Historic New England

Historic New England Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. We preserve and share centuries of New England heritage through historic properties, collections, archives, education programs, and more.
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We preserve and share four centuries of New England heritage through historic properties, collections, archives, education programs, and historic preservation services.

We preserve and share four centuries of New England heritage through historic properties, collections, archives, education programs, and historic preservation services.

Mission: We serve the public by preserving and presenting New England heritage.

Operating as usual

#FBF What do you think they’re looking at? 🔭📸 “Telescope on Boston Common,” Boston, Mass., undated. See more from our ph...
02/26/2021

#FBF What do you think they’re looking at? 🔭

📸 “Telescope on Boston Common,” Boston, Mass., undated. See more from our photographic collection at HistoricNewEngland.org/collections.

Check out last night's segment on Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm from Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5 to see some footage of our...
02/25/2021
Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5

Check out last night's segment on Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm from Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5 to see some footage of our "high-spirited characters"—including Roger the donkey.

Our trip along Route 1A takes us to Ipswich, where the spirit of choice is rum. Farther north in Newbury, a historic estate is home to a cast of high-spirited characters.

Two items in this painting are considered attributes of its titular Greek goddess, Hera. Can you guess what they are? If...
02/25/2021

Two items in this painting are considered attributes of its titular Greek goddess, Hera. Can you guess what they are?

If you guessed the pomegranate 🔴 and the peacock feather 🦚 you're correct! This late 1880s painting, "Hera" by Marie Spartali Stillman, is one of the surprising rediscoveries revealed in our exhibition Artful Stories. Next Thursday, 3/4, join us at the third installment of our virtual lecture series "Closer Encounters: Conversations About Artful Stories" to hear more from Stillman experts Kristen Shepherd (Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida) and Margaretta Frederick (Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington) about this piece's symbolism and how it epitomizes the artist's globetrotting life.

Visit https://my.historicnewengland.org/6800/artful-3 for tickets.

Tonight at 7:30 on WCVB Channel 5 Boston!
02/24/2021
Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Tonight at 7:30 on WCVB Channel 5 Boston!

Alright, friends. If you want to see some of our beloved Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm animals making their star debut, check us out here tomorrow night.
Also, Lowell's Boat Shop features prominently and gorgeously, along with many other friends and neighbors.

Rhode Island's special election is coming up on Tuesday, 3/2. Historic New England encourages support of three bond auth...
02/24/2021
Historic New England

Rhode Island's special election is coming up on Tuesday, 3/2. Historic New England encourages support of three bond authorizations included on the ballot pertaining to conservation, recreation, affordable housing, cultural arts, and historic preservation. Learn more 📲 https://wfly.co/v4KDg

QUESTION 2:
A YES vote authorizes a $74 million bond investment in state beaches, parks, campgrounds, recreation facilities, working forests and farmland preservation, clean water, flooding resiliency structures, and watershed maintenance.

QUESTION 3:
A YES vote authorizes a $65 million housing and community opportunity bond that would support community revitalization through smart investment in construction and rehab of affordable housing.

QUESTION 6:
A YES vote authorizes a $7 million culture and arts bond, including $1 million specifically for the state preservation grants program.

Historic New England encourages support of three bond authorizations included on the ballot for the March 2 special election in Rhode Island. Conservation, recreation, affordable housing, cultural arts, and historic preservation are interconnected, and the funding measures proposed could have widesp...

💍💖 Did you get engaged this #ValentinesDay and want to plan an intimate ceremony? We have new micro-wedding packages ava...
02/24/2021

💍💖 Did you get engaged this #ValentinesDay and want to plan an intimate ceremony? We have new micro-wedding packages available for the upcoming warmer weather!

For just $695, you and your loved one can tie the knot at one of eleven of our outdoor spaces. All guests must wear a mask and maintain six feet of social distance.

Get more information and book your micro-wedding at https://www.historicnewengland.org/micro-wedding-locations-for-your-spring-wedding/.

📸 Casey Farm

02/23/2021

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, Mass.—with its manor house, farm animals, and hiking space—is one of our most popular sites. But #didyouknow there is a salt marsh on the property that helps protect the coast from erosion and flooding, offers food and refuge to hundreds of species, and improves air and water quality?

Enjoy this drone video of the beautiful farmland, and visit https://www.historicnewengland.org/get-a-look-at-our-video-230-acres-of-open-land-and-the-salt-hay-marsh-at-spencer-peirce-little-farm/ to read more about the history of the land’s salt marshes.

02/22/2021
The History of Black History Month: Dr. Carter G. Woodson's fight for reform | Historic New England

#BlackHistoryMonth was adopted nationwide in 1976. But how did this month of commemoration come to be?

Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), “the father of Black History,” believed that the only way to achieve racial equality was through the study and elevation of Black excellence. He believed that education would show the world that African Americans helped build, shape, and bring prosperity to the United States.

It was this acute focus on education that, after years of advocacy to bring African American history and American history together, Woodson helped create Black History Month’s predecessor: Negro History Week. This week-long observance evolved into the month-long commemoration we know today.

Read more about Woodson and his advocacy work at https://www.historicnewengland.org/the-history-of-black-history-month-dr-carter-g-woodsons-fight-for-reform/.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), “the father of Black History,” believed that the only way to achieve racial equality was through the study and elevation of Black excellence. Woodson’s beliefs were not new or unique. Like many who came before him, Woodson believed that education would show t...

Check out the dapper visitors the Eustis Estate has had over the past few weeks! 🐾Shout out to beauthegreyhound and walk...
02/19/2021

Check out the dapper visitors the Eustis Estate has had over the past few weeks! 🐾

Shout out to beauthegreyhound and walkiesthroughhistory on IG for today’s fleecy #FanPhotoFriday!

In this time of change for so many New England communities, Historic New England believes it is important to document th...
02/17/2021

In this time of change for so many New England communities, Historic New England believes it is important to document the things we cherish that are fast disappearing. In keeping with this belief, we have recently acquired photographs for our collection of New England diners and Boston’s Chinatown by John Woolf.

Photographic artist John Woolf has worked for over forty years to document the transformation of the American urban architectural landscape.

Read more about our recent acquisitions at https://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-new-england-acquires-photographs-of-diners-and-bostons-chinatown-from-artist-john-woolf/.

#TriviaTuesday This camera from c. 1800-1820 captured images by using a small lens at one side of its darkened chamber t...
02/16/2021

#TriviaTuesday This camera from c. 1800-1820 captured images by using a small lens at one side of its darkened chamber through which an image was projected onto the wall opposite of the hole. What kind of camera is this? 📸

Give us your best guess in the comments, and then check back later for the answer.

Want to learn more about the history of photography and how to take better photos? Join us next Thursday, 2/25, for our virtual lecture, “How to Take Better Pictures and How to Make Them Last,” with digital photographer Neil Dixon. Visit https://my.historicnewengland.org/6800/take-better-photos for tickets.

Today is #PresidentsDay, celebrated each year on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington’s birthday. ...
02/15/2021

Today is #PresidentsDay, celebrated each year on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington’s birthday. Originally established in 1885 as a federal holiday to create more three-day weekends, Presidents’ Day honors Washington’s legacy as the first president of the United States.

While today commemorates one of the most esteemed historical figures in America, it also commemorates an imperfect man. Washington enslaved a few hundred people—a hypocritical fact, considering the tenets and ideals upheld in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Ona Judge was one such person, an African American woman who dared to take “what was morally, ethically, and rightfully hers: freedom.” Judge escaped to freedom in 1796 and made her way to Portsmouth, N.H., where Elizabeth Langdon—daughter of US senator John Langdon, of Historic New England’s own Langdon House—saw her in the street one day and sounded the alert. Thankfully, Judge was never recaptured, eventually fleeing to Greenland, N.H.

Read Ona Judge’s story at https://www.historicnewengland.org/ona-judge/.

Ready to leap into love this #ValentinesDay? 🐸 💚 Just double check that the blinds are closed…(This is a trade card in o...
02/14/2021

Ready to leap into love this #ValentinesDay? 🐸 💚 Just double check that the blinds are closed…

(This is a trade card in our ephemera collection for a…wait for it…dentist’s office. Yes, you read that right. We’re still trying to figure out how frogs are related to dental care.)

“Snow was falling,so much like starsfilling the dark treesthat one could easily imagineits reason for being was nothing ...
02/12/2021

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
—Mary Oliver, “Snowy Night”

Thanks to northern_vernacular on IG for this #FanPhotoFriday shot of Castle Tucker!

This couch hasn’t always looked quite so luxurious. Now seated at Otis House Museum in Boston, the couch was one of seve...
02/10/2021

This couch hasn’t always looked quite so luxurious. Now seated at
Otis House Museum in Boston, the couch was one of seventy-two pieces made by Isaac Vose & Son for the city to furnish General Lafayette’s lodgings when he made a brief visit in 1824. After nearly two hundred years, the piece needed conservation treatment.

One of our new online visitor experiences features Otis House—visit the web app to get an in-depth look at how conservators transformed this spectacular example of fine neoclassical Boston furniture.

💻 Read more and discover the web app at https://www.historicnewengland.org/conserving-an-isaac-vose-son-couch/.

