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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, July 19, 2018

The Nicest Surprises Come from Blog Readers


What a surprise to hear from somebody who was interested in a priest. She found me because of my 4 photo blog, and a few searchable words on the cemetery sign, published October 2012.

This is not the first time somebody has contacted me regarding a post, but when Annalisa, the reader, wrote the following, I knew I had to help in some way.

"I'm writing you from Anchorage, Alaska.  I am researching St. Francis Seminary and saw your blog.  I'm trying to find some information on a Father Michael DiPietro who I believe is buried there in that cemetery.  He befriended my parents back in 1962 in Germany and I'd like to know more about him.  The only thing I have found is his obituary.  

Since your picture showed up on the St. Francis Seminary website I'm wondering if you live close to the seminary.  I'm hoping to find a picture of Father DiPietro and more information about his life."


I was quite familiar with this Seminary, mostly because I have been past it many times, and hated the fact that the entire building had been razed for the sole purpose of putting up ugly houses. Quite a few years ago, maybe 15-20, my husband and I used to go to their annual fall craft fair. It was always crowed, and lots of fun.  It was then that we discovered the small cemetery, set in the back, among the many trees. So when the Seminary was taken down, we always wondered about the cemetery, but never dared to go back there because of all the construction and Do Not Enter signs.

When I received her letter, I decided why not go now, an early Sunday morning when we wouldn't disturb anybody. As soon as we got to the circular cemetery, my husband took a right on the pathway, and found Rev. DiPietro's grave, his was the 2nd grave! I had just closed my car door.

For genealogy friends, there was nothing on FindAGrave.com, so I just started a page, and added the dates for Rev. DiPietro. I would love to do all the stones, I think it is a doable task, but it has to be in cooler weather.

Below are the obituary of Rev. DiPietro, Annalisa sent me, photos taken rainy Sunday morning (to be retaken on a better day), and a few links about the Seminary.


While doing research on the Seminary, I found a detailed report of the property done by Andover Historic Preservation. If you have Andover ancestors, this can be a very useful site. Check out Search Historic Buildings tab.

The last two paragraphs read: "In July 1991 the Seminary reopened and the Secular Franciscan fraternity returned to celebrate their 40th anniversary. It continued under the name of St. Francis Institute and the building was until recently still in use. The property now contains 69 acres which includes a small cemetery for former priests that worked and lived at the Seminary. Most, if not all, of the former Hood Farm structures have been razed for re-development or destroyed by fire over the years.
The Seminary building was razed in 2016 to make way for new housing."
Demolition of St. Francis Seraphic Seminary, Andover MA is on YouTube, about a 11 minute video. At least watch for the first minute and 25 seconds, as there are old photos of the Seminary. Some of the comments are quite sad.



Unfortunately there are no signs pointing to the cemetery, so my husband took these, as I wanted Annalisa to see how to get there.

The above sign, on River Road, Andover, just two blocks from Tewksbury, MA is where you should turn to get to the cemetery, and just ahead is their building. Go straight.

Husband walking into the cemetery, and by the time I caught up to him, he had found the cemetery stone.
Darn houses.

St. Francis Seminary property, this is next to the cemetery.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find additional information about Rev. DiPietro, but perhaps a reader might have suggestions.


I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: BarbaraPoole@Gmail.com. Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.




Sunday, July 8, 2018

Roseland Cottage, Built 1846

Roseland Cottage
555 Route 169
Woodstock, Connecticut


Because this house was almost pink and quite pretty, I was anxious to see the summer cottage of Henry Chandler Bowen (1813-1896) and his wife, Lucy Maria Tappan.

In addition, I was anxious to see the garden and boxwood. Per the house's website"According to Henry Bowen’s detailed orders the garden comprised 600 yards of boxwood hedge which surrounded twenty-one beds of more than thirty-five varieties of perennials and thousands of annuals. Roseland Cottage’s formal parterre has been an important feature of the house and landscape ever since."


The Gothic style house was built in 1846 was quite dark in some rooms. The staircase was the first thing we saw.

Seating area.
A double parlor above. There is a sliding door to separate the two rooms. The front portion is shown below.

Photo of the Bowen's 10th child, deceased. Took this picture because of the wallpaper and fireplace.

Modern style stained glass was installed when the house was built.

The wall-covering was quite unusual to me, called Lincrusta-Walton. Below, our guide is holding a sample of what the "paper" originally looked like like compared to the silver tone now.

Dining Room with fancy fireplace.

Unusual item in the bathroom...an old safe! (If I hadn't asked what it was, it wouldn't have been shown.)
A few bedrooms.


The bowling alley is the oldest surviving indoor one in the United States. It was built when the house was, 1846.
From Wikipedia, I copied, "Starting in 1870, Bowen hosted large Fourth of July celebrations at Roseland Cottage. Four United States Presidents visited Bowen's summer home as his guests and speakers for these celebrations: Ulysses S. GrantBenjamin HarrisonRutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley. Other prominent visitors included Henry Ward BeecherJulia Ward HoweOliver Wendell Holmes and John C. Fremont."


A tree shaped rhododendron tree. Many years ago, the gardeners trimmed and trained this bush to grow this way.





I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: BarbaraPoole@Gmail.com. Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.

Wilson Castle, the Minute I Heard About This Place...

Wilson Castle
Physical Address: 2708 West Street, Proctor, Vermont
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 290, Center Rutland, Vermont, 05736

The minute I heard about this place, I knew I wanted to visit. Thanks to a magazine write-up about it, I was alerted to this place. Then I signed on to Wilson Castle's facebook page, which provides information. In June, we made a visit, and I was happy to cross this off my "Bucket List." As I entered the property, I was amazed at the size. The 32 room castle sits on 115 acres in a beautiful area, north of Rutland, Vermont.

For information:  http://www.wilsoncastle.com/castle-tours/

http://www.wilsoncastle.com/history/ From this site you learn that the castle's construction was begun in 1885 by Dr. and Mrs. Johnson, and lasted over seven years. After their death, the castle was bought and sold numerous times. It wasn't until 1939 that Colonel Herbert Wilson purchased it as a summer home. He opened it in 1962 for tours.

Grand staircase, and three stained glass panels, shown above and below.

Front hallway, stairs to the left.

This is the room where we sat, below a Tiffany chandelier, and watched an informative DVD about the history of Wilson Castle. Just look at the ceiling.

The four photos below are of the formal living room. There are antiques from around the world, including a Louis XVI crown jewel case.




 Music Room (above and below). While looking at the photos on the piano, I mentioned I was into genealogy. I was told who these people were, by the granddaughter.

Dining Room, with Tiffany chandelier. 
Our tour guide was the granddaughter of Colonel Herbert Wilson who bought this castle. She told us that this is the place setting they used for holiday meals that were served in the dining room, shown above.

Pantry, looking into the Dining Room.

The Pink Room. Usually used for brides prior to their marriage in the castle.


Various seating areas, and bedrooms, all have great views. I read there are 84 stained glass windows!





I love fireplaces, here are three of the 13 in the house.



Veranda
Something this old always needs some touch up.

I learned there is a ballroom on the 3rd floor, now closed to visitors, but when repair work is completed, it will be open. I can't wait to make a return visit.

All statistics were confirmed by Wilson Castle on July 8, 2018. I had been given a few from my tour guide, but I didn't have the number of rooms or number of fireplaces. Searching the web showed that some sites had different figures!

As we left the property and got on the main road, we saw this. Fortunately, a day later the photo appeared on facebook page, June 22, 2018 page!

To read about the architect, please see facebook page, Oct. 9, 2017
I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: BarbaraPoole@Gmail.com. Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.