Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Going on Nine at Locust Lawn

Once upon a time I was a little girl who played at Locust Lawn in Danvers.
I loved this storybook my mother read to me. The book was dedicated "TO ALL THE LITTLE GIRLS WHO PLAYED AT LOCUST LAWN".

The mansion pictured below (from page 37 of this book) existed until 1944. The foundation remained for years longer, providing a play area for Nichols Street kids. In 1957 my parents built a new house on the site, using part of the old foundation for a sunken garden.

These maps on the end-papers of the book show familiar features...
such as the Barn, the Back Avenue, and the little pond, called "Willow Pond" here, -- recognizable from my childhood.
The road shown at the bottom (passing the pond and curving to the left) was a portion of Nichols Street now renamed Conifer Hill Drive. Route 95 cut that road off from the lower section of Nichols Street and destroyed much of the hill of Locust Lawn. Only some the original 35 acres we played in remain today, in narrow slices on either side to Route 95.

This month and next my Danvers Herald columns will be about Locust Lawn. See April column: The Little Girls of Locust Lawn.


Phil said...

Sandra: Thank you for your memories of Locust Lawn. You are right - Going on Nine is autobiographical. AWS is my grandmother and she did spend her childhood there. Glad you enjoyed the book. Have you read any of her other books?

Sandy said...

No, I have not read others. Years ago a cousin sent me a copy of a little brochure advertising P-Penny and His Little Red Cart.
How many books did she write?

Phil said...

There were 5, a sixth was in progress when she died in 1938 (I have a first draft and hope to get around to publishing it someday). She also wrote many articles and thought pieces for magazines like the New Yorker. Her most popular book was Here's Juggins, about her summer place in Maine that is now mine. This was reprinted a few years ago. The rest are out of print but available online.