1808 Beacon Hill Federal townhouse. An historic property owned and operated by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America Massachusetts Chapter.
🎁 The NSCDA MA, William Hickling Prescott House, Quincy Homestead and Martin House Farm hope you enjoyed our week of Fun Facts! Today is Day 7! 🌲
In colonial times, there wasn’t a special day for giving gifts, like our Christmas morning of unwrapping presents. Gift giving was done from masters or parents to dependents, such as children, servants, apprentices, and slaves. The dependents didn’t reciprocate with gifts, though.
Christmas Week Fun Facts- Day 6: 🥩🦪Christmas meals would have been fresh meats such as beef, goose, ham and turkey. They would have also had fish, oysters, mincemeat pies and brandied peaches. In the well to do households you would have found wines, brandy, rum punches and other alcoholic beverages. Many of the well to do households used the grocer S.S. Pierce & Co., established in 1831. They were located at the corners of Tremont and Court Streets, eventually moving to Copley Square. The company would hire horse drawn sleighs if roads were closed due to snow. They maintained a corps of salesmen who would phone housewives at appointed times. Not only did they suggest menus, they would answer such arcane questions as how to cook an ostrich egg or how to extract flavor from a vanilla bean.
Christmas Week Fun Facts Day 5 - During the colonial period, only one or two rooms in the home would have been decorated. The church was generally more decorated than the homes. The door would have had decoration, but most in-home Christmas trees didn’t make their debut until the nineteenth century. How much joy the addition of Christmas trees has brought homes each year!
Christmas Fun Fact Day 4- 🌟Mistletoe is a semi-parasite, meaning that it digs its “roots” in a host tree, sucks sap and water from the tree, but it manufactures its own chlorophyll. Since mistletoes often grow in the tallest branches, harvesting mistletoe is a slightly dangerous challenge. 18th century Virginians — instead of climbing up into the tree’s canopy — shot mistletoes out of trees. They then took the good sprigs home, fashioned them into mistletoe balls, and enjoyed the merriment of the season. This tradition harvesting mistletoe through gunfire still continues today all over the American south. And, of course the early merrymaking custom of kissing under the mistletoe still continues. A single berry is to be picked from each sprig for each kiss until it is gone. Being refused a kiss is considered bad luck.
Christmas Fun Facts , Day 3- 🎵 Even though Christmas was frowned upon by the Puritans, most southern colonies didn’t enforce the strict rules against celebrating Christmas. A few Colonial Christmas carols from the late 1700s are still around today including Joy to the World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and Greensleeves. Christmas carols have been around for longer than many may realize. But, did you know, Massachusetts has a few writers that could have received “Christmas Grammys”. Boston native James Pierpont published his popular song “One Horse Open Sleigh,” now known more commonly as “Jingle Bells,” in 1857. Another Massachusetts native was Phillips Brooks, who wrote the lyrics for “O Little Town of Bethlehem'' in 1868. Brooks was briefly the Bishop of Massachusetts and also the Rector of Boston's Trinity Church. “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” was published by Edmund Sears, an American Unitarian parish minister in Wayland , MA in 1849. Are any of these carols your family favorites?
Christmas Week Fun Facts- Day 2: 🎄Who brought the Christmas tree to America?
Technically, the German immigrants first physically imported Christmas trees and decorations. Pennsylvania German settlements started decorating their Christmas trees as early as 1747, and publicly displayed decorated trees in the 1830s.
However, the cultural phenomenon and popularity of Christmas trees didn’t really pick up in the United States until an illustration of Queen Victoria and her family showed up in the Illustrated London News in 1848.
(An illustration from a December 1848 edition of the Illustrated London News shows Queen Victoria and her family surrounding a Christmas tree. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images.)
Victoria was a popular queen, so everybody followed suit by putting a Christmas tree in their homes after her family did- which was mainly due to Prince Albert's wishes. As the Christmas tree became fashionable in Britain, social-conscious Americans got in on the action too. It is fun to note that Europeans used 4-feet-tall trees, while Americans liked their trees to scratch from floor to ceiling.
