“Astonishes the grass”

Date : May 10, 2019

The Dandelion's pallid Tube 
Astonishes the Grass -
And Winter instantly becomes
An infinite Alas –
The tube uplifts a signal Bud
And then a shouting Flower --
The Proclamation of the Suns
That sepulture is o'er -
            Emily Dickinson, 1881

What if the dandelion heralded the same respect as the tulip or dahlia, commanded high prices, and could only be purchased at select nurseries?  Would it be more highly regarded if it cost more, rather than arrived on lawns and byways for free?  Every year, I am astonished by the number of people that vehemently detest the dandelion and seek to eradicate it by any means necessary. 

Our lawn, shall we say, is ‘littered with” dandelions, plantain, violets of all types, and clover, just to name a few.  Yet when we moved here 11 years ago, the lawn was a wasteland of pure grass, with nature’s bounty obliterated by the indiscriminate use of herbicides and pesticides.  Slowly, we have cultivated a variegated spring crop of wildflowers and now watch the bees and other pollinators relish in them.  We take cues from the bees, and happily gather the plants, adding them into our diet, since all four of the plants identified above are edible and provide nourishment.

One should not partake of dandelion wine or greens, make an infusion with the dainty violet flowers, add young plantain leaves to your spring salad or munch a ripe pink clover from the field, if herbicides or pesticides have been applied.

“Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.”

If one has any doubt about the effects of man and his man-made chemicals on the natural world, the New York Times recently published an analysis of a study done by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; www.ipbes.net) that brings clear evidence to our dire situation:

Thoreau noted in his journal on May 9, 1858, “A dandelion perfectly gone to seed, a complete globe, a system in itself.”  Why not, for the good of the globe, let those dandelions grow, feeding the pollinators and yourself, let it go to seed and then rejoice in what grows naturally around you?


Emily Dicksinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin (Cambridge:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press),  pgs. 577-78.

Brad Plumer, “Humans are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘UnprecedentedPace,” The New York Times, accessed on 5/9/2019.

Henry David Thoreau,  The Journal 1837-1861, (New York;  The New York Review of Books, 2009), pg. 495.


Selected favorite books on foraging, plants and herbs:

Katrina Blair, The Wild Wisdom of Weeds 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival, Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont, 2014.

Steven Foster and James A. Duke, A Field Guide to Medicinal plants: Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 1990.

Euell Gibbons,  Staking the Wild Asparagus, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1962.

Rosemary Gladstar, Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, Storey Publishing, North Adams, 2012.

NOTE: Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the IPBES report in the most recent New Yorker. Here is a link to the podcast: https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/comment/last-chances

saving time and making light

Category : Uncategorized
Date : November 1, 2014

Sunday marks the beginning of ‘Daylight Savings Time.’ DST is an early twentieth century concept supposedly implemented to use electricity more efficiently, to utilize more of the natural light and otherwise encourage more daylight activities; just how it does these things is the subject of some controversy. What most of us would agree on is that it is disruptive.

Thankfully, we are not ‘in the dark’ whilst M is deep into a major home project. For this particular one, involving the complete re-cladding of one portion of our home, power to the house was removed and re-routed from the garage to run back to the house. We still have enough amperage to run the refrigerator, lights, furnace, and our computers but not the clothes dryer and the dehumidifier. Furthermore, we have to monitor what is running and not over-load the new power source; i.e., we turn off some lights and then run the washing machine, but we can’t use the toaster while doing a load of clothes. No big deal.

Our monitoring of lights, heat and electricity has left me pondering methods of yore most likely sparked by my first foray into candle-making a few weeks ago. My friend Jody has dipped thousands of candles, being the former proprietoress of Wax Poetic. She taught me the multi-step process: first, cut the wicks to the same length; attach six wick strands to one piece of wood; dip each group into the warm wax; hang and let dry; and then continue dipping until the desired size. This process is not much different than the one employed by the colonial housewife described by Alice Morse Earle in Home Life in Colonial Days:

“Every thrifty housewife in America saved her penny as in England. The making of the winter’s stock of candles was the special autumnal household duty, and a hard one too, for the great kettles were tiresome and heavy to handle. An early hour found the work well under way. A good fire was started in the kitchen fireplace under two vast kettles, each two feet, perhaps, in diameter, which were hung on trammels from the lug-pole or crane and half filled with boiling water and melted tallow, which had two scaldings and scimmings. At the end of the kitchen or lean-to, two large poles were laid from chair to chair or stool to stool. Across these poles were placed at regular intervals, like the rounds of a ladder, smaller sticks about fifteen or eighteen inches long, called candle-rods. These poles were saved from year to year, either in the garret or up on the kitchen beams.”

