Donald L. Mathias Sr., along with his wife, Claudia, developed the Andover Family Craftsmen in 1976 in response to local demands for quality antique repair and restoration. Both have maintained an active role in the preservation of our American heritage and the forest land with their dwindling stands of virgin timber. Trees, timber and wood have been a large part of both of their childhood activities. Many of Claudia's earliest memories are found on her grandfather's farm, with his annual rite of spring, the taping of the maple trees and boiling of maple syrup in the antique 180 year old sugar house. To this day, long walks through this remaining forest of virgin maple trees gives one a profound perspective on history and the importance of man's careful stewardship of the land.farm1

Woodworking, or joinery as it was called, played an important part in the development of this country and is no surprise that it also has its roots deeply imbedded in this family. Many of the antique tools that are used in the restorations performed by the Andover Family Craftsmen have been handed down through the family to preserve this continuity with the past. Keeping with this family tradition, the next generation has been well trained, developing his own addition to this artistic philosophy. Donald, Jr., with a degree in fine arts, gives an even broader horizon to the range of restoration solutions that can be provided.


Academically, Donald, Sr. received his B.A. degree from Kent State University, his M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin and did his doctoral work at Northeastern University. Claudia holds her B.S. degree from Ohio State University and Donald, Jr. has his B.F.A. from Montserrat College of Art. As each period piece is presented for conservation, a detailed report is prepared documenting the age and all relevant information available on the maker, highlighting any specific references to the design and construction characteristics.