Thursday, August 11, 2022

"Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." --- John Donne

This bell tolled for all women!

We spent last weekend moving into Canoe River Campground in Mansfield, MA.  It was a short drive, maybe around an hour.  We couldn't get into the last campground, nor this one, for a full month requiring a move.  Even if the drive is short, take-down and set-up is the same.

The staff brought boards to help us level the RV back at the last spot, Sutton Falls Campground,  Sutton, MA. With only 30 amp service we try to run only one a/c. When we headed into Boston we started to put the slides in so there was less space to keep cool (temps in the mid 90's), only the big slide wouldn't go.  We took the grandkids home and came back to try and fix the slide or call for repair.  After a lot of work it fortunately went in and seems fine.  

I don't think we've had a spot this unlevel.

We went through a corner of RI.

Honey Dew Donuts is New England's largest locally owned donut and coffee shop.  I had to check it out since it all started in Mansfield back in 1973.

My glazed donut with chocolate icing and jimmies was very good.  I got a similar one at Dunkin Donuts (only for comparison purposes of course 😉) and Honey Dew's won the taste test.

Sunday we decided to take a walk in the nearby Borderland State Park. I wasn't expecting to find the Ames Mansion. We were on the first inside tour since Covid started. 

Oakes Ames was a Harvard Botonist who specialized in Orchids. He identified and studied orchids all over the world. He came from a wealthy family who made their money in the family-owned Ames Shovel Company. They supplied shovels to the union army during the Civil War, the goldrush, and for the building of the transcontinental railroad. His father was also the Governor of MA. Oakes died in 1950.

Blanche Ames Ames (they were not related) graduated from Smith College in 1899 with a degree in art history. Her father and grandfather were both civil war generals. She and Oakes were married in 1900 and had 4 children. Having no real art training, she became the illustrator for her husband's orchids, painted beautiful oil paintings, and wrote and illustrated political cartoons. She was also an inventor, a writer, and a leader of the women's suffrage movement. She and her brother created a system of color reference charts based on varying hues and tones.

Blanch and Oakes were true partners in Orchid research, love of nature,and his active support of the women's suffrage movement.

This was one of many homes owned by Oakes and Blanche but this is said to be their favorite. Blanche designed this 22,000 sq. ft., stone home complete with a 2- story library, concrete for fire proofing,  8.5 bathrooms with plumbing, electricity, and one of the first attached garages. It was completed in 1910. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside the elegant mansion. Most of the furnishings, down to the rugs, were original. Many were donated back by family members. The 2-story, 60,000 volume library was something to see. I would say it was an amazing house for the times, but it was just as impressive today.

During an "orchid" trip in 1900 to Cuba Oakley and Blanche purchased the bell above, that eventually was placed at Ames Mansion, from a plantation that had been destroyed by rebels. It took several years to transport it from Cuba to the Mansion and for several years after that it was placed in their yard. Some time before 1936 it was moved to the roof of the mansion. An inscription on the bell indicates it originally came from France and is now over 900 years old.

Blanche and Oakes not only supported, but worked hard to give women the right to vote. In 1915 the Massachusetts bill to give women the right to vote was not ratified.  Beginning the next day the bell at Ames Mansion was rung every day at noon until August of 1920 when the 19th ammendment was ratified.  

Ames Mansion, Easton, MA 

They were avid outdoorsmen and sportsmen.  Originally they had a lawn tennis court but upgraded.

The swimming pool was filled in after Blanches death in 1969. They said no one could figure out how to run the filter system she had designed.

A large glacier boulder on Boulder Trail.

Leech pond

There were lots of people enjoying the Frisbee golf course. 

A gall is a swelling on a plant caused by a tiny animal laying an egg.

I love to see Little Free Libraries, especially in unexpected places.

Pat says I'm spoiled but I've gotten used to RV Parks and I'm not always impressed with campgrounds. A few old trailers in this campground and the roads could use a little work. Three days after the rain we still had some good-sized puddles.
Where are the Piepers now?  Mansfield, MA

No comments:

Post a Comment