Painting is a powerful medium of expression. Many artists use it as means of communicating life experience or capturing ...
02/09/2021

Painting is a powerful medium of expression. Many artists use it as means of communicating life experience or capturing specific moments in time.

Join us for our second installment of “Closer Encounters: Conversations about Artful Stories” next Tuesday, 2/16, to discover how two paintings in the exhibition reflect important aspects of the African American experience in New England. The New Hampshire⁠–⁠based artist Richard Haynes describes why he created his imaginary portrait of Cyrus Bruce, while scholar Rosalyn Delores Elder explores how Edward Mitchell Bannister transcended nineteenth-century attitudes about race to become a successful artist in Providence, Rhode Island.

Visit https://my.historicnewengland.org/6800/artful-2 to get tickets.

Last week for #BlackHistoryMonth, we introduced Christiana Carteaux Bannister, an abolitionist, activist, and founder of...
02/08/2021

Last week for #BlackHistoryMonth, we introduced Christiana Carteaux Bannister, an abolitionist, activist, and founder of Providence’s Home for Aged Colored Women. Did you know a branch of the organization also existed in Boston?

Established in 1860 by Rev. James Freeman Clarke, his mother Rebecca Parker Clarke, and Rev. Leonard A. Grimes of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston, the Home for Aged Colored Women was a charitable organization that provided services to aged and indigent African American women in Beacon Hill. Supporters of the home provided funding for the organization and also donated food, coal, and firewood.

This dressing gown came into Historic New England’s collection in 1915 as a gift from Boston’s Home for Aged Colored Women. A Committee on Clothing provided both new and used clothing for the residents. Unfortunately, this dress, despite almost certainly being donated long after it was fashionable, had been packed away as being “too good to wear.”

With funds from a grant from the City of Waltham, restoration of the Lyman Estate’s library is under way. The Queen Anne...
02/05/2021

With funds from a grant from the City of Waltham, restoration of the Lyman Estate’s library is under way. The Queen Anne–style library was an addition to the original house c. 1880 and now requires cleaning and conserving of the extensive wood paneling and wood furniture, plaster, and the fireplace’s distinctive decorative tiles and iron work.

Read more about our ongoing restoration of the library at https://www.historicnewengland.org/community-preservation-act-supports-restoration-work-at-the-lyman-estate/.

That's a wrap! Thanks again to Matthew Dickey for today's takeover—be sure to follow him on IG at _madickey_ for more ar...
02/04/2021
Gropius House | Historic New England

That's a wrap! Thanks again to Matthew Dickey for today's takeover—be sure to follow him on IG at _madickey_ for more architectural views of New England.

Get your tickets for a Gropius House tour at HistoricNewEngland.org/GropiusHouse. Limited capacity; masks required.

It's Matthew Dickey (@_MADickey_ on IG) for the last time today, but be sure to check out Historic New England's Instagr...
02/04/2021

It's Matthew Dickey (@_MADickey_ on IG) for the last time today, but be sure to check out Historic New England's Instagram stories (@historicnewengland) for more behind-the-scenes pics of Gropius House, including the upstairs and kitchen spaces.

The home includes all the original furniture from the Bauhaus and nearly looks as if the family stepped out for a moment. The dining room has a little parlor trick. It has a pen hole–like light above it set to light just to the edge of the table. Be sure to look at all the photos to see the room at night and an additional view of Sori Yanagi's butterfly stool. It was common for the Gropius family to invite students to see the home, a rare chance to check out an operational modern house. Only those in Illinois or California could have a similar experience seeing a Wright or a Neutra. Regardless of your feelings towards modernism, being in the space just feels like a good place to be.

Lincoln and the surrounding area became a center of modernist design. Breuer built his house next door, and other The Architects Collaborative (TAC) colleagues built homes nearby in Lexington in a modernist enclave called Six Moon Hill (it is a must visit for any mid-mod obsessive). Additionally, a TAC neighbor, Earl Flansburgh, also built his own home just down the way.

It's Matthew Dickey (IG @_MADickey_) again, strolling an architectural classic, Gropius House. It is open for limited ca...
02/04/2021

It's Matthew Dickey (IG @_MADickey_) again, strolling an architectural classic, Gropius House. It is open for limited capacity, guided tours on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit HistoricNewEngland.org/GropiusHouse for tickets.

These are two views through the same door. Gropius had an office at the house with its own entrance to meet clients. A well-appointed desk looks out towards the landscape, with a view of Ati's private stair well (just to keep an eye on her!). Loads of Bauhaus artisans adorn the walls and grace the rooms, inviting you to sit and stay for a while. The room has a pair of Saarinen chairs (a personal favorite as I'm from St. Louis and got to admire his arch daily), and a Marcel Breuer Penguin Donkey bookcase (second image next to the desk in the background). The house is a celebration of Bauhaus design and ideals.

