Father’s Day Gift Guide


In the grand scheme of things none of us, even the oldest among us, is really that old. Our personal time spans are brief and fleeting, but heritage never dies, and it has been with us since the beginning. I am not old, not even considering the grand scheme of things, but I already know that leaving a legacy is a difficult task. Men have suffered and spent themselves to leave them. Good heritage cannot exist without good men suffering to leave a legacy. And we thank our fathers for their suffering. Without them, we would not know what it means to live a life our grandsons would be proud of. 

Our Father’s Day Gift Guide


Where There’s Smoke Cookbook / Sour Puss Spicy Pickles / Vintage Denim Jacket / Botot Mouthwash / Prospector Co. Gabardine 1879 / Antique Cufflinks / Personal Ashtray / Tanner Goods Sunglass Case / Jack Walker Sterling and Leather Necklace / Juniper Ridge Trail Crew Soap / Lightfoot’s Pure Pine Gentleman’s Shave Cream / Pipe / Cowboy and Indian Card Set / Paine’s Balsam Fir Incense


Written by Jonathan Allston

A Proper Shave

WTTTWSHAVING-2It seems  that most men should remember their first shave. More than likely, it was when the 12 year old version of oursleves were told that, as proud as we were of our peach fuzz, it really needed to go. Dad might have been the one to tell us. He’s good at telling us hard things to hear, but that in the end are really good for us.

And if he was in tune with the finer things in life, he taught us how to prep our faces with a hot, soaked rag, how to soften the bristles of our brush in hot water, how to spread shaving cream or soap suds across our face (or upper lip) like an expert painter, how to grip a nice, heavy razor in our hand,  how to shave with long, even strokes, and finally, how to splash on aftershave with the virtue of restraint.

But some of us didn’t get the proper “how to shave” talk. Maybe it’s time we caught up and made the morning shave one of the finer things in life.



Prospector Co. Shaving products and Lightfoot’s Pure Pine Gentleman’s Shave Soap available at We Took to the Woods.

Written by Jonathan Allston

Our Mothers

Genevieve Moore Cheatham with her daughter, Nancee, 1923.  She loved to visit her grandchildren on the weekends, always bringing grapes, lemon drops and sandwiches.

It has been said that mothers are the gatekeepers of culture, always with an eye tuned towards what is passing in and out, critiquing and assessing, taking what is good and blessing their children with it, hoping there is enough goodness to keep hearts grounded, contented, and unswayed by seduction. We are who we are, we value what we value, because generation after generation our mothers have been keeping watch. Whether with the stern and faithful wounds we desperately need, or with the consolation of being held tightly in her arms, which we need just as much, she has formed like a potter the tenderest affections of our hearts. And down the precarious descent of genealogy, upheld by grace, she has turned us always toward what is good. We have learned to long for it, and someday we might want it for ourselves as much as she has wished it for us. From now until we get there, and ever after, she deserves a thank you.   -Jonathan Allston

The always stylish Nancee Moore Cheatham, 1930s.  She became a farmer’s wife but was always a city girl at heart.

Della Cochran with her four sons and one daughter, Margaret Emogene “Bobbie”, circa 1950

Della lost her husband to tuberculosis and raised 5 children as a single mother.  She was an extraordinary seamstress.

Bobbie always offers beautiful words of wisdom, and every meal is an opportunity to use the good china.

Mary McKittrick Knight on the front porch of the family farmhouse in lower Greenville County.  Always make people think you are happy to meet them.

Martha Douty, with her sisters, Mae and Sabina, early 1900s

Harry and Mae Yearick had 6 children together.  After Mae died giving birth to their sixth child, who would only live to be a year old, Martha married Harry and cared for the children.  A great act of love.  They later had two children together.

Mary with Nancee Lee, Mother’s Day 1986.  A beautiful and patient mother who has taught us to love and always value our family and heritage.





There was a day when mass production was more about getting quality stuff to the masses, and less about the ability to make massive amounts of all things sans quality. In the 18th and 19th centuries, potters in Great Britain started producing Ironstone china to serve as a more durable, re-producable alternative to porcelain, and they did not skimp on good, solid quality. After all, it’s called stoneware, which means it’s made out of rock! And dinner tables the world over begged to stand beneath its weight.

It seems that through the 19th century Americans preferred the pure white Ironstone pieces. And it makes sense that we would opt for what was clean, strong, and classy, not to mention versatile enough to deck the rough wood of the farmhouse table and the soft elegance of the table-clothed dining room. Two centuries later, it is a special thing to share in a rich dining tradition with our predecessors, especially when we’re eating off the same plates.
-Written by Jonathan Allston





Hand crafted leather is unmistakable. It laughs in the face of the typical. It is art and endurance in the palm of your hand. Handle it. Sling it over your shoulder. This stuff gets better with use. And time. That’s just the truth–the tough-as-leather kind of truth.

Pictured:  Tanner Goods Folio and Bucheimer Mailman Bag, 1965