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, August 14, 2014

Two Disappointments With My Ancestor's Homes in Salem, Massachusetts And Then....

It seems more often than not, I come up with my blog post title first, then write the article and post the photos. With the title, it give me some direction in putting the piece together. Once the below photos were in place and the rough draft was written, I went about trying to see if there was anything new on google about the "Stephen Daniels House" and the "John Pickering House," there was and I almost fell off my chair. First things first, regarding the Two Disappoints With my Ancestor's Homes.
The Stephen Daniels House (now a Bed and Breakfast) was written about in my May 2013 post. I mentioned how I wanted to check into staying at this Bed and Breakfast.

A few months ago, while in Salem, I decided to knock on the door and see if I could see a bit of the parlor and meet the owner and innkeeper. I arrived armed with a few family group sheets as my evidence of interest. A cleaning lady clearly didn't want to deal with me, nor ask me inside. She also said the owner was sleeping (at 2 in the afternoon). I never expected a "no" even with my saying I follow the house on facebook and I have written about the house on my blog. Yes, perhaps I should have called first, but it is a Bed and Breakfast, and I suspect people do drop in on occasion. I was very, very disappointed, plus they lost a potential paying overnight guest.

I liked that it was an overcast day because the outside and inside lights were on, and flags were draped for maybe July 4th.
A few weeks later, I was back in the city to check out the library, and locate the house below since I had just discovered that John Pickering was a distant ancestor, my 8th great-grandfather.
Approaching the John Pickering House, built in 1651, I could see it's unique design and size. I had heard it was the oldest house in Salem MA. The house wasn't open the Saturday we went, but there should be another opportunity to visit it in the future.

The sign should be replaced so that visitors can read what it says. Fortunately, I took a close-up for us to read.
Pickering House
Built by John Pickering 1660

Here Was Born in 1745
Col. Timothy Pickering
In the Revolution He was
Quartermaster General and
President of the Board of War
In Washington's Cabinet He Was
Secretary of State, Secretary of War
and Postmaster General

Senator from Massachusetts
Closer view shows the house needs of a paint job, repair work and landscaping. I had hoped to show better photos of the house, but this is what I saw. Disappointment again.

However, in my google research, the Library of Congress website of Prints and Photographs Online Catalog popped up, and I found my way to The John Pickering Place then the The Stephen Daniels House. I absolutely loved seeing inside Stephen's house, both sites provided more than photos and gave estimated dates they were built. No disappointments any more, I was very pleased and maybe you will be also, if you try the website.


Nancy said...

Both houses are beautiful. It's too bad you weren't able to see inside the bed and breakfast. I suspect it would be expensive to keep up an older home like either of these. Perhaps the Pickering home needs a support group (maybe of as many of his descendants as could be found?) to help return it to its original beauty.

Celia Lewis said...

The roof looks to be in excellent shape, ditto the windows (open and closed. I'll bet it's a non-ending list of To-Do's for this house. Beautiful old houses, both of them, and seem to be in pretty good shape considering their age.

Barbara Poole said...

Nancy and Celia, I feel the same way, and might have exaggerated my disappointment. The upkeep in both homes must be super expensive.
Thanks for reading and commenting.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Barbara, you might also want to visit the HABS project (Historic American Buildings) also at the Library of Congress website. Whenever you find that an ancestor's home is still standing, it is worth checking here. I was introduced to this project by the curator at Washington Place, and when my cousin renovated an 1804 house in Manchester-by-the-sea.

Barbara Poole said...

Heather, I checked it out, and I think it's pretty much the same site. When I put in Stephen Daniel's name, I got the same site I had. However, I do thank you for adding your information.