Tallow, from “…deer suet, moose fat, bear’s grease…” as well as “…every particle of grease rescued from pot liquor, or fat from meat…” was used to make candles. Beekeepers saved the wax from their hives, for this wax did not smoke as much as tallow. Earle reports that wicks were made from “…spun hemp or tow, or of cotton; from milkweed.” Over the past few weeks, the milkweed pods on our land have been spreading their seeds and their silk-down and have given me pause, for I wondered what would have been done with this resource. Today, in the daylight, I will gather some silk-down and try my hand at spinning wicks to be used for the next batch of candles in my own effort to make light.

Alice Morse Earle, Home Life in Colonial Days, (Grosset & Dunlap, 1898), pgs. 34-35, 38.

colonial town

Category : Uncategorized
Date : October 28, 2014

This morning, I am loading up my ‘wagon’ and heading over to a nearby colonial town, Monterey, MA. My journey will end at their library where I will install my exhibition, underfoot, at the KNOX Gallery. While in town, I will of course visit the Monterey General Store, as any prudent homesteader would have done; catch up on the latest news and procure some victuals. If invited, I will continue up the hill and pay a visit to the amiable ghosts of Rev. Adonijah Bidwell and his family.

On one of my earlier visits to the Bidwell House, I read Rev. Bidwell’s 1784 death inventory. These probate records are invaluable to the researcher. From these possession lists, one can posit much about a family—their wealth, literacy and social standing.

Of course, we are continuing to look for any probate records and journals tucked in the walls of our colonial home. M’s work on re-cladding sections of our old home has not revealed any particular treasures, other than the frequent walnut stored by a little critter between studs or in the crevasses of crossbeams. Over the past year, I made and stitched many books dyed with materials from our land. Some of these books are yet empty, with lines, awaiting text. Since we cannot find any writings from Taphenese, Abigail, Lucretia, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth or Elenora (the women of this house), I might just have to write it for them.

Note 1: underfoot is on view from October 31 until November 29 at the KNOX Gallery, Monterey Library, Monterey, MA.  Opening reception November 1 from 6-8pm and I will give a brief talk at 6pm. For visiting information, Knox Gallery/Facebook.

Note 2: Recently, I was interviewed about underfoot by Amy DuFault for the Botanical Colors Blog .


make hay

Category : Uncategorized
Date : June 13, 2014

‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is apt for many reasons and on many levels. Last week, it felt like summer here with temperatures approaching 90 degrees during the afternoons. And, indeed, hay was being made in the fields. Timely, for this week finds the temperatures lower and the days laced with rain and fog. If farmers cut their hay this week, it would either rot in the field or in the bales over time.


A few weeks ago, while reading the New York Times food section, the following caught my eye, “In Colonial days, New England farmhands pitched hay in the summer sun and slaked their thirst with a concoction called switchel, a mixture of vinegar, water and a sweetener, often molasses.”

I recalled hearing about “ales, beers, wines, ciders and spirits” on the May 1 edition of Fieldstone Common. Marian Pierre-Louis interviewed Corin Hirsch about her book The Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England: From Flips & Rattle-Skulls to Switchel & Spruce Beer. Hirsch masterfully traces the Colonies’ history through beverages of time, intertwining political events, tavern keeping, customs and recipes. Drinks were seasonal and regional, as with the switchel, which was consumed mainly in Vermont on hot summer days. Vinegar was used in this drink to give it a refreshing, tangy twist, for it was hard to acquire citrus fruits. Recipes may be found in Hirsch’s book, including one for the ‘Flip’, reminiscent of eggnog with a smokey taste and made with “beer, rum, spices and eggs served warmed by plunging a poker from the fire” into the mug. Perhaps on a cold winter’s day, we will try a flip, but this summer, pitchers of switchel will grace our table.


