Who Loves A Hoosier?

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Having forever been an “old soul”, I’ve always loved “old things”. Even as a child, my favorite treasures were vintage – the older the better – like a 1940s Nancy Drew book or an Edwardian-era bracelet, my very first flea market purchase (made in the third grade). As an adult, my adoration for vintage grew stronger. Things were made better, and with charm, to boot! From glassware to dishes, clothes to decor, I’m drawn to items with a past life. My favorite things are beautiful and serve a useful purpose. At home, my favorite part of the house is the kitchen. For as long as I can remember, I’ve longed for an antique Hoosier (kitchen) Cabinet.

“Hoosier Cabinets” were named for Indiana, the “Hoosier” state, where most were made. The Hoosier Manufacturing Company was the most-widely known manufacturer. Much like the “Kleenex” name brand is often used to refer to any brand of tissue, or a “Coke” can mean any kind of soda in conversation, the name “Hoosier” became a blanket term for the cabinets, despite that many other manufacturers, such as Sellers and Napanee, also made them.

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Before built-in cabinets were part of American kitchens, early homeowners might have had a “Baker’s Cabinet”, the predecessor to the Hoosier, for storage and a work surface. This was basically a freestanding wooden cupboard and hutch (not to be confused with a “Baker’s Rack”, which typically refers to an all-metal shelving unit, once used to cool pies and cakes after baking). Later, the “Hoosier Cabinet” came into fashion. This innovative workstation/storage furniture piece made kitchen tasks streamlined. With clever advertising, soon every household wanted one.

Many versions of the cabinets existed: some with three or four sections of cabinets, some with glass for displaying, some without. A true Hoosier cabinet consists of two pieces – a top and a deeper bottom. The bottom typically has several drawers for organization, with a tin-lined drawer to keep bread fresh, and at least one large cabinet for dishes and storage. The table-like top would pull out, made of wood, tin or porcelain enamel. On top, there might be tambour doors, and at least one built-in flour sifter. More organizational improvements, such as built-in spice racks and cookbook holders, were added when new models were made each year. Hoosier cabinet sets came in various sizes- from large to small, with the smallest cabinets being “apartment sized” and having only two doors. Most were on casters to make it easy to move the unit around the kitchen depending on the task at hand.

The top part easily attaches with screws and brackets to the bottom piece.

The top part easily attaches with screws and brackets to the bottom piece. We chose to leave the casters off the bottom piece so the dogs don’t roll it around accidentally.

Starting in the late 1800’s, many American kitchens were adorned with a Hoosier cabinet. Their popularity waned in the 1930’s when kitchens began having built-in cabinets, and by WWII, most production had stopped. The Hoosier Manufacturing Company closed its doors in 1942. Now considered antique, I can’t think of anything that says “farm kitchen” more than a Hoosier cabinet!

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As much as I adored my kitchen, I never thought I’d be able to have a Hoosier cabinet. My kitchen is on the contemporary side- with lots of light and glass, but no solid walls, and only a half-wall on the side by a sunken family room. I’ve had a small Scandinavaian sideboard, belonging with my dining room set, in the corner by the kitchen door, but it still wasn’t a true Hoosier. Whenever I’d see one for sale, it was too big, falling apart, or too expensive for me. Many didn’t survive after the popularity diminished, as they were repurposed in garages and cellars for storage, or used for firewood. My grandmother had a small white one, used in the mud room near the back door as a potting bench for houseplants.

Then, late this summer, I saw a grainy photo of a Hoosier for sale on my Facebook newsfeed, reasonably priced. I contacted the seller with a few questions, and made plans to see it. My husband and I drove over an hour, all the while not keeping my hopes up. When we got there, it was love at first sight! The seller was moving to the Southwest, and was afraid it wouldn’t make the trip. Unsure of the age, she’d owned it twenty years. I was so excited. It was to be an early anniversary present, for our anniversary this very week. For the price of dinner out, I now have an heirloom!

Just the right size for my kitchen, it has the tin drawer for bread (nice and deep for storage), a pull out wooden shelf and a pull out metal rack in the bottom cabinet.

