Froe Chips, January/February 2019, Carol White, Editor
Two tables made from timbers that once supported the roof of the White House at the time Andrew Jackson was president were given to the Veterans Hospital in 1940. The tables are of colonial design, the pine wood finished, polished and unstained. In the center of each table is a bronze plaque bearing the following inscription:
“This table is made of wood taken from timber that sup- ported the roof of the white House during the time of its occupancy by Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, 1829-1837. Presented by N.P. Severin Company”
The Alvin C. York Veterans Administration presented one of these tables to the Rutherford County Historical Society during the first week of January. It was definitely a Happy New Year for us at the RCHS! Thank you Frank Caperton with your collaboration in obtaining this wonderful piece of history for the Ransom School House Museum.
In researching the roof repair of the White House, I found that the N.P. Severin Company of Chicago, won the bid for the White House repair and was told by President Calvin Coolidge that they had 125 days to finish.
Taken down, as part of this repair, was the timber frame roof installed by James Hoban after the fire of 1814; much of the wood was turned into various souvenirs and sold. Thus, this is how the tables came into being.
Researching further, it was discovered that the N.P. Severin Construction Company also had ties to the Veterans Administration Hospital as they were awarded the contract of $1,382,500 to build the Murfreesboro hospital in 1938.
Photos by Frank Caperton. Sources: 1) Daily News Journal (18, May 1938), 2) Under this Roof: The White House and Presidency by Paul Brandus, published in 2015 by National Book Network.