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Restore the Iconic Monterey Furniture Collection

Key Strategies

  • Create “All Call” for furniture donations
  • Work with Ramon Ramirez ( top Monterey restorer – works with Diane Keaton on her collection)  to restore the NPS Collection
  • Work with the Siskiyou Woodcrafters Guild to create reproduction dining room chairs – all the chairs went down the canyon in the Christmas flood of 1964!!
  • Develop reproductions of lamps for use in the Chateau and for sale
  • Work with the Pendleton Woolen Mills to develop a collection of “soft goods” to complement the furnishings.
Interior shot of a Chateau guest room featuring a Montery furniture dressing table and bed

When we achieve our goal of restoring our collection of Monterey furniture, the Chateau, a National Historic Landmark Lodge,  will once again be furnished with the largest single public collection of Monterey furniture in the country.

Wildly popular when it was manufactured by the Mason Manufacturing Company in Los Angeles from 1929—1941, the furniture is crafted from Oregon alder in early “Spanish revival” style. Many pieces include wrought iron accents; some are painted with wildflower ornamentation while others are lightly upholstered, with the emphasis always remaining on the wood and its simple carving. Authenticity is branded on the furniture with a horseshoe symbol and in some cases the word Monterey. Also, some of the lobby chairs have a bolt with an M on them. 

Storage of tagged and restored Monterey furniture in an unused commercial space
Monterey furniture awaiting replacement into the Chateau

The warmth of the designs and the impeccable craftsmanship have made it possible for this furniture to still be popular and functional after over 86 years of use.  The Friends are working with Ramon Ramirez, who has curated and restored Diane Keaton’s private collection.  He also has created new pieces to compliment her home that are in the Monterey style.  He says since Monterey furniture was only created for a short period of time –  and only a very limited number of pieces are available in the market – that Monterey is a “concept”.  Ramon is skilled in upgrading the beds to queen size, restoring the sensitive details and advise on the new upholstery  so the lobby chairs will again be comfortable to enjoy around the fire. Don Williams, the Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Materials Research and Education, said when restoring a furniture collection you operate by the 6 inch and 6 foot rule.  At 6 inches any trained eye can tell if the piece is original or not, and at 6 feet it is a beautifully blended collection that will meet the expectations of a current visitor.

Project Advisors

  • Jerralynn Ness, who has a 240 piece personal collection of Monterey furniture and who met and worked with George Mason
  • Don Williams, Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Materials Research and Education (SCMRE)
  • Ramon Ramirez, Top Monterey Furniture Restorer in the US – restores Diane Keaton’s collection,  are our advisors on this project.

The NPS collection includes 300 of the original  pieces.   Wonderful individuals have donated over 120 pieces to help fill out the collection to build it back to around 600 needed pieces. 

We’d love to have it! We promise we’ll take really good care, too.