The Country Farm Table has come a long way from its humble origins. Earliest mentions date back to the ancient Greeks. They were used in medieval castles where meals were taken in the Great Hall. All the inhabitants of the castle crowded around a long narrow table, seated on rough wooden benches. Its close cousin, the refectory table, was used in monasteries and seminaries. Designed to be portable, the table consisted of large planks of wood laid across a trestle so that it could be picked up and moved away when the meal was finished.
The American Farmhouse table evolved to meet the basic needs of the early settlers. They were usually made from slabs of Eastern White Pine, the most plentiful lumber available in Colonial times. Structural timbers were converted to table legs or trestles. Families and farm workers were usually seated around a basic bench or two. The lumber they used was not cured or kiln dried, forming cracks and twists as it air dried. The soft pine quickly showed the wear and tear of daily use. The table served many purposes a place to eat, a handy workbench, a baking board, a countertop for canning and preserves. But most importantly, the rough hewn table was a place to gather at the end of a hard day’s work on the farm. These antique Colonial Farm tables are hard to find today, and can cost thousands of dollars.