SCHOOLHOUSE PROJECT NEARS COMPLETION WITH RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION GRANT

  • By Kathy Hartley
  • 31 Aug, 2017
August 2017----The restoration of the Pullen Corner School House got a big boost with the award of a $10,000 grant from The Rhode Island Foundation last month. The grant was part of the Foundation's Community Grant program in which some 30 projects across the state were selected to receive $225,000. The largest grant amount was $10,000. The funds are earmarked for the finishing aspects to the restoration, including lighting, interpretative signage, stove, outdoor bell, school benches, and displays.

We were not only excited to learn of our successful grant application, but also delighted that our school house project was selected to be showcased among all the projects in a ceremony at Chase Farm Park announcing the grants. The event took place on July 12th. Kathy Hartley, president of Friends of Hearthside, stated “It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce our historic sites to officials from corners of Rhode Island. And needless to say, everyone was impressed with all that Great Road has to offer, and the recent developments to make it even more of a destination for enjoying and discovering history.”

The 1850 Pullen Corner Schoolhouse was moved to the town-owned Chase Farm Park in 2015. Funding was provided by the Lincoln Celebration Committee from the proceeds of sales of town ornaments over the past 20 years. Town residents also voted for expenditure of funds in the town budget to support the move and restoration.

The Friends of Hearthside has been overseeing the restoration of the historic building, and will be spearheading the programming to take place at the schoolhouse. The set up will not restrict its use as a classroom, as the intent is to have it be used for a variety of purposes, including cultural performances, art exhibits, civic meetings, as well as for tour groups and school field trips.

Also known as the “Hot Potato School”, the Pullen Schoolhouse joins the other historical buildings at Chase Farm Park which includes the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop and Moffett Mill. The Town of Lincoln is constructing a Visitor Center on site as well which will provide restroom facilities, a community room, and picnic table pavilion, making a full-day excursion to the park possible.

Expected completion of the schoolhouse and Visitor Center is Fall 2017.
For more information, contact John Scanlon at john.scanlon@hearthsidehouse.org.
By Kathy Hartley 31 Aug, 2017
August 2017----The restoration of the Pullen Corner School House got a big boost with the award of a $10,000 grant from The Rhode Island Foundation last month. The grant was part of the Foundation's Community Grant program in which some 30 projects across the state were selected to receive $225,000. The largest grant amount was $10,000. The funds are earmarked for the finishing aspects to the restoration, including lighting, interpretative signage, stove, outdoor bell, school benches, and displays.

We were not only excited to learn of our successful grant application, but also delighted that our school house project was selected to be showcased among all the projects in a ceremony at Chase Farm Park announcing the grants. The event took place on July 12th. Kathy Hartley, president of Friends of Hearthside, stated “It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce our historic sites to officials from corners of Rhode Island. And needless to say, everyone was impressed with all that Great Road has to offer, and the recent developments to make it even more of a destination for enjoying and discovering history.”

The 1850 Pullen Corner Schoolhouse was moved to the town-owned Chase Farm Park in 2015. Funding was provided by the Lincoln Celebration Committee from the proceeds of sales of town ornaments over the past 20 years. Town residents also voted for expenditure of funds in the town budget to support the move and restoration.

The Friends of Hearthside has been overseeing the restoration of the historic building, and will be spearheading the programming to take place at the schoolhouse. The set up will not restrict its use as a classroom, as the intent is to have it be used for a variety of purposes, including cultural performances, art exhibits, civic meetings, as well as for tour groups and school field trips.

Also known as the “Hot Potato School”, the Pullen Schoolhouse joins the other historical buildings at Chase Farm Park which includes the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop and Moffett Mill. The Town of Lincoln is constructing a Visitor Center on site as well which will provide restroom facilities, a community room, and picnic table pavilion, making a full-day excursion to the park possible.

Expected completion of the schoolhouse and Visitor Center is Fall 2017.
For more information, contact John Scanlon at john.scanlon@hearthsidehouse.org.
By Kathy Hartley 31 Aug, 2017
August 23, 2017---The act of taking a pen and carefully crafting notes and letters is quickly disappearing from our culture. Taking its place are fingers flying across keyboards, and thumbs furiously pounding out abbreviated words and slang while texting. The alarming trend is one that has caught the attention of historians at Lincoln’s Hearthside House Museum.

