Fixing a door 1915 Wednesday, Nov 27 2013 

I do know the door is Happy Thought’s east door, I don’t know who the person is.  I do like the knee socks and pork pie hat though.  This is Not, by the way, how one is supposed to fix a door.  It would appear he is shaving off the bottom of the door rather than rehanging it.  Which, come to think of it, accounts for the gap….

(No idea why the door looks like it came off a funhouse, the negative may have had an odd curl?


Japanese Maples in the Fall Thursday, Nov 7 2013 

I mentioned in passing that I don’t object to Japanese Maples, which is good as we have a number of them…Although some of the more strict ‘native plants only’ group would argue for them being invasive; they don’t fit the definition very well here.  They grow much too slowly to compete with native maples or oaks, (assuming of course there are native maples to seed the area).  They do, however, germinate and grow.  We started with two: a finely cut dwarf and a fairly coarse purple/red back in the 1920’s.  They have crossed over the years and have produced many babies: some with finer cut leaves than others; some with good fall color (brilliant orange or scarlet), some that are an OK purple/red; some that have green summer foliage (always orange in the fall), some with dark red summer foliage. 

IMG_4099 The original dwarf, finely cut one.  You can see a branch of the other original in the top left corner.  Sadly, this dwarf is not long for the world, this photo was taken three years ago, the top branches have since died.

IMG_4090 One of the babies with a fairly typical medium fine cut, this one is almost green in the summer.

IMG_2141 Two of the offspring, the closer one is a genuine scarlet in the fall, the other is noticeably more purple/maroon.  That is accurate color in the photo. 

Specialc099One of the earliest photos that show the original two in 1957.

IMG_4763 The same maples in 2012. This maroon color is the standard for most of the offspring as well.

Bush Bluff Lightship Monday, Sep 9 2013 

Your random photo of the day.  The Bush Bluff Lightship in the summer of 1909.  Anchored at the Elizabeth River in the Chesapeake Bay.  Taken on a trip south by the yacht Mavourneen

Bush Bluff lightship

August, 1909, at the beach Saturday, Sep 7 2013 

I know it is after Labor Day, the temperature last night was 41 (and didn’t the tropical houseplants like that!), and I am finally posting beach photos.  Not my beach photos, I don’t like the beach, too much sun.  I’ll visit in the winter and listen to the wind, thank you.

Anyway, August 1909; presumably somewhere Long Island Sound.  The man with the pipe might be George Creevey; who the rest are, in particular the old lady in the hat???


Garden Flowers circa 1925 Tuesday, Jul 30 2013 


I haven’t happily identified the woman yet, someone connected with Bradford Ellsworth, possibly his first wife Juliet Inness?

Nice dress….

I do know the picture was taken in the big garden, and those are probably classic New England/New York asters.  Clearly, the plant breeders have been had at work making them smaller.

The photo by the way is actually a scanned negative, aren’t computers wonderful?

Esperanza on July 4th, 1913 Thursday, Jul 4 2013 


A parade by the various children visiting the house at the time. This was followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a short bit on it and the Constitution’s importance by William Webster Ellsworth.
I could probably, by process of elimination, figure out most of those children, but if any of the Amistad group reads this…I’d love a hand, since it is possible that they were here that summer?

Nothing like that here today. But still, give those documents a read if you have a chance.

Untold Stories Tuesday, Jun 25 2013 

Sometimes one hits a set of photographs and would dearly like to know more, such is the case with these two from summer 1909.

Image one: a group of children who appear to be determined to sink a canoe. The children are mostly unidentified, the location is somewhere in Long Island Sound. I think that one of the women in white is Lucy Morris Creevey.


Image two: a rowboat has appeared, manned by George Creevey (complete with ever present pipe and tie), the man in the water is probably Perry, all-round deckhand on the Mavourneen. The children appear to be being scolded, the canoe is nowhere in sight. However, it is clear the photo is taken only shortly after the other one, judging by the positions of the people on the diving platform (complete with slide, can you imagine the splinters!?)


And then what? And what is Perry standing on???

Gardening circa 1909 Friday, Jun 21 2013 


Or how to grow pole beans properly. A photograph taken of Esperanza’s then garden. Remember, it supplied the tenant farmer, his family, and Aunt Carlotta (pictured at the far end of the row) over the winter; it supplied all the guests at Esperanza, ranging from a constant 5-8 with spikes of close to 20 for weekends throughout the summer.
The garden shown is no longer part of the property, that section was sold off in the 1960’s and is now a winery.
My pole beans don’t look like that. Not only are poles not big enough, but this time around in addition to the turkeys, there was a nice young doe taking a nap….they are now netted.

Mavourneen Friday, May 24 2013 

Figure I ought to put a few photographs of Mavourneen up. These are from 1908.



Wooden hulled, powered with a somewhat cantankerous gasoline engine. She had a fairly spacious cabin and galley kitchen.

H.M.S. Inflexible Sunday, May 12 2013 

For something entirely different from the photo archives…


Taken in 1909 at the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New York City: H.M.S. Inflexible. She was just about two years old at the time and was serving as the temporary flagship of the Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Edward Hobart Seymour. An Invincible class battle-cruiser, she served throughout World War I, participating in action in both the Mediterranean and North Atlantic campaigns, including Dardanelles and Jutland. She was scrapped in 1921.

The photograph was probably taken by George Creevey from his motor yacht, Mavourneen.

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