Category : Uncategorized
Date : April 30, 2014

Historic Deerfield’s Calendar arrived in my mailbox and I eagerly began to look at the course offerings. Of course, I wanted to participate in ‘The Lost Art of Letter Writing,” to learn how to write with a quill, but my attention was quickly drawn to two course offerings for “Girl Scout Badge Days”.

receiving my brownie pin

receiving my brownie pin

Indeed, I was both a ‘brownie’ and a ‘girl scout’ and was awarded a few badges—some of which are still pinned onto my treasured sash. Perhaps one can guess the name of each badge from the symbol – camping, arts & crafts, hospitality, letter writing, grilling. Would I have completed more badges, and in fact sewn them to my sash, if I had been at Historic Deerfield? Indeed, I would have proudly sported both the Textile Artist Badge and the Playing with Past Badge.

my treasured Girl Scout Sash

my treasured Girl Scout Sash

My curiosity got the better of me, and I searched a few of my personal favorite historic sites to see if they offered badges, and alas, scouts can receive badges at Mount Vernon, National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution), Orchard House (home of Louisa May Alcott), Strawberry Banke Museum, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder house.

What badges are on my list to complete this summer? Looking through the 1930 Girl Scout Handbook, I am going to work on the Wildflower Finder, to become “acquainted with a least fifty wild flowers”; the Canner, thinking ahead to apple and pickle season; the Dressmaker (‘…must have both the Needlewoman Badge and the Laundress Badge in order to complete’); and finally, the Handy-Woman Badge with the first requirement, “Know how to mend, temporarily with soap, a small leak in a water or gas pipe.” By far my favorite Badge is the Pioneer, and I nod to the women that lived in this house and others that ventured to further western frontiers and award them well earned Badges.

Girl Scout Handbook, (The Girl Scouts, 1920), pgs. 418, 425, 429, 442, 449.

winter hiatus

Category : Uncategorized
Date : February 18, 2014

dear readers, ‘on a colonial farm’ is undergoing hibernation,

and will return shortly with musings on stone walls & scrimshaw swifts.

IMG_1024 IMG_1025



Category : Uncategorized
Date : December 19, 2013

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

Anne Bradstreet, Meditations For My Dear Son Simon Bradstreet, #14, March 20, 1664

Winter is upon us and Tuesday dawned with the thermometer reading -0 degrees (we think the thermometer can’t “read” below zero, but we know better).  Snow began falling at daybreak and continued all day.  Six inches of puffy sparkly snow was added to the 10 inches already sitting on the ground.  We awoke to a winter wonderland on Wednesday morning—all the tree branches delineated by the snow, right up to the top of Mt. Everett, the highest peak in the southern Taconic Mountain range.


With so much snow on the ground, we hunker down indoors.  Time appears to go more slowly, enabling one to linger and concentrate on indoor projects and projects of the mind; a contrast to the last days of autumn, where the chores mound up and come at you with a fierce but still appreciated intensity.  However, now we can also relish in the fruits of our labor from the kitchen, for example, with apple sauce and apple butter as well as frozen herbs/parsley logs (thanks to Margaret Roach over at A Way to Garden and root vegetables.  In the studio, I am thankful that I collected so many leaves, bundled and dried goldenrod, and gathered and soaked black walnuts.  Now, I will be able to fire up those dye baths for both paper and textile.


What chores did Taphenes, Abigail, Lucretia, Mary, Sarah, Elisabeth and Elenora concentrate on during the winter in this house?  Had they set aside wool to spin and dye?  Did they knit socks?  Were they using the linen they had set out to bleach for weeks in the sun—called ‘grassing’ in America.  In her book, Home Life in Colonial Days, Alice Morse Earle reports:

 “In the winter months the fine, white, strong linen was made into “board cloths” or table cloths, sheets, pillow-biers, aprons, shifts, shirts, petticoats, short gowns, gloves, cut from the spinner’s own glove pattern, and a score of articles for household use.  These were carefully marked, and sometimes embroidered with home-dyed crewels, as were also splendid sets of bed-hangings, valances, and testers for four-post bedsteads.”