There is a great twelve-minute segment of Ise Gropius describing life in the home. She said Walter was torn between getting to the office early in the morning and just dwelling in the home to see all the wonderful things happening around the house. Light shifting in the garden, trees swaying in the wind. Ise says thousands of people came to look at the house within the first year of it being built. An old lady asked her, "Is it always strenuous to live in the future?" She responded, "This is our natural way of living."

Hello Archinerds! This is Matthew Dickey (@_MADickey_ on IG). Of all the Historic New England sites, the one I have visi...
02/04/2021

Hello Archinerds! This is Matthew Dickey (@_MADickey_ on IG). Of all the Historic New England sites, the one I have visited the most is Gropius House in Lincoln, Mass. It is hands down my favorite. However, my obsession with the Bauhaus may make me a bit biased. But how can you not love a house with an original Penguin Donkey (a type of bookcase)?

This Bauhaus dwelling was completed in 1938 on land owned by Helen Storrow. She was quite old at the time but was really excited to see what this Bauhaus stuff was all about. (Marcel Breuer would also build a home on her land). The home is a sort of duality in the landscape. It is made of New England materials of wooden clapboard and brick, yet also contrasts to its surroundings. It not only nestles into the landscape but also enhances it.

The home was designed for Walter, his wife, Ise, and their daughter Ati. Ati really wanted a room with a glass ceiling to the stars and a sand floor. She didn't get the sand floor, but she did get her own entrance and a private terrace with views to the stars! Stay tuned to see more of the interior.

02/04/2021

Ready for a Historic New England social media takeover?

Today, our friend Matthew Dickey (_madickey_ on IG) is taking over our feed to give us a tour of Gropius House in Lincoln, Mass. Keep your eyes out for Matthew’s posts throughout the day!

At the turn of the twentieth century, Gloucester’s Eastern Point attracted a glittering circle of visiting artists, coll...
02/03/2021

At the turn of the twentieth century, Gloucester’s Eastern Point attracted a glittering circle of visiting artists, collectors, politicians, socialites, and silent-film stars. At the center of this social whirl stood Red Roof, the home of noted Harvard economist and eventual Massachusetts Congressman A. Piatt Andrew.

Join us for our virtual lecture “The Smart Set at Red Roof” next Thursday, 2/11. Explore Red Roof’s guest books, maintained between 1902 and 1930, featuring hundreds of photographs taken by Andrew himself, a friend of Henry Davis Sleeper of Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House. Cosponsored by The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston.

Visit https://my.historicnewengland.org/6730/red-roof for tickets.

📸 From the Red Roof Guest Book 1902-1912, pg. 113

🌸Many large historic estates in the Boston area had impressive greenhouses and significant collections of camellia trees...
02/02/2021

🌸Many large historic estates in the Boston area had impressive greenhouses and significant collections of camellia trees. One such place is our own Lyman Estate, which has its own 1820 camellia house.

Next Wednesday, 2/10, join us for “History of Camellias in Boston” to discover the rich history of camellia cultivation from the late 1700s through the 1900s.

Visit https://my.historicnewengland.org/6792/gre-camellias to get your tickets today for this virtual illustrated lecture.

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141 Cambridge St
Boston, MA
02114

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Historic New England operates thirty-seven historic properties open to the public. Open hours and prices vary, so please visit HistoricNewEngland.org. Many of our properties also have their own pages, which we invite you to follow.


Comments

Eustis Estate, Dec 2017 photo by Tisha Shaughnessy-Sullivan
Detail, Eustis Estate, Milton, MA Dec 2017 photo by Tisha Shaughnessy-Sullivan
Jess Provenzano
Help me get my new fruit in stores!
A friend of mine purchased this. Dated from mid 1700's. Would love your interpretation of what you think is written.
Release of The Noble Train The story of a twenty five year old Boston bookseller who dragged 60 tons of cannons to George Washington and saved the American Revolution
hppiest day in my life walking Bristol beach/BYE see you in heaven
Roger that...talking to a fellow visitor at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, MA today, I discovered that she hadn't seen Roger the donkey anywhere...and then this...made me smile :-)
I have keys that belonged to Charles C. Walker of Manchester, I would like to donate them to you if you would have them. I have tried to locate his family with no luck.
Peak foliage is just around the bend!
I was just reading the Fall/Winter newsletter like it was a novel! There are so many great things coming up, I can't believe it! Looking forward to seeing a lot more of the properties in the next months!
Misery Island 1962 ~ 1900 Beverly Farms Ma.