Boston Mass.

Way back in 1997 I took an internship at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now known as Historic New England).  Since 1910, Historic New England has preserved historic homes, operated and created museums in most of the homes they own and boasts an impressive collection of period pieces from clothing to photography to furniture.  My job was to transcribe letters written by an politician named Harrison Gray Otis.  I would spend my days at the Massachusetts Historical Society pouring over microfiche and attempting to read the most beautiful handwriting I had ever seen (not to mention that the script back then looks pretty different from ours today).  In some cases the letters were political in nature even written to people such as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.  The letters of most interest were the ones written to his wife and other family members.  My work helped increase the database of information from Otis’ life – which was important due to the fact that the SPNEA’s headquarters is located in Otis’ first home in the West End of Boston.  I love this part of Boston and highly recommend visiting if you get the chance!

Below are a few photos of the Otis House Museum (designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1796)

One of the reasons I sought out Historic New England as my internship was my passion for preserving our unique American history.  I’ll save you from any political ramblings but suffice it to say – I believe that we should make every effort to preserve historic buildings and their interiors.  Not only for the insight we receive in the attempt to accurately portray the past through architecture and interiors, and not only for the education of our children about their heritage – but to allow everyone the opportunity to understand our country’s history, and maybe even themselves, in a new way.

…More coming tomorrow on the second reason I went to work in Boston – Historic New England owns Walter Gropius‘s home!


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