She continues, poetically:

“The homespun linens that were thus spun and woven and bleached were one of the most beautiful expressions and types of old-time home life.  Firm, close-woven, and pure, their designs were not greatly varied, nor was their woof as symmetrical and perfect as modern linens—but thus were the lives of those who made them; firm, close-woven in neighborly kindness…………….I am always touched when handling these homespun linens with a consciousness of nearness to the makers; with a sense of energy and strength of those enduring women who were so full of vitality, of unceasing action, that it does not seem to me to they can be dead.”

If I squint, I can imagine that the snow covered pastures are instead fields of finely woven linens, rippling in the breeze, awaiting their winter transformation.

The American Puritans Their Prose and Poetry, edited by Perry Miller (Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956), p.278.

Alice Morse Earle, Home Life in Colonial Days, (Grosset & Dunlap, 1898), pgs. 234-5.

mrs. glover

Category : Uncategorized
Date : November 25, 2013

Tomorrow, Sotheby’s will auction the first book printed in the colonies—the Bay Psalm Book.  The Old South Church in Boston is selling one of its two copies, and the estimate for the book is $15,000,000-$30,000,000—representing the highest amount ever to be paid for a book.

The Whole Book Psalmes. Image from Library of Congress

The Whole Book Psalmes. Image from Library of Congress

The Whole Book of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre was printed by The Cambridge Press in 1640.  The widowed Mrs. Elizabeth Glover (her husband Jose Glover died on board the ship traveling from England to the Colony of Massachusetts) established the first printing press in Cambridge, MA in 1638.  She ran the press as a sole proprietor for three years before marrying the first president of Harvard, Henry Dunster, in 1641.  Mrs. Glover died in 1643, and Dunster then ran the Press until he sold it to Harvard in 1654.

Mrs. Glover did not physically operate the press, but rather her indentured servant Stephan Day.  According to Sotheby’s, he functioned as a “compositor and pressman,” perhaps along with his son Matthew.  The Cambridge Press printed 1,700 copies of the Bay Psalm Book and only 11 are known to survive to this day. [For an extensive examination of the Bay Psalm Book, please refer to: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2013/the-bay-psalm-book-sale-n09039/The-Bay-Psalm-Book/2013/10/printing-the-bay-psa.html ]

Mrs. Glover’s Press not only printed the first book in the Colonies, but it printed the first ‘translated’ book.  The Puritans painstakingly translated the Book of Psalms from the Hebrew Scriptures so that the psalms could be sung in church.  The preface of the Bay Psalm Book, attributed to Richard Mather (1596-1669), describes their sensitive approach:

“….For we have respected rather a plain translation than to smooth our verses with the sweetness of any paraphrase:  and so have attended conscience rather than elegance, fidelity rather than poetry, in translating the Hebrew words into English language and David’s poetry into English meter; that so we may sing in Sion the Lord’s songs of praise according to His own will—until He takes us from hence, and wipe away our tears, and bid us to enter into our Master’s joy to sing eternal halleluiahs.”

My mother took us to church every Sunday, and I did not always go willingly, and certainly did not want to wear the white gloves at her insistence.  However, I do recall being transported by the words and meters of the sung Psalms.  I wonder who will hold and sing from the Bay Psalm Book come Wednesday morning.

[Update—The Bay Psalm Book sold for $14,165,000.00. According to the BBC News the purchaser is “US financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein, who planned to loan it to libraries across the country.”]

National Women’s History Museum, (2007). Women with a Deadline, “Pioneers of the Press,” Retrieved November 25, 2013, from www.nwhm.org Web site: http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/womenwithdeadlines/wwd2.htm

Aiden Lewis, “Bay Psalm Book:  Why the 18m price tag?,” BBC News, November 24, 2013. First retrieved November 25, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25045283

The American Puritans Their Prose and Poetry, edited by Perry Miller (Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1956), pgs. 320-22.


