Adirondack Chair

by LeeAnne Jackson

I would like to think that everyone has a magical place where they can escape to. A place where all our worries melt away, and you can truly let go of all apprehensions. I have that place, and it's sitting in a well worn, slatted chair on the beach in Nantucket, staring out at a beautiful New England sunset. When I think of that moment, I am immediately taken back to one of the best summers of my lifetime. That summer was the beginning of many adventures. I can feel the wind on my face like yesterday. The smell of the surf, the sound of the gulls, the tide, and the laughs of my friends as we drank ice cold brew and flew our kites, our mopeds parked just off the sandy path.

Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island.

Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island.

When you imagine sitting on the beach in New England, it's hard to picture without a shaker style cottage with well worn Adirondacks out front. These chairs, often painted white for contrast, or well worn to match the shingles of the homes, having withstood the salty brine of many summers before, are the epitome of the beach chair. Originally designed by Thomas Lee in 1903 in the Adirondacks of New York, he lent his idea to a friend, Henry Burnell, who turned the design into a full-fledged business. He applied for and was granted a patent for the design in 1905. Flash forward over one-hundred years, and the Adirondack chair is an institution at vacation homes around New England and the Southern United States. From picnics, to mountain cabins, and beach cottages, the chair is the perfect place to lay low with a bowl of clam chowder, or an ice cold beverage carefully balanced on the wide arms. The perfect spot to rest your favorite summer refreshment. The slatted, contoured back, and deep seat provide comfortable seating for those of any age, even those of the canine variety, or a pair of summer lovers.

The sight of one of these iconic pieces instantly brings a smile to my face. The magical summer I spent in New England opened the door to my love of traveling, of letting go, and finding myself. No matter where I am, whether walking into an interview, singing in front of thousands, or going on a first date, I can picture sitting in one of these chairs, and I'm instantly transported to that secluded, serene beach. Reminding me that at any moment, I can curl up and all the troubles in life can fade away, with the gentle ease of a summer New England breeze.