“Simply put, if they can’t write, they can’t read it,” states Kathy Hartley, president of Friends of Hearthside, the all-volunteer organization that runs the museum. And so, starting this fall, classes in cursive writing will be offered by the organization. Nancy Poon, recently retired as a third-grade teacher from Northern Lincoln Elementary School, has recently joined the board of directors at Hearthside and is chairing the Educational Initiative, which will eventually include school tours and programs at the Pullen Corner School House at Chase Farm Park when it is fully restored. The class in cursive writing is the first program offering of this new initiative and will be held at Hearthside this fall.
The course is geared toward the 8-12 age group and will consist of one-hour classes held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting October 3rd and running for 14 classes. The classes are being taught by elementary school teachers who volunteer at Hearthside. The cost is $15/week. Class size is limited to 8 students.

Cursive writing has virtually disappeared from the classroom. Increased testing, the implementation of Common Core State Standards and computers in the classroom take more time and resources. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are using the Common Core’s English Language Arts standards and no longer require that cursive writing be taught. But some states have recently moved to make cursive mandatory, such as North Carolina. That state recently passed a “Back to Basics” law which mandated cursive (and multiplication tables) be taught. Other states include California, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina and
T ennessee.

The concern about the loss of cursive writing skills by Friends of Hearthside came about from the museum’s own youth docents. “It became apparent to us that these young people, who love history, were not able to read some of the historical letters in our collections,” states Hartley. “What really struck a chord with us though was when 15 year-old volunteer Tatum Pelletier commented that it saddened her not to be able to read the Declaration of Independence. Nothing underscored the loss of learning cursive writing more than that statement,” she added. “The ramifications of this are enormous, as all historical documents, whether of national importance or family memories, would be of no use if they can’t be read and will be in danger of being tossed out and history will be lost.”

With Hearthside’s mission focused on preserving history, not just historic buildings, it was a natural step to add cursive writing into their offerings of traditional skills that need to be saved. The organization has been offering instruction in hand forging at the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop for the past 14 years and recently announced the start of classes in the textile arts of spinning, hand weaving and embroidery.
There are added benefits to learning cursive writing besides being able to read historical documents. Just like art, hand writing activates areas of the brain that don’t get tapped with typing. Studies and research by Indiana University have found that writing by hand develops fine motor skills and improves literacy. Another study, conducted by the University of Washington, revealed that when elementary-school students composed essays on paper rather than on-screen, they wrote more and faster.

Elementary school teachers report that writing letters and words by hand reinforces reading skills and the sounds of the words in students' brains much more than just typing them. The brain retains more when writing, rather than typing. Take for example a stenographer who furiously types out words in court. Nothing is being retained as it is being typed.

Students who have cursive writing skills will be highly valued in the workplace, as well. Already, there are reports that they can earn extra money addressing wedding envelopes and reading primary sources written in cursive writing. Even at a tech company, a student who knows cursive writing earns $10 more an hour than his office mates because he can write legibly in cursive. He writes letters for his boss each day, all to higher ups in the company, or thank you notes or informal invitations.

Further, bank managers are reporting that young people coming in to open a bank account no longer have a signature. This has major implications for counterfeiting when everyone has a scribble or “x” on the signature line of a check.
To enroll in the class or for more information, contact Nancy Poon at education@hearthsidehouse.org or call Hearthside at 726-0597.
By Kathy Hartley 15 May, 2017
May 3, 2017—Lincoln’s Hearthside House and the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop has been recognized by Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for Best in New England 2017. The announcement was made in the May/June issue of the magazine in which state-by-state listings included best places to eat, where to stay, and what to do. Hearthside House and Hannaway Shop were listed in the “Best Historical Experience” in Rhode Island.

The publication’s review states: “The past is kept playfully, passionately alive in Lincoln at “the house that love built,” a stately fieldstone mansion where volunteers don period garb for themed events and tours. Down the street, observe artisans at work on weekends, or even preregister for a two-hour class. You’ll forge a hook to start, but by the time you begin a second project of your choice, you may find you’re hooked on this traditional art.”

Hearthside House opened to the public in 2001 when the Friends of Hearthside formed with a mission to preserve the 200-year-old home that is owned by the Town of Lincoln. Over the years, Hearthside has developed into a well-respected museum with a creative offering by its costumed interpreters of programs and tours to help bring history to life. The volunteer organization also runs the neighboring Hannaway Blacksmith Shop, also owned by the Town, where demonstrations and classes in hand forging are held every weekend in the original shop with a goal to preserve the traditional craft as well as the historic building.

“As a young, small museum run entirely by volunteers, it is an incredible honor to be recognized with such a significant award,” states Kathy Hartley, president and founder of the Friends of Hearthside. “It is testament to the dedication of so many who care deeply about our community and preserving our heritage for future generations.”

