Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Swinging branch

While looking through a pile of old photos,  I found one of the swinging branch   -- the subject of my November column.   See The Swinging Branch, published in the Danvers Herald the first Thursday in November and posted online recently.

In this photo three little girls are enjoying the branch: my sister Jean, a visiting friend (Mary Nutt), and myself.  Our dog Heidi is being patted by Babs Nutt, a long-time friend of my parents.  Babs and her children were visiting from New Hampshire.

The hillside doesn't look as steep here as I had remembered it.   Today this hill is called Conifer Hill, part of what remains of the former "Dale's Hill" or "Nichols Hill"  -- location of the old Wentworth estate known to us as "Locust Lawn."

I understand that a new housing development (Conifer Hill Commons) is proposed here.  At right is a photo of an earlier construction project, the colonial house that my parents had built not far from the swinging branch tree.

This was taken in 1956.

My grandfather, mother, Aunt Millie, and I are standing in what would become the new driveway from Nichols Street.   I had lived for 13 years at 120 Nichols Street, just down the hill and across the street.  Our new address became 121 Nichols Street when we moved there in 1957.    It could have been called "1 Speedwell Place" because the new driveway came out at the corner of Nichols and Speedwell, named for the Speedwell School that had been run for some years in the former Wentworth mansion at this location.


Danvers said...

Someone in Danvers notated in an old library book I recently read that the Locust Lawn home burned down?

Full of antiques?

Sandy said...

The old Locust Lawn mansion, then vacant, was torn down in 1944, I believe, on order of the police because of too much vandalism. I'm not aware of a fire burning a Locust Lawn home.

The Nichols family homestead at 98 Preston St contained many antiques when it was burned down by arsonists in 1975. But that was not at Locust Lawn.