Built-in  bread boxes in the form of tin-lined drawers were a staple of Hoosier-type kitchen cabinets.

Built-in bread boxes in the form of tin-lined drawers were a staple of Hoosier-type kitchen cabinets.

Both the wooden shelf and the wire rack pull out, and offer tons of storage.

Both the wooden shelf and the wire rack pull out, and offer tons of storage.

“Feathered” glass

Feathered” glass

The top has “feathered” glass. Someone added a light kit at one point, which I love. I added vintage red ric-rac to the shelf as edging.

Vintage, red ric-rack used as shelf edging  pops! I used double-sided, damage-free tape that won’t cause damage if removed to attach.

Vintage, red ric-rac used as shelf edging pops! I used double-sided, damage-free tape that won’t cause damage if removed to attach.

It’s missing the flour sifter, which would have gone in the long left side cabinet (I prefer the storage, anyway).

The flour sifter would have been housed in the long cabinet on the  top left. The lid on the top would have come off in order to funnel large amounts of flour into the metal sifter.

The flour sifter would have been housed in the long cabinet on the top left. The lid on the top would have come off in order to funnel large amounts of flour into the metal sifter.

The top has a charming white and black enamel top, that pulls out. Since my kitchen table is a Scandinavian farmhouse table, it’s narrower than American-made tables. (The Danes prefer more intimate seating at meals). The metal top can hold hot dishes of food when we’re eating at the table.

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To “date” a Hoosier cabinet can sometimes be tricky. Early models were typically made of oak and unpainted (but could have been painted at a later time). Late models may be painted and may have decals. Some 1920s versions have rounded tops and Art Deco design. There may be a metal manufacturer’s name plate or a stamp somewhere on your cabinet, though with some later models this was switched with a paper tag that may have been lost long ago. Luckily, mine is marked “Hoosier, 1910” on the cabinet latches, making it a pretty early piece in great shape! I love the storage and cozy feel, and the oak with black knobs matches my built-in kitchen cabinets.

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For display, I put some of my most favorite and sentimental pieces, such as my grandmother’s red hobnail fairy lamp, and antique salt and pepper shakers my late aunt gave my mom.

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I included a photo of my great-grandmother, an “original farmgirl”, seated next to her wringer washer in her cellar filled with canning goods, who I never met but feel connected to because of precious stories I’ve heard about her.

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My garden was the best I’ve had in years, and I’ve canned many jars of pickles from my fresh cucumbers. The Hoosier is the perfect place to let the jars cool- away from drafts and off the counters. I wondered how many women before me had done the same in the last 109 years.

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Because mine is an earlier model, it doesn’t have as many “gadget” add-ons like sugar sifters or cookbook holders. As the cabinets grew in popularity, so did the number of accessories. “Door Cards” were included with some later models, with advice on spices, or with grocery checklists. Biscuit jars, vases, salt boxes, and spice jars were some of what was offered by companies such as Sneath and Hazel Atlas. I actually have a few pieces that were meant to be used with Hoosier cabinets, not realizing what they were when I acquired them.

When I posted about Hoosier Cabinets on the Farmgirl Connection, the reactions were emotional. Many Farmgirls wish for a cabinet, or are reminded of a long-gone relative such as a grandmother or special aunt who once used a Hoosier Cabinet. The cabinets now may not be used daily in a kitchen to bake bread, but they offer great storage and display possibilities… think towels in a master bathroom, as a “bar” in a study or storage in a family room. They are great pieces to repurpose.

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My Hoosier cabinet, a precious gift from my sweet husband, is now the heartbeat of my kitchen. In this faced-paced, ever-changing world, where so much is meant to be “disposable”, having something tangible like an old Hoosier cabinet that survived generations, seems really special.

Hope you are having a wonderful start to Autumn. Remember to leave me a comment so I know you dropped by, and c’mon back when the next Suburban Farmgirl blog comes out on October 29th! 

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole 

 

Leave a comment 81 Comments

  1. Ramona Puckett says:

    It’s beautiful!

