Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Heirloom Treasures

by Susan G Mathis

Whether it’s a quilt, a woodcarving, lace, furniture, Christmas ornaments, trinkets, pocket watches, recipes, photos, paintings, portraits, dishes, decorations, military memorabilia, etc., an heirloom is something valuable that is owned and passed down from one generation to another. That's one of the many reasons I wrote, The Fabric of Hope. It's about a family heirloom that made its way to America, through Canada, all the way from Ireland!

I have several heirlooms that I treasure—my great-grandmother Susan’s rocking chair. My grandmother’s Singer sewing machine. Teacups and dishes, lace and trinkets, and, of course, my photos. My husband has quilts and afghans, furniture and recipes, pocket watches and military stuff. I purposefully add some of these heirlooms into my novels to give them a special place in history, in literature, and in our hearts.

Some were brought over on an Irish immigrant ship, as you’ll read about in my novel. Some were made with loving and skillful hands, while others were bought as a gift by a loved one. All are treasures.

They matter, because they connect us to the larger story—of family, of history, of heritage. They hold memories of loved ones, pieces of our past that bond us to one another and help us remember where we came from. And all of that is good, even if there are family skeletons, painful relationships, or stories we’d rather forget.

Liam Callanon said, “We all carry inside of us, people who came before us." It is a part of who we are, and so are the things they passed down to us. So I’d like to suggest that you pull out the heirlooms you have, and tell your children about them, about the people who gave you those items, and show your family that you treasure the past. It’s a connection you won’t want to lose.

"Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, but our roots keep us all together."—author unknown

Do you have heirlooms that you treasure? Leave your answer or comments on the post below and join me on June 19th for my next post.

Check out Devyn’s Dilemma, Book 2 of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

About Susan:

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis


  1. We do have some very special treasures from our parents and grandparents. We're at the age where we're looking at our own favorite possessions and wondering how to bless our family with those items when we are gone. Thanks for the post.

  2. Wonderful post! I also have my grandmother's treadle sewing machine. Several of my heirlooms have little monetary value, but mean so much: an Anchor Hocking emerald green pitcher, my great uncle's Bible, and my grandmother's costume jewelry earrings that she wore every Memorial Day and Fourth of July. BTW, I just finished Devyn's Dilemma and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  3. I wish I did have my grandmother's treadle sewing machine, However before she moved to a nursing home she gave it to a young woman who admired it one day. I didn't live in the same town with Nana and never said I'd like to have it someday so she figured no one in the family wanted it. So, if you are admiring an item your elderly family member owns, let the know. It was special to me because I have memories of her teaching me how to sew doll dresses on that machine. I do have other items that came from my dad's side of the family but I don't have a backstory to go with them. Not like that sewing machine.

  4. Susan, I enjoyed reading this post and thanks for sharing. I am fortunate to have several heirloom treasures from my family and I am now passing some of them on to my daughters and granddaughter. While doing genealogy I have found tons of photographs of my family lines, cherished pics from the past.

  5. Yes, I have family heirlooms that I treasure. My sisters weren't interested in family items, so I got family items that meant the world to me. They aren't worth much money wise, but the memories and stories they hold mean the world to me. To me, the stories that are passed down are as special as the material things. I try and make sure my kids know these stories and I write them down for safe keeping - because I know some day I will forget if I don't.