Author Archives: mansionmusings

A Shaving Stand for George

This serpentine-front, mahogany-veneer, inlaid shaving stand is the latest addition to George Bartow’s bedchamber. Although the piece predates the Bartow mansion by a few decades (as does the nearby breakfast table), outdated furniture was probably relegated to secondary bedchambers, just as it is today. … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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