Category : Uncategorized
Date : October 28, 2013

In her book, Home Life in Colonial Days, Alice Morse Earle recounts        “…spinster is the only one of these variously womanly titles that survives; webster, shepster, litster, brewster, and baxter are all obsolete.”  Spinster (a female spinner) is the only word that I could define in that list and guessed that a brewster was a brewer, but did not know it was specifically a woman brewer.  Webster is a female weaver of cloth.  Shepster is a female seamstress; litster is a female dyer and baxter, a female baker.

The season is upon us for annual sheep and wool festivals, and webster, shepster, litster & spinster will be in attendance at the upcoming Fiber Festival of New England.  I am particularly looking forward to visiting the booth of North Light Fibers from Block Island, RI.  North Light Fibers (or NLF) runs a year-round mill that produces their own range of yarns, stunningly dyed in vibrant and natural colors.  One might ask what is so different about this particular cottage industry?  NLF is located on Block Island, RI; in the summer the population swells to 15,000 and ebbs to 900 in the off-season.  The founders recognized the need for a new business model for the island, one of light industry, to bring much needed economic sustainability.

Similarly, our own small town relies heavily on the tourist industry during the summer months and needs additional light industry to tide us over the long winter.  Recently, a new ‘brewster’ and her brewer mate came to town, retrofitted an existing structure, and hung out their shingle as “Big Elm Brewing”.  Allison Schell reports on The National Women’s History Museum site that women were the ‘brewsters’ in early colonial America, in taverns but mainly in homes.  Apparently, Martha Jefferson, wife of Thomas, was the brewster in their household.

With most of the outdoor autumn chores completed, it is time to set my sights on indoor stitching and knitting projects, which might require a bit of procuring at this weekend’s Fiber Festival.  Over the winter months, I hope to be knitting by the fire and sipping some of our local brew!

Alice Morse Earle, Home Life in Colonial Days, (Grosset & Dunlap, 1898), p. 187.

Allison Schell, “Women + Beer:  A Forgotten Pairing,” National Women’s History Museum website, http://www.nwhm.org/blog/women-beer-a-forgotten-pairing/

whither the weather

Category : Uncategorized
Date : October 7, 2013

This morning’s local paper forecasts severe weather for the afternoon—heavy rain, winds and thunderstorms.  I then scrolled on over to my favorite weather source—NOAA—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—only to find this notice: “Due to the Federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated sites are unavailable.  Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained.  See Weather.gov for critical weather information…”  Thankfully, when I turned on the NOAA radio, the familiar voice told me when to expect the incoming front and other details.  Phew!


We live at the foot of a mountain range, so often we are unable to see the weather fronts coming in until they are upon us; the clouds tumble over the mountain top at a rapid pace.  My friends that live in town tell us that they watch the incoming weather and have a few more minutes to prepare then we do.

What did the women and men of this house rely on to predict the weather?  They must have been good at reading the signs, recalling seasonal patterns, and relying on their sixth sense.

Almanacks also became a source for information.  Benjamin Franklin began publishing his Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1733 and went on to sell 10,000 copies a year.  In her new book on the life of Jane Franklin–Book of AgesJill Lepore reports: “Almanacs, issued just before the New Year, were calendars—books of days—listing tides, holidays and the phases of the moon.  They sold better than everything except Bibles, and were bought, as [Ben] Franklin pointed out, by the “…common People, who bought scarce any other Books.”” Lepore continues:  “…fifty thousand almanacs were printed in the colonies every year, for a population of about nine hundred thousand (that is, one almanac for every eighteen people.)”

My mother used to purchase an almanac and I fondly recall pouring over the pages and perusing advice ranging from planting seeds to curing common ills to, of course, the weather.  Today one may read “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” online.  I was just looking at the astrological timetable.  It advises me the best day to plant below-ground crops is October 24/25.  Dare I plant my seeds in the hoop house today?

For a modern almanac, please consult, The Old Farmer’s Almanac—online version:  http://www.almanac.com

Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: the life and opinions of Jane Franklin, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), 61-63


Category : Uncategorized
Date : September 22, 2013

On a recent field trip to the Bidwell House Museum in Monterey, MA, I learned that the 1750 Georgian house was purchased in 1960 by Jack Hargis and David Brush.  They became the owners/caretakers of the property and over 26 years restored the house with the aid of the 1784 probate inventory of Reverend Adonijah Bidwell.

