The Hay House is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Georgia Historic Trust. The exterior of the house was completed in 1860 and the furnishing of the interior was complete by about 1870, after the civil war. Known as The Palace of the South, the 18,000 square foot mansion is capped by a cupola 80 feet above the ground that provides sweeping views of the city of Macon. Please visit the Hay House website to learn about this remarkable home and see a virtual tour of parts of its interior.
In 2010, Gracewood Design created a new version of the original floor covering in the dining room, a floorcloth from about 1870. Pieces of this floorcloth had been discovered under built-in bookcases that were being removed as part of a dining room renovation.
The original floorcloth remnant and Gracewood's interpretation are shown here. The original floorcloth was burlap-based, and the design was probably applied either by stamping or some sort of printing/rolling process that deposited a thick, textured application of the heavy oil-based paint products used at the time. The pattern has an 8” repeat, with each red ”cross” and black “star” measuring 8”.
This design is based on a wallpaper pattern, c. 1886, from the A.W.P.M.A. (American Wallpaper Manufacturer’s Association) and attributed to M.H. Birge and Sons, the premier American wallpaper manufacturer of the time. This paper is in Bolling & Company’s portfolio, the largest collection of antique American wallpaper in private hands. AGD’s co-owner, Gwen Jones, is also a co-owner of Bolling & Company and intends to mine their archives for other suitable patterns to adapt for floorcloths. This one was top of the list!