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Summer 2004

We Serve the Public
I am just old enough to remember a time when almost all of our interaction was with people rather than machines. Operators handled telephone inquiries. In the ATM and self-service machine world of today, there is a great risk of losing the essential social interactions that help us to strongly value and respect each other.
Backstage at Beauport
In 1907, Henry Davis Sleeper began to construct Beauport, his summer house on Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A rumple-roofed, half-timbered, tile-topped confection, Beauport would become a showplace for Sleeper's principles of interior design and a theatrical backdrop for his cast of eccentric and celebrated friends.
Like Checkers on a Checker Board
The building came along slowly, drawn by yokes of oxen. Every yoke had a driver beside it with goads, hurrying them with a 'Hush-whoa'. It seemed as though there were 20 or 40 yoke of oxen. Elizabeth Prince Peabody of Danvers, Massachusetts, thus described her memory of a house moving that she witnessed in 1845, when she was a little girl. Her description portrays the traditional method of moving buildings in New England. Structures were jacked up, placed on cribbing, and then rolled along on logs or wheels pulled by oxen or horses.
Pressed Flowers
In Victorian times, children were encouraged to learn about the natural world by making collections. Pressing flowers was a simple craft, requiring only access to a variety of flowers, a heavy book, paper, and paste. Today, modern materials make it easy to use this old-time activity to create book markers, greeting cards, or wall hangings.
From Old Houses to Your Walls
This summer, a handsome collection of reproduction wallpapers based on originals owned by SPNEA is being introduced by Brewster Wall-covering Company, a licensee in the Historic New England reproductions program.
Living with the Pierce Family
Colonel Samuel Pierce's journal, along with hundreds of other documents recently acquired from the Pierce family, has had a deep impact on SPNEA's preservation and interpretation of the Pierce House and made it possible to develop innovative new programs for children and adults.
Reviving a Heritage Breed
Old has become new again at SPNEA's Watson Farm in Jamestown, Rhode Island, one of four sites in this country chosen to receive imported rare Red Devon cattle from the Rotokawa herd in New Zealand.
Sheer Exuberance
One of the most extra-ordinary items currently touring the country as part of SPNEA's exhibition Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy is this set of mantel ornaments, known as a garniture, from the Codman Estate in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Once and Future Presidents
The Democratic Party will convene in the city to nominate its candidate for the office of President. Thousands of delegates will gather to cast their votes at the Fleet Center, only a few blocks away from SPNEA's Otis House Museum.
A Lasting Legacy
William Sumner Appleton founded SPNEA in 1910, acquired the institution's first house museum in 1911, and brought in its first planned gift in 1915-his friend Helen Collamore left a $5,000 bequest without restrictions so it could be used where most needed. Through such bequests and other planned gifts, SPNEA has received many of its house museums, thousands of objects for the collection, and essential funds to build the endowment and support operations.
News New England and Beyond
Short news items from Historic New England Magazine.
Loyalists in London
This captivating portrait of Francis Welch (1744-1790) was painted in London between 1788 and 1790 by James Earl (1761-1796).
Summer 2004