a firsthand look at our leather manufacturing workshop.  The tour ended with a visit to our Private Stock and Classic…

Col. Littleton Underwrites Two Nationally Syndicated Programs on PBS

Col. Littleton Underwrites Two Nationally Syndicated Programs on PBS

In the fall of 2013 Col. Littleton joined companies such as Nissan, Griffin Technologies and The Nature Conservancy in underwriting two musical programs – Music City Roots and Bluegrass Underground – for American Public Television.  The shows air in tens of millions of homes in markets that cover about 75% of all US households.  Check your…

Colonel’s New Year’s Resolutions

Colonel’s New Year’s Resolutions

I have always felt that New Year’s resolutions should be  made to improve your life and enhance the lives of others. So with that in mind, my New Year’s resolutions are as follows… 1. Hug more pretty girls… 2. Eat more banana puddin’! 3. Finish the restoration of my 1942 Dodge Command Car. 4. Give more of my money to the government… 5.…

Colonel’s Favorite Christmas Poem

Colonel’s Favorite Christmas Poem

Colonel’s favorite Christmas poem that he loves to read year after year. Jest ‘Fore Christmas  FATHER calls me William, sister calls me Will, MOTHER calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill! Mighty glad I ain’t a girl — ruther be a boy, Without them sashes curls an’ things that’s worn by Fauntleroy! LOVE to chawnk green apples an’ go swimmin’ in the lake — HATE to take the castor-ile they give…

War Hero Moves to Lynnville – Part 3

War Hero Moves to Lynnville – Part 3

War Hero Moves to Lynnville Welcome Home Celebration Part III After breaking ground on Veteran’s Day 2011, Staff Sergeant Shaun Meadows along with wife Nicole and son Trevor moved home.  Operation Finally Home, an award winning program that provides custom made mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans, worked with numerous local contractors and…

Preserving History: The One-Room Schoolhouse

Preserving History: The One-Room Schoolhouse

Colonel with Clara Graves (Clara attended school in this one-room schoolhouse from 1934 to 1938)  In addition to being a designer of leather bags, belts, briefcases, tech accessories and various other items, Colonel Littleton is somewhat of a historian and a preservationist.  Rather than locate his company on a concrete slab in some industrial park, he…

Colonel’s Leather Gift List

Colonel’s Leather Gift List

Free Personalization on Colonel’s Gift List (Monday Dec. 2nd 10:00am CST to Tuesday Dec. 3rd 12:00 noon CST). Pros for giving a Colonel Leather Gift: -Made in the USA -Personalized just for the recipient -Guaranteed to last a long, long time -Not subject to “Re-Gifting” Cons for giving a Colonel Leather Gift: -Negative reactions from those who…

War Hero Moves to Lynnville – Part 2

War Hero Moves to Lynnville – Part 2

War Hero Moves to Lynnville Colonel Gives Dedication Prayer Part II Shaun, Nicole and son Trevor, officially breaking ground on their new home site. Tennessee National Honor Guard prepares to open the ceremony. Fastrax Jump Team parachuting into the groundbreaking ceremony. Fastrax jumper presenting the American Flag. Shaun Meadows and Colonel enjoying the day. Colonel…

Recipe Traditions

Recipe Traditions

RECIPE TRADITIONS If you’re a follower of Col. Littleton, you know we’re all about Americana, history and traditions.  When it comes to food, Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions vary from family to family and from north to south and east to west.  These family traditions are deeply imbedded in our psyche and likely go back generations. …

New Products Available From Colonel’s Private Stock

New Products Available From Colonel’s Private Stock

New pieces added to Colonel’s Private Stock precisely at 2:00 p.m. CST on Tuesdays. Remember to post a 2:00 p.m. Tuesday reminder to check our website to see what’s new on the Private Stock Page. This week’s new items include several unique products designed by Colonel.  Two sets of custom, branded leather placemats Rugged Leather Pillows New…

War Hero Moves to Lynnville

War Hero Moves to Lynnville

A War Hero’s Story Staff Sergeant Shaun Meadows was deployed in Afghanistan in 2008. While on a combat patrol, Shaun was riding on the back of a Humvee in the rear gunner spot. The team was bound for a mission that would take several days so they had to load up with a lot of…

WWII Veteran Luther Riddle’s Story

WWII Veteran Luther Riddle’s Story

I was thinking about our veterans when I remembered this story related to me by Luther Riddle, a friend of mine who lives in the Lynnville area.  I think this story is just amazing and wanted to share it with you in remembrance and appreciation of our veterans and members of the armed forces. “We…

New Private Stock Collection

New Private Stock Collection

A peek into one of the archive areas where Colonel stashes his “stuff”    Colonel has been stashing away stuff for years . . . things like one-of-a-kind unique leather hides, wood from the 1800’s, interesting bone pieces and vintage items he has found along the way. He collects strange and unusual mechanical devices used for specific purposes…