  2. SUZANNE says:

    Hi there,
    I so thoroughly loved your article about the hoosier cabinet. My grandmother owned one and I don’t know who inherited it. I also have loved vintage and antiques of all kinds, especially in the kitchen. I grew up in a house that had been built shortly after the civil war. When we moved into it in December of 1941 it still had gas lights throughout. These were gradually replaced with electric lights. We also had a water pump in the kitchen sink.
    I was only 3 when we made that move so I’m surprised that I remember so much. I still have wrought iron brackets and holders for kerosene lamps that were removed from the walls of that house.
    My neighbor, when I lived in oregon has a hoosier cabinet that is beautiful and I drooled over it everytime I was in her kitchen for a visit.
    At my age (81) although I still dream of owning one of those cabinets, I doubt that I will.
    BUT, I can always love reading and re-reading about yours.
    Thanks so much for your pictures and your posting.
    Suzanne

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Suzanne, Oh I loved reading this comment and hearing about all of your memories. I was right there in your house at that sink with the pump. I love that you still have the wrought iron holders and kerosene lamps, very special. I wish I had something from the house that I grew up in. It was a ranch house, built after the War, with a hallway that had a built-in wall holder for a telephone, and a gas heater in the bathroom. It had a huge double lot, so we had plenty of space to play outside in. It was a great little house. When we moved, it was bulldozed by a a builder who bought it to make a McMansion that didn’t fit the area or the lot. Anyway, thank you so much for reading and for sharing. If you lived closer, I’d have you over for a cup of tea! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

      • SUZANNE says:

        Hi Nicole,
        Just got around to checking on my emails and discovered your response. Where do you live, geographically? I’m guessing California. (Probably wrong). We moved to the Dallas, Tx., area last October and are living with my son here. Moved from Oregon, and OH how I miss that place.

        Do take care,

        Suzanne

        • Nicole Christensen says:

          <emHi Suzanne, No worries. I am actually in Connecticut. However, I am originally a Texas girl (and always will be in my heart). Thanks again for reaching out. Farmgirl Hugs,Nicole

  3. Cheryl says:

    When my husband and I were first married(55 years ago) we acquired several of his grandma’s furniture pieces. One piece was like an Hoosier and before I knew what he was doing , I found him cutting it up for the wood to make other wood items!! Ugh, still hurts to think about it!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Cheryl, First off, congratulations on being married 55 years! Fabulous! But firewood out of grandma’s cabinet? Oh…my heart hurts…Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Bonnie McKee says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Your Hoosier is beautiful!
    I also have one I purchased from a local Bed and Breakfast in 1993. Mine is white with red trim and has many of the same features yours does.
    My Hoosier has mainly been used in my kitchen, but there were a few years when I used it in my sewing room to store some of my quilting fabrics and notions.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures of your Hoosier!
    Bonnie, in Oregon

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bonnie, thank you! I bet yours is absolutely adorable, as well! I love the white with red trim, one of my favorite styles. That combo was my first wish, but I am so very over-the-moon-happy with what I found, and it matches my kitchen so nicely. I think using one is a sewing room is also a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for reading and for sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Mary Pitman says:

    I have always adored the “Hoosier cabinet”. I would not have room in my kitchen as I have my sis-in-law’s china cabinet. She passed at age 55 of cancer. But I do love to see those cabinets and wonder what all was baked or canned and stored or set to cool on them.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, First off, my condolences that you lost your sister-in-law, and how lovely that you have her china cabinet to remember her by.

      I, too, wonder how many women loved a Hoosier, and what foods were there. I can just imagine! Fun to think about.

