Snapdragon Inn blog
Filtering by Category: "history"
The other day an author who is working on the biography of William Henry Seward emailed to let us know that Seward met with William Maxwell Evarts (former owner of 26 Main) at the house here in Windsor in 1860 to work on Seward's presidential strategy. He ended up losing the Republican nomination to Lincoln, but then became Secretary of State and has a very interesting history that you can learn more about here. This house never ceases to amaze us.
Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.
My FAVORITE find so far didn't make the cut for the site, so I decided to share it here with you - "A St. Louis Picture of Mr. Evarts," was printed in the New York Times December 26, 1886, when Evarts was the Senator from New York.
Mr. Evarts is not as thin as he is painted. Nast and Keppler don't do justice to his appetite and digestion. While he is by no means an eligible candidate for membership in a fat mans's club, still he is far from being an organized collection of skin and bones. Mr. Evarts's hair is perfectly white. It is parted on the left side of the head, and there is no suggestion of baldness front or rear. He was dressed in black cloth, and was by no means a flattering advertisement of his tailor. The coat, a Prince Albert of ancient pattern, would have been a better fit for a much bigger man. The trousers bagged at the knees and would have accommodated about five sets of legs the size of Mr. Evarts's. No one would take him to be a remarkable man. There is nothing striking in his appearance, and his voice is ordinary. But he has a magnificent laugh. When he is tickled he laughs from his hair to his toes, and it is not difficult to tickle him. In fact, it can be said that his laugh is set on a hair trigger and goes off with very little provocation. Perhaps he pays as much attention to keeping himself happy as anything else. He doesn't allow trivialities to bother him, and frequently goes out of his way to enjoy the good things of the world.
This quote is even better when I look at a picture of Senator Evarts while I read it. Does this man look like he has a magnificent laugh? Someone that it is not difficult to tickle? I love this human side of Evarts, and it is such a great reminder that those dour historic photos do not equate to dour historic people! (Written like a true history major, I suppose!)
Of course, here at the Snapdragon we feel it is imperative that character research be conducted at Perkins' home, and we welcome Mr. Penn and the rest of the cast to stop in, relax on the porch, stroll the woods around Lake Runnemede, and soak in the history of Perkins where it happened. And if they can't make it, so be it - more room for you to do the same!
I was struck by both of these passages and the descriptions of Windsor weather and how it is still so similar today.
"Tuesday, August 29 1893, was an unusually disagreeable day, cold, rainy, and with a high wind. Those who went out to gather ferns and goldenrod, to be used in decorating the garden-house, found it very wet work. A number of people, with Louise at their head, were busy all day covering a screen with goldenrod, and making other preparations for the next day's decorations. At noon the weather began to improve, and by the middle of the afternoon the rain had stopped, and later a high wind, almost a tornado for a few moments, blew away the clouds and brought us fair weather."
We had an afternoon of rain just like this on Saturday. The description below is precisely how it is many mornings here in Windsor.
"The Sunday of August 29th, 1943, when thirty-six of us were in Windsor to celebrate the centenary of our grandparents' marriage, dawned in thick fog and seemingly overcast skies, and we who knew Windsor weather were then reassured: by nine o'clock the sun had driven off the mists, Mt. Ascutney stood out clear and serene, and all seemed the same as in the old days as we walked up the hill to the elven o'clock service in St. Paul's Church.
If you haven't read the former owner histories you can here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 . When Elizabeth died she left it to 3 of her 6 children, Maxwell Evarts Perkins (our editor), Charles Callahan Perkins and Molly Thomas. Charles became owner when Max and Molly died. None of his children wanted to own the home but they wanted it to stay in the family so they offered it to their cousins, and fortunately Bert and Zippy (Max's daughers) were delighted and became owners. Bert lived there for many years before she sold it to the Seale family and the sold it to us.
I would like to thank Frances for visiting us last summer. It was wonderful to meet someone who had such cherished memories of the home. She was wonderful and said in a letter to us, "I would hope that we could manage to get over to Windsor again. However, I am 91 and find that I have to curtail my activities." She told us stories of running back and forth from the neighboring houses to play with her cousins at 26 Main just like the cousins in our family do. The family spirit is still very much alive at 26 Main and we are thrilled for the connections to the family history and proud to be the most recent addition.
Note: Frances sent us an incredible family treasure that we will share with you in the coming weeks. The picture above is part of it.
With these stories also come precious gifts of history. We are always excited to hear memories of 26 Main, and encourage the sharing of them! We’ve also received another type of history – photographs. One of our local historians stopped by to bring us these photos of the home in another time and its occupants – I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
Cornish, NH along with Windsor, VT was the heart of the Cornish Colony of artists that included Auguste St. Gaudens and Maxfield Parrish. Maxfield Parrish was an acclaimed illustrator, known for his imaginative and romantic settings. Louise Saunders worked with Maxfield Parrish to create the fable Knave of Hearts, published in 1925. It includes 22 illustrations by Parrish, which took him 3 years to complete, and by some descriptions, these illustrations are considered to be some of his finest work.
Check out this link to catch just a glimpse of the fantasy, whimsy and beauty of this collaboration between two artists who spent a considerable amount of time in Windsor. You can also see some of the prints here.
Also, if you love children's illustrations and you are in the area, visit the Cornish Colony Art Museum here in Windsor for their latest exhibition. We visited the museum this summer, and my three kids ages 11, 8, and 5 all found something they liked.