Historical Tidbits

Royalwood was born in 1972 as a furniture restoration shop. Our services included chair caning and wicker repair, and we occasionally sold some of our stock to hobbiests. In 1986, Royalwood Ltd.'s first "full blown" - printed by a real printer - catalog was launched. Before that, we sold supplies at the flea market, serving the local community and few out of state customers. We handed out a "typed & mimeographed" price sheet. We did not take credit cards. Everyone had an open account to begin with.

The first catalog was printed on tan paper with brown ink.
There were 9 pages.
The UPS fee for a 5 lb. box from Ohio to California was $3.50.
Flat Reed was $5.75 / lb.
Fine Cane was $16.85 / hank.
Large Seagrass ran $5.95 / 3 lb.
6" x 7/16" hoops were 95¢ each.
10" x 14" Market Handles cost $2.95 each
Basket Cutters were $3.75 a piece.
There were 2 Basketry Magazines

"Basketmaker Quarterly" - later became Basketmaker"

"Newsbasket" was published by Shereen LaPlantz, and first appeared as a newspaper.

SSome "exciting" moments at the shop:
One Saturday afternoon local teens in a pickup truck were "doing donuts" in the parking lot of the shop, when all of a sudden the character driving lost control, and spun the truck right through the wall and into our small showroom. The kids riding in the back of the truck scattered to the 4 Winds, leaving the driver to face the music when the police arrived. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the wall could be rebuilt!
Several years later, in the middle of the day, we heard a crash in our front yard. When we investigated, we found our large wooden Royalwood sign smashed to bits & no one in sight. BUT!!! The vehicle that hit the sign left its license plate behind. By the time the police arrived, the young girl that had hit the sign & her father had returned to the scene. She had panicked after hitting the sign, and drove home.  Her dad brought her back to "fess up" to her deed. Again, fortunately, no one was hurt, and the sign was repaired / replaced good as new.
Do you remember?
Oriole Basket Frames

"Interweave" magazine

"The Basket Tree" magazine

"Simply Baskets" magazine

PBS's Country Basket Weaving with Sandy Atkinson

"The Basket Gathering" - 1987 - 2006

There were 21 "Basket Gatherings", including a Spring & Fall Gathering in 1989.

All but 3 of The Basket Gatherings were held at Camp Mowana near Mansfield, Ohio.
At that time, Camp Mowana was a Lutheran Church Youth Camp. Located in a beautiful wooded setting with trails and several small water falls it was the perfect place for a basketry retreat. Lodging and meals were on site, and the event ran Friday through Monday.

Early on, the Gathering hosted over 100 folks, but was later scaled back to a smaller number. Many life-long friendships were forged during the weekend.

At the first Basket Gathering in 1987, the instructors were:

Cheryl "ebie" Kindsvatter, Sybil Burskey, Pat Rossiter, Martha Wetherbee, Nathan Taylor, Becky Clark, Donna Shank, Jim Rutherford, Bob Dow, John DeWalt, Vicki Bright, Chris Young, and Bill Alkire.

The workshops ranged from traditional flat, round, and rib style baskets to color design, natural materials, Seat weaving and wicker repair were included along with the Nantucket &
Shaker style baskets.

Workshops at the "Grande Finale Basket Gathering" held in 2006 were taught by:

Bob Coker, Mary Hettmansperger, Regina Riley, and Judy Zugish, and Sally Anaya.

SDDuring "The Basket Gathering" run of 21 Events almost everyone's favorite teacher participated - either as a student or instructor.ManDuring the During
Jim Bennett
Marion Campbell
Char TerBeest
Carol Tunnicliffe
John Wilson
Tom & Connie McColley
Bonnie & Jeffrey Gale
Jonathan Kline
Debbie Cates
Flo Hoppe
Katherine O'Neal
Richard Spicer
Carol Madison
Roger & Betty Curry
Sandy Whalen
Lynne Schlichting
Gail Hutchinson
Peggie Wilcox Arends
Marla Helton
Karen Mitchell
Mary Smith Stokes

Marilyn Moore
Mark Katz
John McGuire
Jodi Shebester
Jo Campbell Amsler
Tressa Sularz
Judy Wilson
Susan Kavicky
Doris Messick
Joan Moore
Cass Schorsch
Linda Arter Sura
Patti Hawkins
JoAnn Kelly Catsos
Jean Cadmus May
Susan Brooks
Debra Hammond
Judith Olney
Ann Rohlf
Eric Taylor
Karen Tembruell
We celebrated our 20th Anniversary "Basket Gathering" with a memorable evening at the Carousel Park & factory tour of our local Carousel Factory.
In 2019, Camp Mowana was sold to the City of Mansfield's Park District. Now known as Fleming Falls Preserve, the city has demolished some of the older buildings and cabins. They are currently busy updating the newer facilities: including Oswego Lodge & the newer Fleming Falls Retreat Center. Existing trails are being improved and new ones are being added. The hope is the new park will be open to the public within the next year or so.