On the piazza . . .

Recent entries from Nina Winn’s 1916 diary include descriptions of her having lunch or reading “on the piazza.”  Nowadays, to American-English speakers, the word “piazza” typically conjures thoughts of the open public spaces that are characteristic of cities in Italy.  But in Nina Winn’s time, piazza was a popular term in the United States for […]

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A summer Sunday in Arlington, circa 1905

Longtime Society member Bill Mahoney, who recently donated this previously unpublished image to our collection, would often remark “If only the photographer would have directed his lens just a little bit more . . .” towards a particular direction, we’d have a vastly easier time zeroing-in on a date for many historical photographs. Such is […]

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Social Media in the Age of Newspapers

In the age of social media it is easy to believe that we get caught up in the social tidbits of the lives of others.  Perhaps that is true but it certainly did not begin with the invention of Facebook.  Long before the internet personal interest pieces were heavily circulated in local and national newspapers. […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 6

Crazy quilts in the Victorian era in America were popular for home furnishings in the United States from the 1870’s through the early 1900’s.  The American desire for bright, bold asymmetrical designs in silk and velvet drew from English Victorian styles, and from Japanese styles and goods that were increasingly imported to England and the United States […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 5

Fashion trends for clothing and home décor come and go today just as they did in the 19th Century. Hexagon based patterns were popular in the 1830s, the 1920s, and again in the 2010s. In quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet these patterns are often called Hexagons, Beekeeper, Honeycomb or Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Patterns were published, […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 4

Elizabeth Russell Rourke donated this quilt to the Arlington Historical society 150 after her great grandfather Jason Russell was killed at his home by British troops on April 19th, 1775 in Arlington. Jason Russell’s grandson (also named Jason Russell) moved his family to Stafford, Connecticut following the American Revolution. This line of the family stayed in […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 3

In 1835, CS Carpenter finished a beautiful white quilt by stuffing and sewing a cord between layers of soft, fine white cotton to spell out her name and the date. The quilt was passed down or sold through the years, and ended up in the hands of Arlingtonian Mrs. Francis Humphrey, who received the quilt […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 2

This now faded cream and green colored quilt was once bright and showy, with crisp white cotton, and bright lime-green flowers on a dark hunter-green background. The soft ivory with brown and tan accents may once have been striking purples or even reds. Now faded with time, this quilt’s history is a tangle of family […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 1

In 1926, Mary Gage donated a large wool quilt to the Arlington Historical Society. Mary and her husband Alfred Payson Gage had moved to Arlington from New Hampshire early in their marriage, and lived just down the street from the Jason Russell house for years. The only information about the quilt is Mary’s short history […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Introduction

Bedding and quilts in particular are an interesting way to imagine the everyday or perhaps rather “everynight” lives of people in our past. We all have blankets, bedding, quilts, comforters and afghans for all seasons for all of our beds. Usually only our closest family and friends come into our bedrooms or use our blankets. Peering […]

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