🔔 Time to celebrate.
The old days in Boston. 🕯
Christmas Week Fun Facts- Day 1 - 🌲Most Americans didn’t accept Christmas trees as late as in the 1840s. To the New England Puritans, Christmas was a sacred religious event, not a day to be desecrated by celebration and parties. William Bradford, the pilgrims' second governor, called Christmas celebrations “pagan mockery”, and any “frivolity” or joyous events were against the law starting in 1659, when the General Court of Massachusetts officially banned any observance of December 25 that wasn’t a church service. Oliver Cromwell, who was a devout Puritan, was also intolerant of “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and any joyful expression.
This stern solemnity against Christmas as we know it continued until the 19th century, when the influx of German and Irish immigrants “overwhelmed” America with tree-decorating traditions. 🎄President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas an official Federal Holiday in 1870 in an attempt to unite the north and south. Painting- "The Puritan Governor Interrupting the Christmas Sports" by Howard Pyle c. 1883
Happy National Poinsettia Day! December 12, we celebrate William Hickling Prescott who named the poinsettia plant. His home from 1845-1849 was 55 Beacon Street, Boston. It is now owned, operated and preserved by The National Society of The Colonial Dames in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It serves as our state headquarters and is open for historic house tours typically spring through fall. Post Designed by Linzee Obregon Prescott, WHP's, 4th Great Granddaughter. ❤️
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving 🍁🍁🍁
Looking forward to the 2021 Season Kick Off!
A look back at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades as we look forward to next year and doubly cherished festivities. 🎏
#thanksgiving #happythanksgiving #thanksgivingday #thanksgivingdayparade #macysdayparade #macysthanksgivingdayparade #history #funfact #massachusetts #boston #beaconstreet #bostoncommon #bostonstrong #colonialdames #colonialhouse #history #historical #historichouses #historicpreservation #williamhicklingprescotthouse #williamhicklingprescott
🌾 When the Pilgrims arrived, they did not have barley or any more beer. Hence, the popular Pilgrim poem,￼ “ If barley be wanting to make into malt. We shall be contented and think it is no fault, for we shall make liquor to sweeten our lips of pumpkin and parsnips and walnut tree chips and other green stocks we make our best beer. We put into barrels￼￼ to drink all the year.” For those who did not like that choice, they enjoyed fermented apple juice, which we call hard cider. Cheers!￼
It is almost Thanksgiving and we are starting our "Fun Facts" series. Typically, we tend to share colonial facts. This year, we chose to blend them with modern traditions as well. This rich blend brings us the full appreciation and Spirit we all share as a nation.
Saluting our Veterans and their families with heartfelt gratitude for their service ⭐️ #veterans #VeteransDay #boston #historicpreservation
Ring your bells in 20 minutes! ⏰
🇺🇸 It's CONSTITUTION DAY! And, today begins the national commemoration of Constitution Week. It is a observance that celebrates the Constitution- a document embodying the ideals in which we live by today. Set your alarms and join in the celebration by ringing a bell at 4:00 PM EST to "Let Freedom Ring." 🔔
Graphics: Linzee Obregon Prescott
The National Society of The Colonial Dames in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will never forget those we lost on 9-11-01. We wish their families and friends peace.
Did you see us in "Little Women"?
Today we celebrate! 🇺🇸 🎉
Hoping you are all enjoying the summer. Looking forward to seeing you next spring. 🩱☀️
Summer light in the parlor.
William Hickling Prescott’s Grandfather led the US to the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.
Bunker Hill Day 🇺🇸
"The Midnight March" by Joseph Becker depicts the Revolutionary War hero: Colonel William Prescott, leading American troops to Charlestown’s Breed’s Hill in preparation for the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Although the Patriots succumbed to the British that day, the battle significantly weakened British forces and played quite a pivotal role in furthering America’s fight for independence from the British. In a letter to John Adams, Colonel Prescott praised his troops for showing “prudence and courage” in the midst of battle.
