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Series II, Other papers, 1816-1958, undated, (#1.16-1.20), includes Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan's (1871-1949) account book containing her shopping list and expenses for Christmas cards and gifts; Vaughan's diary reflecting her social activities in and around Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts; a 1958 winter issue of Old-Time New England: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities; a short narrative recounting the life of Sally Russell (dates unknown) as recalled by a Sarah Twain; and genealogical material relating to the Vaughan, Tyson, and Anthony families. The series is arranged alphabetically by topic, and thereunder chronologically.

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Collection Name
Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) papers
Collection Code
1816-1958, undated
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
Family papers (1 file box)
Collection Type
Description Level
Credit Line
Bequest of Elise (Tyson) Vaughan (died 1949), 1949
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

In 1898, author Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) convinced her friend Emily Tyson (1849-1922), widow of the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and her stepdaughter, Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) (Mrs. Henry G. Vaughan), to purchase Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine. The Tysons were part of a new wave of summer residents who were caught up in the Colonial Revival romance of owning country houses which reflected the grace and prosperity of colonial forbears and provided a healthful rural retreat away from the heat and pollution of cities.

The Tysons hired Herbert Browne of the Boston architectural firm Little and Browne to oversee some interior changes and to design additions to the west and east sides of the house. The Tysons also embarked on creating a grand Colonial Revival-style garden at the east side of the house encircled by an elaborate pergola. All major work was completed by 1900. Important additions to the property made in the following decade included murals painted in the parlor and dining room of the house by George Porter Fernald and the construction of a charming garden cottage fitted with interior paneling salvaged from a colonial home in Newington, New Hampshire. Luckily, Elizabeth (also known as Elise) Tyson was an accomplished amateur photographer whose photographs of interior and garden views provide a rare and wonderful documentation of the early years the ladies spent at the property.

After her stepmother's death in 1922, Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan and her husband Henry Vaughan (married 1915) were encouraged by William Sumner Appleton, the founder of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England, to keep the house. The Vaughans had built a house, again designed by the firm of Little and Browne and with murals by George Porter Fernald, in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Around 1925, Elizabeth did some redecorating at Hamilton House in keeping with the spirit of the earlier era and summered there until her death in 1949.

Record details

Material Type
family papers
Location Note