      Thank you for reading and sharing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Rose Eskridge says:

    WOW! What a beautiful blessing. I am so happy for you. I have wanted a Hoosier cabinet for many years. You have it decorated beautifully.
    I look forward to your monthly blog! Thanks for all you write. Keep inspired :) Rose

  7. Carrey L Hoese says:

    I LOVE hoosier cabinets! I have one in my kitchen and I use it as a coffee bar. Mine has the tin drawer and the flour sifter still intact. It takes a lot of room but I store my duplicate coffee syrup bottles around it.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carrey, That is such an awesome use for one! I LOVE it. I was a bit disappointed that mine was missing the flour sifter (and “replacements” are difficult, as they need to be the right size, make, and the like. They are also very expensive from what I have seen online). Where the flour sifter is on mine, I would not show that cabinet open anyway, so it’s all good. Very cool that yours has all of it complete, though, and a great way to repurpose! Thanks for reading and sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Reth A Fulp says:

    I have an original Coppes Brothers and Zook Hoosier Cabinet made in Nappanee Indiana. It belonged to my great-grandmother. I have all the original cards with weights, measures, spices, things to know, etc that came with it. All spice racks, sugar ring, flour bin, cooling racks, bread drawer, etc are still there. Everything is perfect! My TREASURE!!! I’m 65 so you know it’s an antique. A beautiful piece in my open kitchen! I love your cabinet and all the glassware treasures you have in it! Just beautiful!!!! I’m a Hoosier Farmgirl born and raised in Leesburg Indiana, but living life in North Carolina now.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Reth, WOW! What a TREASURE! Not only is it a treasure to be so complete, but to have something like that, that belonged to your great-grandmother, is so very special. I bet your cabinet is a real beauty! Thank you for reading and for sharing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. connie Keys says:

    I’ve had my grandma’s Hoosier for about 30 years. I love it and would like to use it as a decorative piece. But I have a small kitchen, so it stores glasses, cereal and wine. My grandma stored dishes in it. She bought it new and it has always been painted a creamy white. Love how you have decorated yours.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Connie, I LOVE that you have your grandma’s Hoosier cabinet! How so super-special! My grandmother’s was a creamy white, too. I don’t know what happened to it. Enjoy and treasure yours! Thank you for sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Vickiy says:

    It looks in great shape. You really got a prize!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Vickiy, Thank you so much! I felt that way, too, like a little kid at Christmas! Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you will visit again! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  11. Julie says:

    Loved reading about your Hoosier Cabinet…My friend’s sister passed away at a young age and left her beloved Hoosier Cabinet to her. It needs a few minor repairs, but I will show her your pictures to show her how “darling” it can look.
    Jane loved antiques and People that do, ARE probably all old souls…Thank you for sharing your information about the special cabinets, and posting, such “cozy” pictures of yours…

    Julie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie, I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s loss, and hope that my pics will inspire her to do something special with her sister’s Hoosier. Much love to you both. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Marilyn Godfrey says:

    I also have a Hoosier cabinet, which of course I love. Mine does have the flour sifter. When my oldest grand daughter (now 22) was 18months old she loved ‘Splorin’ my kitchen as I cooked, washed dishes. One day I could not find her, then I saw the lower door on the Hoosier move, ever so slightly. She had found her perfect hiding place …until she went kerplop to the floor, when the thin bottom board have way. She was surprised, not hurt, but could not play in there until I fixed it. We also have an old icebox. It keeps my cup towels, table cloths, etc. Don’t you love the metal pull out top on your Hoosier?

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, I enjoyed reading your memories of the Hoosier and your grand daughter! Glad she wasn’t hurt (and that you could fix your Hoosier)! The story made me chuckle. I love that you have an old icebox, too, and how you repurpose it. Those are so beautiful, as well. I do love the metal pull-out top on my Hoosier. It is just so useful, especially at dinner time, because it is near the table. I also love that I have a special place for my grandmother’s little fairy lamp. I was always afraid to put it out because in the kitchen, my counters are always being used for this and that and I didn’t want it to get broken. You’re lucky yours has the flour sifter. If I found one at a decent enough price that would fit, I might be tempted, but I am happy as it is either way. I am just so happy to have found one. I never thought I would. I wasn’t even looking, really, just in the right place at the right time. Thanks again for reading and sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

      • Marilyn Godfrey says:

