|The table is one of a kind, but you can find the chairs here.|
Aunt Delphia was a sister to The Big A's father, Homer Rogers. Delphia married Chester Black and they moved to Lexington where they lived and worked on various horse farms before finally settling at Maine Chance Farm, just off Newtown Pike.
From all accounts Maine Chance seemed to suit the Blacks just fine with Chester working in the stables as a groom and a sort of man-of-all-work. Delphia worked in the house and became close with the farm's owner, one Elizabeth Arden.
Yes, that Elizabeth Arden.
Ms. Arden bought Maine Chance in the '40s after making her fortune in cosmetics and skin care, naming the farm after her first spa in Maine. Maine Chance produced such famous horses as Star Pilot, Beaugay, Ace Admiral, and the 1947 Kentucky Derby winner Jet Pilot.
Chester and Delphia lived in a little house on the farm that was part of their salary and occasionally Ms. Arden, being friendly with Delphia, would pass on bits of furniture and the such from the main hosuse to help furnish the Black's home. This dining room table was one such item. Given its small size it probably set in a kitchen or breakfast nook or sitting room inside Maine Chance Farm's main residence.
The Big A recounts that the table came to them in the early 1960's as a gift from Aunt Delphia. Presumably to help furnish the home they were building at around the same time.
Shortly thereafter in 1966 Ms. Arden passed away and Maine Chance Farm passed to the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture where it has become a center for the college's breeding program and research into equine diseases and disabilities.
The Big A wasn't sure what happened to Delphia and Chester after Ms. Arden's passing. He thought they stayed on at Maine Chance for a while as caretakers before moving on to another horse farm in the area.
The table lives on in my humble dining room. Mamaw had found and refinished some oak parsons-type chairs for use in her house. I chose instead to mix it up a bit with some Tolix bistro chairs. I find it somewhat reassuring, though, that no matter how the table has been accessorized it retains its sturdy integrity. The thing must be at tleast a hundred years old and looks like it could last a hundred more. But it will always be, at least in my family, the Maine Chance Table.