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Sign for Crofut's Inn
before 1892
Paint, probably pine board and moldings, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 39 x 37 3/4in. (99.1 x 95.9cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 37 3/4 x 37 3/4in. (95.9 x 95.9cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Morgan B. Brainard, Gift of Mrs. Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: This sign features an unusual example of a rebus, or pictorial representation of a word or phrase. In this case, the crow and the foot in the sky and the building below represent ‘Crofut’s Inn.’ The sign itself may be from the late 1700s or early 1800s, but the paint on the surface is not as old. It is possible that Crofut’s father may have used the original signboard, as census records indicate he was operating a boarding house in 1880.
Description: Images: On both sides, rebus with a crow in a tree and a foot suspended from the sky, above a house. Text: On both sides, "'s" to the right of the foot, and "INN" on the roof of the porch of the house. Construction: Two boards, grain oriented horizontally, joined with a tongue-and-groove joint. Signboard is set within grooves of applied moldings, which are nailed to the edges and mitered at corners. Separate cove molding strips are applied to the inside recess between the signboard and frame, holding the signboard in place. No structural frame, no pediment or skirt.
Historical Note: Original location. The Crofut Inn was located on the west side of Southbury Road (Rt. 67) in Oxford. The house was operated as an inn by the widowed Maria Louisa McEwen Wilcoxson, circa 1882-92. George E. Crofut bought the property in 1892 and continued operating it until at least 1911. The building was demolished during a highway widening about 1931.
Object Number: 1961.63.19
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