began working with the USMA
in the development of a program to create a collection of handcrafted pens, cuff links and other items from West Point Witness Wood®
. At the time, restoration was beginning on three circa 1860 houses and the concept was to repurpose some of the original construction wood that was being replaced to handcraft a series of pens for graduates, cadets, family members, etc., with a portion of the proceeds to be directed to a to be determined program at the USMA
Although we were working with the office of Strategic Initiatives and the Superintendent’s office the project was ultimately being overseen by the US Department of the Interior. With the project being overseen by the Dept. of the Interior everything was slow to develop and History Salvaged had some other projects that were being implemented and frankly although the Superintendent and others agreed to supply the necessary wood being removed that would normally be discarded, the timing just wound up not allowing us to get the project off the ground.
Still, during one of our meetings we were informed that several Mess Hall tables were broken and going to be thrown out, they offered them to us and we were able to secure them prior to them being taken to a dumpster, anticipating using them when we did finally get the project off the ground. When we were leaving that day, several cadets loaded these tables in our truck and our intention was always to pick up where we left off at some point and create heirloom pens out of this Mess Hall Witness Wood® (one circa 1940’s table and 2 circa 1980-90’s mess hall tables).
Although we have recently reached out to various departments and affiliates at the USMA to discuss new opportunities, we have decided to begin creating a series of Pens from these amazing Mess Hall tables with the hopes of making a small piece of West Point available to graduates, family members and friends. Not only will these heirlooms “Keep History Alive”, they commemorate the heroes who have walked the hallowed halls and served and protected our freedom for more than 200 years.
It is impossible to know who sat at these tables but it literally could be anyone over the past 70 years!
Additionally, History Salvaged will not profit from the creation nor sale of any pen made from this West Point Mess Hall Witness Wood®, 100% of the profit will be donated to the WPAOG ( Superintendent's Fund) and the Non-Profit Corporation, History Kids USA (www.HistoryKidsUSA.org).
Many of the mysteries of West Point customs are nurtured in Mess Hall tradition.
As a plebe sits at attention while he eats, his eyes may not wander farther than the perimeter of a circle of radius seven inches, whose center is at the center of his plate; and he must see that all of the upperclassmen at his table are properly supplied with food.
Any discussion of the customs and traditions of West Point is a discussion of the Academy itself. In the long life of the Corps, certain unwritten habits of conduct have developed, and many stories of former escapades have been handed down.
Many of the customs are in the form of restrictions placed upon the "plebes." The traditions and restrictions in the mess hall are many and if you ask any USMA graduate they will tell you, the traditions, some silly, some painful, helped mold the person they were to become!
The greatest tradition that West Point has or can ever have, is the "long grey line" of cadets who have gone before and all have spent countless hours in the Mess Hall. For more than a century and a quarter, West Point has been equipping the country's military leaders. It is with pride for the past and ambition for the future that the Corps boasts of the real tradition symbolized by the motto: DUTY—HONOR--COUNTRY.