Next season, please visit The William Hickling Prescott House at 55 Beacon Street, home of Susan Linzee Amory and Colonel Prescott’s grandson and famous historian. ♥️ Love prevails where you least expect it, as Susan Amory was the daughter of the British Captain, that Colonel Prescott went to battle against at Bunker Hill.
🇺🇸 Be well our friends, enjoy this day.
🇺🇸 On this Flag Day we remember Betsy Ross who is heralded for creating the first American flag in June of 1776. While Betsy’s role in designing the flag may be more American folklore than fact, historical records show Betsy's resilience as she navigated the challenges of her time. Excommunicated for marrying outside of her Quaker religion and widowed 3 times - through it all she persevered to become a mother of 7 daughters and owned and operated her upholstery business until retiring at age 75. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Photo: BIRTH OF THE FLAG. Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag. Painting by Henry Mosler (1841-1920).
To our Prescott House friends, Please visit our website nscdama.org for possible special events. We will miss you this summer and hope to see you next April. Thank you for your support and be well.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, (we regret that) our three historic properties, William Hickling Prescott House, Quincy Homestead and Martin House Farm, will be closed to the public for the 2020 season. We look forward to seeing you in 2021. Please stay safe.
Land of the free because of the brave 🇺🇸
On Memorial Day we honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom - a tradition dating back to 1866 when women from the Ladies Memorial Association in Columbus, Mississippi decorated the graves of both Union and Confederate Soldiers in a bold display of unity.
Today we also pay special tribute to healthcare providers, essential workers, and everyone doing their part by staying home. "United We Stand." ❤️💙
Thank you Beacon Hill Times for publishing this article about our role in Historic Preservation. Happy Historic Preservation month.
🇲🇽 Hope everyone had a great Cinco de Mayo.
Question: What famous historian wrote about the conquest of Mexico prior to the Mexican Army defeating the French Empire on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla?
Answer: William Hickling Prescott- 1843
Glancing down the street towards the Boston Public Garden from the Prescott House.
We wish good health and comfort to all. Prescott House Committee is keeping a positive attitude with plans for a vibrant summer tour season along with new events. We are delaying our April opening for the safety of all during these times where social distancing is recommended. Please check our website nscdama.org or our page for updates. Hope to see you in May. Thank you for your support. Be well. 🇺🇸
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America promotes appreciation for the people, places and events that led to the creation of our country.
🎂 Happy Birthday William Prescott! His grandson, William Hickling Prescott, was the famous historic writer who lived at 55 Beacon Street our NSCDA MA headquarters and open to the public on Saturdays starting in April. 🇺🇸
William Prescott (February 20, 1726 – October 13, 1795) was an American colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded the patriot forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Prescott is known for his order to his soldiers, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes", such that the rebel troops ...
Thank you to all who have liked our page. Just a reminder, we are owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Also, known as NSCDA MA. Please click here NSCDA MA to like our new page. Thanks for your support. MA STR♥️NG!
🎄 Happy Holidays from Prescott House. Wishing you all peace, blessings and warm memories. Thank you for your support.
Today is GIVING TUESDAY, help us maintain this Beacon Hill treasure to share with our children how life was as our Country was forming. Stepping back in time takes resources to preserve history.
Preserving this National Landmark across from the Boston Common is an honor. This marks our 75th anniversary of owning, operating and preserving this neighborhood gem open for seasonal tours. It also serves as our Massachusetts Society headquarters. Please read more about our societies missions by clicking on nscdama.org and then "donate". See the variety of ways you can contribute December 3, "Giving Tuesday".
55 Beacon St
Park Street T stop
Open Saturdays through October Open Wednesdays June through September, except July 3. Hours both days 12-4, tours start 15 past hour. Last tour starts 3:15.
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