        When I found mine, probably 30 years ago I was told that it had sat too close to the wood cook stove and had been in a fire. The only damage I have ever found was a corner of that bottom board that gave way, was probably eaten away by fire. A quick thinking homemaker quickly put the fire out to save her cabinet. I also love the metal drawers.
        I’m glad you finally found your Hoosier. The only thing I never found,,,that I really wanted was a tall double doored, with a drawer of two at the bottom, ‘closet’. I bought a chiffrobe, a dry sink, a jelly cabinet and a milk cupboard. For years I wanted a pie safe. My grandmother had one, but someone gave it away. So I have up on that. I have three iron beds that came from grandma’s home. I also have her buffet or sideboard. A real treasure is a small dresser with a very tall mirror that my mother told me she remembered putting her night gown in when she was three. She was born in 1916.
        This was a fun journey into memories! Thanks, and God bless you.

        • Nicole Christensen says:

          Hi Marilyn, what treasures it sounds like you have there! I also love all the piece like you mention, but there is no-more-room in my kitchen! I also adore the enamel top side tables but we wouldn’t be able to walk in here, lol! I love that you have your mama’s piece and know the memories she had of it. Special indeed. Thank you so much for sharing with me. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. Mary Murray says:

    I love it…they really do say “farm kitchen”! What a wonderful gift; so glad you found just the right spot for it and gave it a home. I have just the bottom of a small one…still hoping to find the top someday!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary, Thank you so much! I agree…farm kitchen! I don’t know if you have Facebook, but I actually saw two Hoosier tops for sale on Marketplace in my area. Happy hunting! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Dolly says:

    I love the Hoosier have one in fact. How cute yours looks and glad you found one. I’ll share where mine is on blog for you to see. It was painted years and years ago has the sifter but it is now rusty. Love mine as well it was my well you can read about it if you want. Here…https://www.hibiscushouseblog.com/2011/10/traveling-hoosier-cabinet.html

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Dolly, Thank you. I checked your blog out and love your Hoosier and the cookie jars on top, as well. How super-special and what a coincidence that your Hoosier belonged to both your grandmother and your mother-in-law. I love the sentiment below the picture as well. God bless. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Charlene Gravely says:

    Love this, always wanted one too!
    Looks beautiful!

  16. Kimberly Bedtelyon says:

    What a great article! I love my Hoosier. We owned the Michigan Hoosier Company and built reproductions hoosiers years ago and I still have mine. Such wonderful memories.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kimberly, WOW! I just checked out the Michigan Hoosier Company website. Very cool, and very beautiful! Works of art! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I am so glad you enjoyed the blog, and hope you will visit again! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  17. Tracy J Redhead says:

    Wonderful and informative article, thanks so much. Those cabinets were fabulous! I have seen the occasionally in antique shops. You found a special one there, I am glad it found it’s forever home with you. I’m originally from England, and to me this seems to be the counterpart to the traditional British “Kitchen Dresser”. These date back a very long time, and to my knowledge were not typically made by any one particular manufacturer. Large farmhouse dressers were probably the most well known – a bottom chest with drawers, and then a top piece with shelves, sometimes a cubby, grooves for plates etc. The top piece is what I guess would be called a “hutch” here I think. Anyway, these old and homely pieces would serve the same purpose as the Hoosier cabinets, being an essential piece for storage, cooling food, displaying treasured tableware and knick knacks etc. I always lusted after an old and lovely dresser before I moved to the US. Now you’ve got me thinking about Hoosiers! They were innovative in their day, and are beautiful now. Congrats on your new addition!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Tracy, thank you! I wondered if there was something similar in Europe and the UK…and you answered me! I never heard the term “kitchen dresser” – I love it! Yes, very similar but not exactly the same, lovely still however. Good luck on your hunt for a Hoosier! When you find the one that is just right for you, let us know! What you said rings true: Innovative in their day, Beautiful now”. Thank you again for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Reba says:

