A Moonlight Tour of Gore Place

Visiting historic homes is one of my hobbies, so when I saw reduced tickets for a Moonlight Tour of Gore Place, I bought some for me and the boyfriend. I had heard of its annual sheepshearing festival but have sadly always missed it.

The Gores were a wealthy New England couple who built the “country house” in 1806. Christopher would become governor of Massachusetts and a U.S. Senator, and Rebecca worked with an architect to design the house. They had no children, so the property passed through private hands for years after they died. Thankfully the house was saved from the wrecking ball in 1935 by a group of preservationists who created the nonprofit Gore Place Society.

The tour started in the carriage house. The tour guides, holding lanterns, led us to the front door of the house and split the group into two. We saw multiple rooms of the house, which were all lowly lit, it being a moonlight tour and all.

Much of the furnishings were owned by the Gores. For me, a highlight of every historic home is the library, and they had a lovely library. We went on the tour during the holiday season, so I also enjoyed seeing a grand Christmas tree, which, to my pleasant surprise, was decorated with teacups.

It was an enjoyable tour, and I’d like to go back in the daytime in order to walk around the grounds. Maybe I’ll make it to the sheepshearing festival this year.

Tiffany Windows

I’ve always loved Tiffany glass, maybe because I grew up with Tiffany-style lamps in the house. So when I learned of the Tiffany Windows Education Center at a church in downtown Boston, I made plans to go with a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was on our side so the windows were especially gorgeous that day. The Arlington Street Church has 16 Tiffany windows, which were installed between 1898 and 1930. I couldn’t pick a favorite because they were all beautiful. Any Tiffany enthusiast in Boston should make a visit here.

 

A Sculptor’s Summer Home

My mom and I met in the Berkshires earlier this summer, so I took the opportunity to visit a place I hadn’t been to before: Chesterwood, the summer home of sculptor Daniel Chester French. French is best known for sculpting Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in DC.

We went during the week, so it was quiet there. The location is stunning; from the terrace of the house, you can see Monument Mountain.

thumb_IMG_0556_1024

Only a few rooms of the house are open to the public, so the main attraction is his studio.

thumb_IMG_0538_1024

thumb_IMG_0544_1024

thumb_IMG_0546_1024

A small museum tells his story, and there are gardens and trails on the property as well. We didn’t have time to explore the grounds, but I’m sure I could have spent at least an hour walking around. All of the staff were delightful, and I look forward to visiting again sometime.

 

Another Birthday on the Cape

I spent my birthday on Cape Cod for the third year in a row. This year’s locale was Falmouth. We had one beautiful day and one crappy day weather-wise. Allen and I spent the beautiful day exploring the art exhibits and grounds of Highfield Hall and Gardens. I love touring historic homes and grounds, so I was so pleased that the community rallied and raised millions of dollars to keep this estate safe from bulldozers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we walked to a neighborhood beach and sat for a while. I wanted to catch the sunset and a lighthouse at the same time, so we drove along winding roads to Nobska Light. We watched the sunset from a spot across the street from lighthouse that overlooks Vineyard Sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It rained on my birthday, so we took the opportunity to visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They are small institutions but interesting nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a lovely Italian dinner and then drove to a nearby beach in hopes of seeing another sunset. All we saw was fog. But fog is pretty in its own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way out of town, we stopped at Coonamessett Farm because I had read there were farm animals there. Alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, oh, yes! I also picked some fresh lettuce to take home with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty-eight hours of a quintessential New England vacation. A happy birthday indeed.

Visiting the Durant-Kenrick House

My boyfriend and I lucked out when touring the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton, MA, the other day. It was a gloomy Sunday afternoon and we had the house to ourselves!

The house had me at its exterior green paint, since green is one of my favorite colors.

Durant-Kenrick House

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a small historic house, but it gives a nice overview of the Durant and Kenrick families. The Durants lived there in the 1700s and the property was a working farm. The Kenricks bought the property in 1790 and established the largest New England nursery in the 1830s. One of the Kenricks was a founding member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The property was eventually sold off in pieces. Arthur Dewing bought the house from the Durant family in 1923, and his family lived there for 50-odd years. Now the city of Newton owns the property.

It’s a family-friendly place and the grounds are pretty with many large trees and gardens. If you enjoy historic homes, it’s worth a visit. The day we visited, we bought a combo pass, so we will be visiting the Jackson Homestead at some point as well.