Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 5: Clara Barton's Birthplace

Salut mes amis, 

We got up early on Friday, August 10th to drive down to Connecticut for a visit with some of my guardian's extended family. On the way down, I visited Clara Barton's birthplace in North Oxford, Massachusetts.

Born Clarissa Hartlowe Barton on December 25, 1821, Clara Barton is most known for founding the American Red Cross (in 1881), but she also worked as a teacher. During the Civil War, she was known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" because she nursed many a soldier back to health.

Although Clara died on April 12, 1912 in Glen Echo, Maryland (she died while the Titanic was sailing!), her name and legacy lives on. The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc. is in the same area, and behind her house is a camp for diabetic girls.

I had a lot of fun touring Clara's birthplace and listening to the tour guide tell about Clara's life. There were a lot of period artifacts to look at, some of which belonged to Clara and her relatives. Here are some of the things that I saw on my visit :

This spinning wheel was more like a ferris wheel to me!

I squealed when I saw a wood-framed foot stove just like Kirsten's! Hot coals from a pan inside the foot stove would give off heat and help warm up the house on a cold winter day.

Clara's family even had indoor plumbing! Obviously this is a lot different from what we are used to today, but not many people had indoor plumbing when she was growing up. Can you imagine having a well inside your house and having to fill a bucket up several times a day, whenever you needed water? I think I'm going to go kiss my faucet right now!


Isn't this dress lovely? I don't think it belonged to Clara herself, but it is reminiscent of something that she might've worn. It reminds me a little bit of Elizabeth's riding outfit, even though it's a bit more modern. The jewelry displayed on the dress belonged to her, though.


Here I am posing with a picture of Clara!

I met several new friends while on the tour of Clara's house. In the bedroom, I met this lovely girl. She belonged to one of Clara's nieces, if I remember right. I wished that she'd have lent me her dress; I love it!

Posing next to this trunk made me think of the antique dolls (complete with their own trunks of clothes and accessories) that inspired Pleasant Rowland to create Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. My friend Samantha could use a trunk like this - her armoire is way too full!

On top of the trunk was this beautiful paper doll set. I'm drooling over that red dress that the doll is wearing : 

Here is an overall view of the bedroom. It's a room that my guardian would be very content to live in. With a quilt on the bed and dolls, what could be better? My guardian loves simple, old-fashioned, yet elegant things.

In the parlor, I stumbled upon this piano. The ribbon across the chair prevented me from playing it, but I wanted to get a picture with it regardless. It reminded me of a fancier version of Josefina's! I wonder if Caroline would've had something similar to this?

Also in the parlor was this huge writing chest. This reminded me of Felicity's clothes press, but with a pull-out desk! Gorgeous.

In the kitchen, I met another little friend sitting in this high chair.

Would anyone like tea? I carefully admired the Barton family's tea set, pretending all the while that I was a proper young lady in the year 1831. I was also reminded of the time when my friend Nathalie had high tea in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Here is another friend that I made while visiting the Barton family's house.

Now this bed looks just about my size! Had I been tired, I might've curled up for a quick catnap.

Here I am sitting by the kitchen hearth, trying to imagine what cold winter nights in New England - that is, a New England without all of the modern conveniences like electricity! - would be like. I figured that the Barton family spent many a winter night huddled together on this rug, telling each other stories while keeping warm. 

Thanks for joining me on my tour of Clara Barton's Birthplace! Have you ever toured a historical house?



Samantha Parkington-Knight said...

Salut, Sophie!
I love this post!!!! You went to SO MANY cool places on your trip. Clara Barton's house is awesome! I love all the new friends you met. I also your outfit. Kirsten has the boots you were wearing. Great pictures, too.

That's interesting about the camp behind the house! I think Clara Barton would have liked that.

I love keeping up with your blog. I let mine slide way too often, although I did have enough motivation last night to update it.


all4dolls said...

Wow, Sophie! You have been traveling a lot. How amazing to be at Clara Barton's house and see those beautiful things. I'd love to go there sometime. Love ALL the photos!

Kyles Korner said...

I really enjoyed this. I can hardly wait to read your other posts. You must have had a great summer. Thank you for sharing.

Your friend


TracAn Bolton said...

It is wonderful to see where you have been visiting this year. We are reading and enjoying even when we are not posting to say hello ..


Erin said...

I've been to heaps of historical houses, only one thing, they are all in Australia. Yes, I live in Australia, I'll admit it.

Samantha Parkington-Knight said...

Hey Sophie! Sorry to comment on this same post again, but I nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Check out my page for details!

bubbles said...

Bonjour Sophie,

J'aime votre blog!!! C'est tres intéressant, vous ete tres drôle!

QNPoohBear said...

I've never been there either and didn't even know Clara Barton was from Massachusetts. You look beautiful as Clara Barton. Kirsten is jealous you have that hat. Your new friends have the most gorgeous clothes and that trunk is amazing!


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