…were first used in 1906
Adirondack Chair Definition : a wooden lawn chair with a high back, broad arms, and a seat that is lower in the back than the front.
As the story goes, during one summer in Westport, Thomas Lee felt a desire to create a chair that could handle the rugged terrain of the Adirondacks in New York. This chair would have to be sturdy, balanced, and comfortable on everything from sandy ground to a small hill.
From 1900-1903, Lee worked on making this new chair. In order to perfect it, he had his family members test out each prototype before moving on to the next. Eventually, Lee came up with what he considered the perfect chair: wide armrests, a high back, and a slanted seat (the seat and back were made from single pieces of wood).
Soon after Lee finalized the design of his Westport chair, he met up with his hunting friend Harry Bunnell, who owned a carpentry shop in the town. Bunnell was worried about the upcoming winter because of a lack of resources that year, so to help him out, Lee gave him the chair's design.
Our family pattern history is fairly vague so we've had a few theories on how we might have come across the chair pattern. We do know that we've had the pattern in our family for about 100 years as we have a picture of great grandmother Gertrude and Uncle Eric sitting in one of the chairs. The picture was taken in 1946.
As William Chute was a big hunter, we believe that Bunnell or Lee, on a hunting trip to Maine, crossed paths with my great grandfather and since he was a lumberjack, he had the skills and equipment to build a few chairs. Or as this style chair was also called the Muskoka chair in Canada, it might have been a Canadian traveler as Maine borders with Quebec. What we have for sure is the actual wood pieces that were the pattern that great grandpa kept for us.