Caretakers.  It seems to me that anyone that lives in an older home is primarily a caretaker.  We pass through, while we seek to bring out the best in the house and the land.  In one sense, this seems too idealistic or romantic, for one has to live in the structure.  I don’t think that the farmers living here in the late 1800s felt this way, for the photographs passed on to us by the former owner depict a hardscrabble lifestyle, the home and barn in need of repair and the landscape appearing rather desolate.

Bidwell House, Monterey, MA

Bidwell House, Monterey, MA

While touring the Bidwell house, one travels back to when Reverend Bidwell and family inhabited the house through the stories told by the excellent guide and from the objects that Hargis and Brush collected.  They purchased period furnishings similar to the ones listed in the probate inventory and created a “still-life.” There are shelves filled with red ware and ‘treen’—small functional objects made from wood–as well as countless candlesticks lined up on the hanging shelf.   The current “caretakers”—Barbara Palmer/Executive Director, Eileen Mahoney/Administrative Manager, and Rosalia Padilla/Resident Caretaker—bring the former residents’ lives to us through the details.  When Rosalia took us through the ‘Keeping Room’—the kitchen of the day—she conjured up a scene of Ruth Kent, Bidwell’s third wife, baking bread in the beehive oven on a Monday morning. All that was missing was the smell of the bread.

These tangible “still-life dramas” are the ones that we time travellers seek out, for we long to experience and feel the days of yore.  Perhaps the vision statement from The Bidwell House Museum sums it up:Opening the past, serving the future.”   It is this unique combination of then and now that opens the door for us.

NOTE:  “Still life dramas” is from the website of the Dennis Severs house.  He transformed a London, Spitalfields 18th century house into a living entity. Severs (1948-1999) wanted the visitor to look over their shoulder, to rush quickly to the stairs, to peek behind the door trying to catch a glimpse of the family that just left the room, thus providing the ultimate time travel experience for the visitor.


Category : Uncategorized
Date : September 5, 2013

Field Notes…..Field Report….Field Trip


Field Notes

This summer, I had the pleasure of hearing many authors talk about their books, either in person or on the airwaves via Fieldstone Common or The New Yorker Out Loud.   A few common themes run through each talk.  Every author—Allegra Di Bonaventura, Michelle Coughlin, Jill Lepore, Eve LaPlante, Megan Marshall, and Marla Miller—worked doggedly doing meticulous research and over a very long period of time, at least ten years.  And, even though they were rigorous in pursuit of the facts needed, there was the occasional event of happenstance or luck—a packet of letters given to the author by an attendee at a talk—that often revealed a needed answer.

Field Report

With the knowledge that my research will need to be as methodical as my mentors, listed above, I headed to our local historical society this past week to begin to unravel a puzzle.  On their books, our house is listed as the “Micah Hoskins House”. Ironically, this name never appears in the list of men and women I found in the land registry documents.  Thanks to the helpful and knowledgeable historian, we tracked Hoskins via Ancestory.com.  Hoskins was born in 1735 and died in 1820, and passed through our town. Perhaps he did build this home?  More research needs to be done, much more.  And, a local cemetery might hold some clues. Furthermore, I learned that one of the landowners, Giles Andrews, also owned a general store next to the tavern down the road, and the historian thinks the transactions recorded in Andrews’ daybook/account book might uncover clues—trades, residents, lifestyles.  Probate records may reveal a host of clues and for this I will head to the records department of the County.

Field Trip

An upcoming field trip to the historic 1750 Bidwell House Museum is in the cards for me and will be most intriguing, for the house is a contemporary of ours and built in the same style–a center chimney saltbox.  Walking through the house might give us clues, and maybe answer some questions we have pertaining to both the interior configuration and exterior structure.  When restoring the Bidwell house, they were very lucky for the probate records of Reverend Adonijah Bidwell recorded his possessions room by room!  I can only hope I am as lucky with our home! Time is of the essence, for we must plan our field trip before the Bidwell house closes for the winter season.

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