Collections on Display
Daniel Marrett Portrait
This portrait of Daniel Marrett was painted by John Brewster, a deaf, itinerant painter from nearby Buxton, Maine. Brewster was a prolific and popular folk artist. In this portrait, Daniel Marrett is presented as a man of strength and dignity, well-suited to his role as Standish, Maine’s moral arbiter and leading citizen. The prominence of place held by the painting in this room speaks to the reverence in which he was held by his children and grandchildren.
Avery and Elizabeth Marrett had seven children, six of whom lived to adulthood and spent their childhoods here at Marrett House. Judging by the affection with which they wrote each other in their later years, the house would have been filled with their energy and laughter through the 1850s and 1860s. The children’s toys that remain in the house include this very special rocking horse made by Herman and Co., Boston c. 1857-58. Made of animal hide stretched over wood, it exudes character through sparkling green eyes, a full tail, and elaborate saddle.
This stencil was used to print the family name on barrels of apples shipped out from the Marrett orchard. Daniel Marrett had turned to apple growing to supplement his meager income as a minister. His success with grafting had resulted in the Marrett orchard being able to produce large quantities of apples. Avery inherited the already thriving business on Daniel’s death in 1836.
Helen Keller Letter
Frances Marrett was the youngest of Avery and Elizabeth’s daughters. After graduating from Abbot Academy in 1885, she went to teach at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. It was at Perkins that Frances met and taught Helen Keller. Miss Frances taught French to Helen, and was such a significant influence on the young girl that she later mentioned Frances in her autobiography. This letter is remarkable. It shows perfect handwriting almost engraved on the paper.
Homemade Pin Cushions
On top of the dresser in the best bedroom in Marrett House are two rather unusual-looking homemade pin cushions. At first glance they seem to have glass stems. It is only on closer inspection that you can see that they are actually made from broken wine glasses. Wonderful examples of Yankee practicality and ingenuity, they were probably made by either Caroline or Helen Marrett, the sisters who inherited and lived in the house after the death of their parents Avery and Elizabeth.