Author Archives: mansionmusings

Home Repairs, Lenape-style

Long ago, the local Lenape people built their houses out of saplings and bark. Last week, experts working at Bartow-Pell continued this historic tradition as they made major repairs to our wigwam. Jeff Kalin, whose company, Primitive Technologies, “recreates the … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Musings | Leave a comment

A Cup of Tea, Please

When a group of defiant colonists tossed 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest the British and East India Company’s outrageous tax, Americans shunned the beverage in favor of coffee. But only temporarily! Americans had adored tea as … Continue reading

Image | Posted on | Leave a comment

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine? Making a Reproduction Late 1830s Dress

Going back in time becomes easier to imagine when people wear period clothing. At least, that is the idea behind docents in 19th-century dress, enabling them to guide visitors on a fantasy-filled journey to the distant past. Since the Bartow … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Musings | Leave a comment

Made in New York: Recent Gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Feld, Part I

People often call Bartow-Pell to find out when we are open or if they can schedule wedding photos or a school field trip. But when the phone rang one morning in December of 2011, the voice on the other end … Continue reading

Posted in Mansion Musings | Leave a comment

Profiles and Poetry: Bounty from a Holiday Giving Tree

The old Bartow mansion looks especially beautiful during the holiday season. Bedecked with festive greenery, garlands, twinkling fairy lights, and storybook Christmas trees, the house is a place where dreams really can come true. “What do we need to acquire … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Musings | Leave a comment

What Can You Learn from Old Clothes?

For many, the word “fashion” is synonymous with “superficial.”  If something goes “out of fashion,” it is gone quickly; if it is “just a fashion” it does not have much importance and will soon be forgotten. However, looking at past … Continue reading

Posted in Mansion Musings | Leave a comment

The Early Pells: Life in a Colorful 17th Century World

We tend to think of our ancestors – if we think of them at all – as living in a world of black-and-white photos, stiff collars and wooden expressions.  But the truth is much more colorful.  Our ancestors lived in … Continue reading

Posted in Mansion Musings | Leave a comment

Tools from the Past: A Conversation with the Collector

What does the man who has amassed a collection of over 10,000 antique gardening tools spanning several centuries and originating from more than a few continents and countries NOT have? What does he covet? A terra cotta watering pot circa … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Musings | Leave a comment

A Winter Garden Awakens

I have often wondered what it would be like to awaken a bear in the middle of his hibernating sleep in winter.  Would it be a brusque encounter, or would it be peaceful, like a newborn infant awakening on his own … Continue reading

Posted in Garden Musings | 11 Comments

Look, Don’t Touch

Look, don’t touch. This was a concept that gave me quite a bit of trouble as a child visiting museums. From carved marble resembling fabric to the brushstrokes of Impressionist paintings, everything begged to be examined with more than just … Continue reading

Posted in Mansion Musings | Leave a comment