My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smoke Stack Christmas Tree

"The smokestack tree contains 5,440 light bulbs over 32 cables anchored to a 102-foot diameter angle ring at the base. The tree is topped with a 19-foot star." Information from The Lowell Sun newspaper, December 2011 (I had it linked, but the article has been removed.)
The tree is located in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Reflection in a nearby mill.

From Wikipedia, "The Wannalancit Mills are an example of adaptive re-use as they contain offices. Part of the mills are owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In 2000, the owners of the mill utilized their smokestack for the city's largest Christmas tree, reaching two hundred and fifty six feet in height."

Originally posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

Daniel Chester French Led Me on a Trail

Sculptor Daniel Chester French's world known statue of the Concord Minute Man stands in front of Diane MacLean Boumenot, a fellow blogger and friend. We were there in October, and the following month I went to the Concord Museum to see the exhibit, "From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial,  The Timeless Sculpture of Daniel Chester French."

General Joseph Hooker, an enormous statue in front of the Boston State House. I saw it less than a week ago, but it too dark to take a photo.
At the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D. C., putting his pieces together.
Plaque states this was his drawing of his first studio in Concord, Massachusetts. This needs to be corrected (9/18/16) to read this painting was done by William Merchant Richard French, 1879. The exterior of the Concord Studio, built in 1879 was built next to his family's home on Sudbury Road in Concord. The artist was Daniel's brother.

The Museum exhibit was large, but I'm cutting back my photos, because of the things I discovered on my own, and new photos I want to share. Yes, another adventure trying to find out where Mr. French lived and where he died. Neither of which was easily obtained via the internet, except for wonderful FindAGrave.

When I saw his painting stating he had a studio in town, I asked a multitude of questions, like is it still standing, and where. I was given a map with two locations marked, on the same street, for the house and the studio. It was too dark to look for them, so we came home. Then with a lot of luck, I discovered the studio (now as a house) had just been sold...with photo of the outside, and about 20 interior photos! Thanks to Zillow it made my future visit all the more easier (I removed the address, because of privacy for the new family).

Back to Concord a few days later and I found the house, the former studio. (see below.)

Daniel Chester French Studio 1879

However, I couldn't locate the small house (original studio), so I called the Museum and spoke with two people, and both gave different answers as to where it was. In all, three people tried to help (and one wrote on the map), but I still couldn't find both buildings even after a 2nd trip. It's amazing, I didn't get stopped by the police and questioned as to why I was slowing down, turning around in quite a few driveways and going back and forth.

Regarding his death, all sources I read stated he died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at his summer home called Chesterwood. The minute I discovered he was buried in Concord, I returned to the town a fourth time in two weeks. FindAGrave was a big help as was a map from the Concord Library online site. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is quite large, but although it was a warm day, and I was the only one there, I didn't mind, because I was on a mission. The photos below show where he was buried.

Within a short distance of the cemetery is the Concord Free Library, and that meant another stop. Through my reading, I discovered Mr. French had made a sculpture of Ralph Waldo Emerson (after his death) and it was in the reading room of the library. I had been in this library many times (it was where I hung out two days after 9/11), but never looked at the many pieces of sculpture, including two of Louisa May Alcott.

Below is the detail on Mr. Emerson's coat collar.

My photo of the Concord Minute Man was taken several years ago.

I then discovered he summered for 30 years in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at his estate and studio, called Chesterwood, with 120 acres. The good news is, these buildings are open to the public for the price of admission. Please see my post with lots of photos of the studio and estate at: