Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Different World...1899...Brattleboro, Vt.

The sweet little girl in the white dress is my Mother. She was born in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1896 and lived to the ripe old age of 92. Her sister, my Aunt Helen, sits beside her.

The organ that is behind them must be an Estey ... because Brattleboro is where they were built and my Grandfather Prentiss was one of their salesmen. He traveled all over New England in his beloved car selling the Estey Organs, as well as repairing them. My blog of 2/03/07 features a picture of him in his automobile.

This picture was taken in the “front room” and I remember that we hardly ever used that area except when the organ was being played. The room was extremely formal and quite solemn. The woodwork and the furniture all seemed to be in hues of dark walnut. You can see the heavy curtains that were usually pulled to close it off from the dining room.

The most lived-in room of the house was the kitchen. There were actually 4 doors in that large room. One to the dining room, one to a front hall, another to a side porch and the fourth opened into my Grandfather’s wood-working shop. It could get very warm in the kitchen (with the wood-burning stove) so it was a great place to cozy up in the fall and winter months.

As I recall most of the summer entertaining was done on the big screen-enclosed front and side porches. Frosted mint tea was a favorite then as well as home-made ice cream. We had to work for the ice cream, though ...taking turns cranking the heavy handle. Needless to say it was well worth the trouble.

This home was in the family for many, many years and was only sold about 6 years ago. It was time to let go and I wish the new home owners a happy life there; but I often wonder if the ghosts of Grandpa and Grandma ever visit. I could swear I heard an organ refrain the last time I drove by.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a great photo along with wonderful memories!

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that photo. It's almost as if you could walk between the drapes into the back room.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Bud said...

Another wonderful memory Ginnie. I love it.

11:43 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Such a charming photo evoking another time.
Estey organs? For home use? A pump organ, by chance?

7:32 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Ginnie, that is a wonderful photo! My former next-door-neighbor had an old Estey organ, but it was not as elaborate or beautiful as that one!

9:01 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

My husband' s aunt has an Estey organ, it's been in the family for a very long time. She's 82, so I doubt she bought it from your grandfather, but she did live in Brattleboro for a while before she married.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Most of Martha Woodroof in one place said...

I just found your blog. My mother grew up in Montpelier in a house that had been in our family for a century or so. Her father was chief medical examiner for Vermont Life--of the calendar fame. I loved reading your post. It took me waaaay back.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might be a little late, but I read your post from a few years ago about Vacation from Marriage with Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat. Anyway, my point is that the whole movie is now posted on YouTube, so I thought you might want the link (if you don't already own the movie)

It's the first of 11 parts.

7:28 PM  
Blogger robin ann mcintosh said...

I love this is post, so beautiful!

10:14 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

What a wonderful photo and such lovely memories. I certainly believe that their spirits are there. Houses live and breathe them, don't you think.
Ginny, thanks for such a wonderful spot you have.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow....that's some organ! AND the room...I just love it. I have a strong attachment to old houses and I just know I'd love this one.
And OF course their ghosts are still hovering about there....

5:23 PM  

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