Saturday, November 3, 2012

Parlor at Pine Knoll

This photograph of the parlor at Pine Knoll, the Nichols family home at 98 Preston Street, Danvers, MA, was taken in the late 1960's, but looks remarkably like images taken in the 1890's. The parlor, as  the most formal room in the house, was used only on special occasions. Very little changed in this room over the decades.  Click on the photo to see a larger, clearer image.

Julie Snow, a young photographer from New York City, took this photo. She became entranced by this old home when she visited it and asked permission to set up special lights and take photographs. Permission was given, but none of us thought about the amount of electricity needed to run those bright lights, which soon blew fuses!  Nevertheless she took some special photographs that we now treasure.

This month I have written about some of my experiences in the Pine Knoll parlor. See my Danvers Herald column, The Parlor at Pine Knoll.

Through the door on the left you can see the library, which was filled with books that had belonged to my great-grandfather Andrew Nichols, civil engineer. He built the first part of this home in 1861, and in 1880 added this wing that included the parlor and library. A friend of his came for a house tour in 1881 and wrote an article titled The Nichols Museum describing this home.

The Pine Knoll house survived until 1975 when arsons set it on fire and destroyed this piece of Danvers history. It is a shame that so many antiques perished. Fortunately, the library collection had already been moved out of the house; it was donated to Harvard University.

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