    I enjoyed reading about your “new” Hoosier cabinet. I wanted one for years, as I am an old soul as well! Finally several years ago I found my beautiful cabinet that is red and white, which I LOVE! Recently, I moved across country, from TN to MT! I was worried about it in the move but couldn’t bear to be without it. So we carefully packed it with the two parts separated. I am so thankful that I did since our condo is small but has the perfect place in the dining area of the open kitchen. I keep spices, baking powder and soda, and have it decorated with my husband’s grandmother’s wooden bread bowl, crock type bowls, and an old butter churn found in a barn in MT. I store almost all of my cast iron (which I have collected), and my small “appliances” such as two cheese graters and a cherry pitter that needs the enamel top to attach them to. When visitors come that is the first piece to usually get a comment and it takes them back to special memories. If I could I would attach a picture of my cabinet because it makes me smile each time I use it or look at it. When you mentioned being at the “right” place to find your cabinet, that is how I have felt about my cabinet as well as about several of my other pieces, like a treadle machine and wooden flour bin. It’s funny how I can remember when and how my pieces came. I know you will enjoy your cabinet for many years as they are so versatile and “easy” to find things in. Do you ever notice how things get lost in built-in cabinets but not in this cabinet? :)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Reba, Oh I love that you share the same excitement I do about having a Hoosier Cabinet. I am so glad to hear that you took yours with you! Sounds like you have such a cute one, and sounds like it is dolled up so sweetly! I would love to see a photo! You can send one to me or post one at the Suburban Farmgirl page on Facebook. I see you also share my love of treadle sewing machines. Yup…you, too, are an “old soul”! Thanks so much for sharing with me today! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Rebecca says:

    What a beautiful find. I love it.

  20. Rosie Brock says:

    Love Hoosier cabinets – so handy and useful!

  21. Natalie says:

    I love your Hoosier cabinet! It is interesting how we always find what we are looking for eventually. So happy you found one you love. They way you decorated it with red and white accents is perfect! Your cucumbers look great, too.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Natalie, Thank you! Isn’t that true about finding what we look for eventually, like the saying, “Good things come to those who wait! Thanks again for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  22. Theresa Talarek says:

    Like you, I’ve always wanted a Hoosier cabinet, but don’t know where I’d put it! However, I’m sure I would figure something out if I found a good deal. :) What I really want is one that still has all the original parts, including the flour sifter, but those were often removed over the years since people weren’t really using them. Maybe one could be found and added back in.
    I love yours, and am glad you got one with the feathered windows! That’s extra special, I think? And, I love your kitchen. :)
    I must admit, though, that when I just saw the title of this, “Who Loves a Hoosier?”, I first thought you meant the people – like me, a born and bred Hoosier, still living in Indiana. :)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Theresa, your last line in the comment made me laugh out loud. I guess I should’ve included “cabinet”, hee hee. If you are serious about finding one, keep looking. They are out there. I found mine on Facebook. On Marketplace you can try searching to see if there is one near you. I often find Facebook to be good deals on things like that. I do know that you can find parts online and in antique stores, as well. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  23. Karen says:

    I love your Hoosier story. I have one in my kitchen. It was my husband’s great grandmas. We’ve been married 32 years and gave always had it in our kitchen. Mine is painted white, it was white when we got it. In the cupboards I keep baking supplies, with a couple of tea pots. The open space, my canister set. Where the flour use to be, my husband stores a couple bottles of booze. The drawers hold kitchen towels. The tin drawer, Tupperware. The door with metal rack pots and pans. Oh, my coffee maker sets on enamel pull out shelf. And our Corgi, loves to go under it for her den. It serves us well. Thanks again.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Karen! I love your Hoosier story, too! I love how you have all of that in your cabinet. I love the idea of storing Tupperware in it! I love vintage Tupperware. I prefer glass but do have some Tupperware, but storing it can be tricky! I love how every member of the family, including the Corgi, use your Hoosier! And I absolutely adore that it was your husband’s great grandma’s; that’s so special. Enjoy, and thank you so much for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  24. Beth Ballantyne says:

    Hi! I inherited my grandmother’s Elwell Kitchen Cabinet, The tag also says Minneapolis, Minn. I believe Elwell was somehow involved with those who made their cabinets under the name of “Hoosier”. It it made of oak, has 2 metal lined drawers, along with a large storage area on the bottom portion, along with 6 smaller drawers, and a large bread board. The top portion has storage inside the 2 doors, and, shelving along the back. The top portion has a smaller bread board, a spice cabinet, a roll-down compartment for sugar storage, and, 6 smaller drawers. My mother paid someone to make the brass pulls shiny bright. They married in Iowa in 1919, spent some time in Moville, Illinois while my grandfather was studying to be a dentist at Northwestern University, ended up in McHenry County, North Dakota. I’m not sure when or where they bought this cabinet. My mother told me that, when she was a child, my grandmother would remove the bottom middle drawers (2) and all the pots and pans from the storage area below those. My mother could then crawl into the pots space, closing the door behind herself, and play “store” through the cavities left by the removed drawers. My grandmother had reserved empty food boxes and tins for my mom to use when”customers” came to make a purchase. I have enjoyed having this cabinet in my home for many years. I am 71 years old, now. I do hope that one of my grandchildren will want this cabinet, in due time, and love it as we have loved it.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Beth, Oh what a wonderful story! I loved reading every bit. How extraordinary that you have your mother’s cabinet and all the history attached to it. I hope your grandchildren appreciate what a blessing they will have someday in that beauty. Enjoy, and thank you for reading and commenting. Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  25. Marci Dodd says:

    Congratulations on your priceless find. What a great gift and addition to your kitchen. It looks fabulous! I don’t remember any grandmothers or aunts having them but I have always wanted one. Someday when we we finish our basement and I decorate my farmhouse nook area I hope to have one. I’ve already saved some of my grandmother’s pie pans and biscuit cutter and my mother’s Pyrex to display on it. For now I am content with my antique pie cupboard that sits in my dining room and houses all my china.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marci, thank you so much. I do love it. It was fun to make it look ‘just so”. I think it will be fun to change it around at the holidays, too. I bet your antique pie cupboard is cute, as well. I just love those, too. Happy hunting…I bet you can’t wait to find yours! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  26. Ann Scofield says:

    Nicole: There can always be two, one in kitchen, one in sewing room. I had one in my younger years but down sizing is hard in getting rid of all the beautiful furniture. Enjoy while you can. Love Ann

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ann, uh-oh…better not tell my hubby that a second one would be useful in the sewing room, ha ha, especially after I collected all the vintage sewing machines! Great idea for repurposing these beautiful cabinets, though. Thank you for reading and commenting. Hope you will visit me again. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  27. Marilyn says:

    It is beautiful. I love all things vintage. Your kitchen is lovely and so inviting.
    HAPPY AUTUMN
    Marilyn

  28. Sandra L Reams says:

    I love the story, also I previously contacted you as I grew up in the Palouse country and lived just a few miles from Moscow. I now have the lovely position as caretaker in a heritage house in Langley B.C. I have found many lovely antiques for the old house (built in 1888) but no hoosier.
    Sandra

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandra, thank you. I am so glad you enjoyed the blog. Sounds like you grew up living near our dear MaryJane! The heritage house you are taking care of sounds wonderful. I bet it is full of charm! (And a Hoosier would be right at home there!) Thank you for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  29. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, this is so informative! Your pictures are beautiful! And so many great comments! I did not know my mother had a Hoosier cabinet!
    Love,
    Mother

  30. karen says:

    I enjoyed your article on the Hoosiers and can certainly appreciate your excitement in having one. I have four, yes four, that I bought in the 70’s and 80’s and have moved them many times. They have served me well in various rooms in my homes throughout the years.
    My regret is that now, hardly anyone wants them, so they will probably be a very cheap item in my estate sale!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Karen, WoW! Four! That is awesome. I’d love to know how you put them to work for you; I imagine they are not all in your kitchen! Not sure where you are located, but here in New England, they seem to be a popular piece. Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  31. RuthMorrison says:

    I have a that was in 2 p

    My Uncle passed and his stepson was getting ready to sell his house and said if there was anything we wanted we could have it.In the garage was a cupboard that I wanted and a table. I refinished the cupboard and hung it in my kitchen with the table beneath it. I thought it looked like the top to a hoosier and we couldn’t find the bottom. But the rest of the house he emptied and was in the workshed and he called me and said he thought he had found the bottom. Indeed he had an there was a large vice attached to it. brought it home removed the vice and put a granite top on it. Its in my kitchen and has made the trip from NY to my Home in Fl. it adorns my kitchen. It is oak!! Very Happy with our find and I think of my Uncle Dub often.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Ruth, what a great story and I love that you think of your uncle with that cabinet. I am so glad you found both the top and the bottom. I wonder how many Hoosiers are in work sheds still? I am so happy yours made that long trip safely. Thanks for reading and sharing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  32. Sandi King says:

    Nicole, I too had always wanted a Hoosier and year before last I found one on Facebook’s Marketplace. We, my son and I, had been looking for a long time for one and one day when I got on Facebook and went to Marketplace, the first picture there was of a white with red trim and black knobs Hoosier. I had been having trouble walking, but when I saw the Hoosier I almost ran to where my son was and told him to come and look at what I had found. The excitement flowed that day and we contacted the owner who was having a yard sale about 60 miles away in Indiana. We told him we would be there with our trailer the same day to buy it and bring it home to our unfinished house. Our house was not completely done yet and I always wanted white cabinets with black knobs, and this Hoosier fit right in with my ideas. It has on the top half, two long doors, one with shelves, the other where a flour sifter bin used to be, and a small glass front door between them and below that an open area where I store my cookbooks, and below the doors are two small drawers on each side. The lower half has the pull out table top of white porcelain, with the red trim. On each side are two pull out drawers that are as long as the depth of the cabinet, great for storing numerous items, and between them the bread drawer with the metal inside that does keep our bread from spoiling as it used to in a wooden bread cabinet. Below those drawers are two doors that open up to a half shelf and a full shelf which holds many of my baking dishes. This was my first piece in my kitchen and we now have all white cabinets with round black knobs and on either side of my vintage kitchen sink are two glass front cabinets that hold my glasses, plates and bowls for everyday use. I also, because of your blog about vintage treadle sewing machines was able to purchase one from the Habitat Restore the same year. My son also collects cookie jars and the top of the Hoosier holds five of them. I also was able to find an older metal wine rack that holds five wine bottles and has a handle and I use it to hold our five rolling pins and it sits in the middle of my kitchen table until we have company, then I move it the Hoosier. I love reading all the blogs from Mary Jane’s Farm girls and especially those about vintage things.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Sandi, your kitchen sounds Farmgirl divine! I bet it is just darling. Your Hoosier must be just the cutest thing in there! I would love to see a photo of it. And I am just delighted that I inspired you to get a treadle sewing machine! Thank you so very much for sharing with me here. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  33. Veronica Nightingale says:

    This is so cool! I had heard of Hoosier Cabinet
    Cabinets but never knew what they were.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise, thank you so much! It is all decorated for Halloween, now too. Just the cutest. I will have fun changing it with the seasons. Thanks for dropping by the blog! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  34. Joy Pascarella says:

    I thought I was looking at my Hoosier . I collect some of the same things too. But I can’t stop at one or two. I has lots of chicken dishes, cotton tablecloths, cookie cutters , linens , old cook books from baking sodas companies. All in my bossier . I love mine so much. Your is beautiful.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joy, I love your comment! Thank you! I have recently changed my Hoosier for the fall season. It now has a Halloween apron in vintage fabric, a ghost figurine, vintage “cooky” cutters from the 1950s, and a pumpkin jar with candy. I can’t wait to switch it over for Christmas! I think we vintage lovers all tend to like and appreciate the same things. So much fun! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  35. Mary J Walsh says:

    Thank You for this article……….MJW

  36. Loni McDonald says:

    I absolutely luv luv luv the old things sitting on your Hoosier… I would luv one but don’t have any room in my kitchen or anywhere else. Enjoy!!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Loni, Thank you so very much! It has been fun to have it in the kitchen. I decorated it for Fall and Halloween, and now have changed it up for Christmas. I enjoyed changing the decor on for Christmas more than decorating the rest of the whole house, lol! Thanks again for reading and commenting…hope you have a wonderful Holiday season. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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