Cup Board

We recently made a cup board. Not a cupboard (although I have made a couple of those).

No, it’s literally a board with pegs for holding cups. It hangs over the fireplace and adds a decorative touch to the kitchen in our old 1832 Georgia plantation plain style home.

And it got me thinking about the word – cupboard. I learned long ago that it’s a shortened form of cup board, but when did people start using such a thing?

It was in the “new” stone age (Neolithic era), when people started living in settlements with walls and roofs. They baked clay into vessels like cups and plates. Which created the need for a place to put that stuff… and presto: some brilliant inventor came up with the idea of a mounting a board to the wall so food implements didn’t sit on the dirt floor.

Thus the “cup board” was invented and the race was on to see how much variety subsequent generations of designers could build into this lifestyle necessity which eventually grew doors and enclosed spaces.

Old Mother Hubbard and her Anglo-Saxon friends even slurred the name to cupboard, maybe just for rhyming purposes. Nobody knows for sure.

Sometimes elaborate and sometimes plain, the cupboard is everywhere now, though in modern kitchens we call them “cabinets.”

Our house has an indoor kitchen now (it didn’t in 1832), plus cabinets from a 1960’s makeover (just like in the bottom picture!).

And we are quite proud of our retro cup board addition.

Salvaged from an old barn doorway, it is embedded with square-cut hand forged nails. The wooden pegs are a Shaker design (Shakers used to hang everything, even chairs, from pegs).

But what’s the best feature of our cup board?


It hangs directly over the fire which keeps the cups nice and warm overnight ensuring a wonderfully hot morning cup of coffee.

A House With a Name

My house has a name ~ Jasmine Bower.

It was given that name because this 1832 home once had a front yard full of every possible variety of flowering Jasmine. The fragrance must have been amazing on a warm Georgia evening.

The Jasmine Bower House

The Jasmine Bower House/ Shady Dale, Ga.

The Jasmine vines are now gone. The legend blames the family doctor who insisted they must be cut down to keep their poisonous fumes from sickening the children.

I am so lucky to live in Georgia, surrounded by historical structures that have stories to tell. Just gazing at the stately antebellum homes in Covington and Madison transports me to a time
long ago.

The past is slippery, though. Hundreds of old Georgia homes are fading away through the ravages of time and neglect. I would like to save them all. Maybe,collectively we can, one at a time.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is helping in a big way by identifying endangered properties across the state.

I photographed one such property known as the Sayre-Alford House in the town of Sparta. It was recently purchased through the Georgia Trust for $80,000. It will take a good deal of investment to bring it back to its previous glory, but well worth it for the homeowner, the town of Sparta, and dozens of craftsmen honored with the task of rebuilding the past.

Sayre-Alford House

The Sayre-Alford House / Sparta, Ga.

Mark McDonald, the President of the Georgia Trust says, “historic preservation is an unparallelled tool for community revitalization and economic development.” Investments in historic properties put cash back into communities, create jobs for skilled artisans, and create a “unique sense of space and vitality.”

In Madison, the Georgia Trust has facilitated the sale of a Victorian era cottage in the ‘West Washington Street Gateway.’ This house and commercial property around it are the first part of a 400 acre Urban Redevelopment Program overseen by Madison City Planner, Monica Callahan. She explains, “Madison’s long range, 20-year master redevelopment plan is getting a big jump start thanks to this little Victorian cottage.”

Madison has the largest historic district in the state of Georgia.


Now - but is set for Re-hab

I feel privileged when working on my old house, repairing the ancient shutters or thinking about restoring the Jasmine gardens.

If you are thinking of purchasing a home, maybe consider an old one. There are lots of old homes that have not been identified by the Georgia Trust. Houses with names like ‘The Old Brady Place,’ or ‘Windy Hill. Old homes with stories to tell, that need new families to tell them to.

Ideas That Connect,

Reed Allen

Feel free to connect with me on Facebook or contact me by e-mail with any photos and ideas on this topic at


Welcome to Punch… Ideas that connect. This is the site where I am able to showcase my many interests and businesses in one location.

As the world changes and old paths intermingle with new ones, I feel the need to explain myself in a multilateral fashion.

Some know me as an “ad guy” or the “magazine guy” from “that little book” that has become popular in our small region of the world.

My friends from back home in Illinois and Wisconsin simply think I’m self-unemployed.

All are true, but the more complete picture must include my other passions of woodworking and photography. I spent many years in the world of big advertising at the Leo Burnett agency in Chicago where as an art director, I worked with the best photographers of the day, and learned a lot from watching. I also spent spare hours teaching myself how to make furniture pieces. Later I studied under a master woodworker to learn how to do it right.

My current journey finds me on all these paths at once, made possible by the Internet, Social Media Marketing, and all the new ways to connect that didn’t exist as I began my career.

Please browse thru these pages, and by all means contact me if you are interested in purchasing my furniture or photography.

When you see me around the area, say hello. Or just shoot me an email. Maybe you’ll have an idea for a furniture piece you’d like me to make, or a photo you’d like me to take.

I look forward to connecting with you and hearing your ideas.

Sunrise Service

Pic of Morning Sunlight

This was the sunrise on Easter Morning at the Jasmine Bower House. I never had to leave home.