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Fall 2002

The Spirit of the House
The home of Walter Gropius and his family in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is filled with personal touches-coats and hats hanging in the hall, an Olivetti typewriter in the study, Ise Gropius's earrings on the dressing table, black-and-white towels hanging in the bathroom. Visitors constantly remark that the house feels as if the Gropiuses had just gone out for a stroll.
A Place Beyond Price
As an heir-loom for the preservation of which many sacrifices have been made by my ancestors, and as a repository of the ashes of my beloved kindred, the place is beyond price, and I trust will ever be zealously guarded and cherished by me and mine. Thomas Lincoln Casey wrote these words in 1881 at the conclusion of his Historical Sketch of the Casey Farm, Boston Neck, Rhode Island, a detailed narrative of the 300-acre farm in Saunderstown that his family had owned since 1702.
A Classical Dream Recaptured
In the first of several steps in the planned rehabilitation of the hundred-year-old Italian garden at Codman House, in Lincoln, Massachusetts, a long-lost landscape feature-the marble-columned pergola known as the Exchange end of the garden-has been restored.
Balance Toys
Balancing toys of a variety of shapes and sizes have been around for centuries, teaching children (and adults) about the laws of physics. The scientific principle illustrated by this simple toy is that you can balance an object on a point if the object's center of gravity is directly below the point of support.
Recapturing Time-Honored Techniques
Filing, hammering, soldering, annealing, casting, burnishing, and polishing were some of the techniques used by eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century silversmiths. Today, when so much silver is factory made, SPNEA licensee Steve Smithers uses the same traditional methods as the early craftsmen.
Preserving a Legacy
When Ellen Adelia Robbins Stone inherited a life tenancy in the old Stephen Robbins House on Massachusetts Avenue in East Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1890, she also became the outright owner of all the furniture, silverware, and personal effects for her sole use and disposal forever.
Nathaniel Barrell's Stylish London Purchase
In 1758 Nathaniel Barrell married Sally Sayward, the daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Sayward, who lived in what is now SPNEA's Say-ward-Wheeler House in York Harbor, Maine. Two years later, Barrell embarked on a three-year trip to England to establish himself as a merchant-at that time one of the surest means of acquiring wealth and position.
Galleting and Sneck Harling: An Ancient Process at Work
In recent years, SPNEA's preservation staff has come to share the belief widely held in the United Kingdom that old stone structures were commonly protected by lime-based mortars and parges, which enabled the masonry to shed water. Working with the preservation group Historic Scotland, SPNEA imported a Scottish preservation mason to teach its crews the ancient principles and techniques of working with lime.
News New England and Beyond
Short news items from Historic New England Magazine.
Sleuthing a Historic Image
The SPNEA Library and Archives recently acquired this photograph of a Gothic Revival house in the Long-wood section of Roxbury, Massachusetts, one of few surviving images depicting pre-Civil War houses in that part of Boston.
Fall 2002