New home sought for mystery mantle
July 28, 2005
Marti and Tom Deputy purchased their Ruhenstroth home from James Sexton in 1989. It came with a 2,800-square-foot home, an acre, a barn and a mystery.
Inside the barn at 773 Mustang Lane in was a huge, hand-carved wooden arch.
Marti Deputy said that when the couple purchased the home from Sexton, they told him to take the arch with him. But after promising to do so, Sexton moved out of the area and the arch stayed in the Deputy’s barn.
“We inherited it,” Deputy said. “Jim was supposed to remove it, but he went to California and we lost track of him. We’ve had it for 15 years. I don’t know how long Jim had it.”
Deputy believes the item is from a church and has dubbed it a mantle.
“It looks like it might be something you’d find in a Catholic church,” she said.
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Over the years, the mantle has sat gathering dust in one corner of the Deputy’s barn until they decided to do something about it.
Deputy said they advertised a few years ago in hopes someone would recognize the mantle.
“We had one gal who was very interested in it,” Deputy said. “She did some research on it and matched it with a baptismal piece sitting in the museum. She said it looked like was done by the same artist for the Lutheran church.”
But the woman was called to California.
“She left a phone number on my answering machine, but she was talking on a cell phone and I couldn’t make it out,” she said. “We haven’t made a valiant effort to get rid of it.”
Recently, the Deputy’s sold the Mustang home and have moved to the top of Johnson Lane. The new owner doesn’t want the mantle.
“He restores old cars and he doesn’t want the mantle to fall on one of his cars,” she said.
The trouble is that the piece is very large, 20 feet tall, and made of solid wood, so it’s heavy.
“It’s just massive,” Deputy said. “We called the 1-800 Junk guy and he said that we would have to cut it up with a chainsaw to get it into their truck.”
The problem is that the Deputys don’t really want to see the item cut up or thrown away.
“We’re hoping someone will come forward and help us,” she said. “We have no ability to keep it in a covered area and we’d hate to keep it outside. It would disintegrate in the weather.”
The new owner wants Deputy to remove everything by the close of escrow, but she said she feels that as long as an effort is being made to find someone willing to take it, he will be patient.
Anyone with information or an interest in the mantle, should call the Deputys at 267-1177.