Yankee Magazine is read by 1.9 million readers nationwide. Based in Dublin, New Hampshire, Yankee is considered the iconic American magazine covering the finest that New England has to offer.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its architectural significance, Hearthside was built in 1810 with lottery winnings to win the heart of a young lady. The house has had numerous owners over its lifetime until being purchased by the Town of Lincoln in 1996. Hearthside is located along Great Road, one of the country’s earliest roadways. Several historic sites remain intact in the area, making the Great Road Historic District a desirable destination for visitors and residents alike
By Kathy Hartley 02 Mar, 2017
March 2, 2017----Hearthside House Museum announces its lineup of programs for this season, starting on Sunday, March 12 th with a special appearance of ballet dancers from “Sleeping Beauty.” In a partnership with Heritage Ballet, Hearthside will feature the dancers set in different rooms around the house while visitors enjoy the classic story through a self-guided tour. Many of the story’s favorite characters will be there: Princess Aurora, the Prince, Lilac Fairy, Red, Green and Blue Fairies, Carabosse (Maleficent), Red Riding Hood, Pied Piper, and Puss in Boots. As a special memento of the visit, there will be an opportunity for a custom portrait with the Princess. Interpreters dressed in period attire will also be on hand to provide history about Hearthside for those who have never visited the museum.

The doors open 1:00-3:00 p.m. with a 4:00 p.m. closing. General admission is $10; $5 ages 10-17; 9 and under free as well as museum members. This is a chance to see and talk with the dancers prior to their full ballet performance at the Stadium Theatre on April 1-2.

New this year will be the addition of fully-guided tours on select Thursday evenings, with the first one being held on Thursday, March 30th . The tour kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude by 7:45 p.m. “This is a great opportunity for a group of friends to come [2] after work and discover some local history,” states Kathy Hartley, president of the Friends of Hearthside, the volunteer organization running the museum

She adds, “Also featured this year is an expansion of the third floor hand weaving exhibit which has come about with the recent donation of the entire Talbot family weaving collection, which had been a gift to the American Textile History Museum located in Lowell, Massachusetts from Frances Talbot upon her death in 1975. She was the last of the Talbot weavers. The Textile museum closed last year and reached out to us in an attempt to return the items where they originally came from.” The Talbots ran a hand weaving business at Hearthside from 1904-1926. Among the items are looms, spinning wheels, yarn winders, warping rack, and several examples of the original patterns woven by the Talbots.

“With this collection comes an opportunity to capture the amazing history of fiber arts in
this very space where such notable pieces were made by the Talbots, while also teaching
the traditional crafts so that another generation may learn these fine skills. So, we will
begin offering classes in hand weaving, spinning, and embroidery later this spring,” adds
Hartley. An additional room on the third floor has been turned into a teaching room, with
several pieces of modern equipment, supplies and books provided by the American
Textile History Museum.

On April 8 & 9, Hearthside will host a wedding exhibit featuring dresses and customs
from weddings throughout the past hundred years, with dresses dating as far back to
1840s. Also in April will be a unique musical exhibit with a display of antique
phonographs along with their owners to explain how they operated. “A special element
of this exhibit will be performances on Hearthside’s antique piano featuring two young
concert pianists performing works by Beethoven and Brahms, states Hartley. “And the
best part is that these performances will be recorded on a cylinder and then played on the
antique Edison phonograph.” This program takes place April 30.

Other features this year includes two events for fans of the popular series Downton
Abbey. First is the Downton Abbey Tea on May 13 with a presentation on “Footwear
and Fribbles.” Then on June 11, a first in Rhode Island takes place when a “Downton
Abbey Fox Hunt,” complete with costumes, pageantry and trained horses and beagles,
(but no foxes) and an English-style luncheon is featured at Chase Farm Park.
For girls who treasure their American Girl Dolls, there are three events: An American
Girl Doll Tea on June 3 & 4, an American Girl Doll Garden Party on August 5, and an
American Girl Doll Christmas Party on Dec. 2 which is exclusive for museum members.
This summer’s major event will welcome back the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Tribute
being held July 23, which celebrates Hearthside’s connection as the model for the RI
pavilion at that international exposition with a family fun day of exhibits and an outdoor
festival.

A celebration of Great Road’s history takes place with free tours at several historic sites
along one of America’s oldest roadways on September 23. A new event this fall will be
a Revolutionary War skirmish with the Rebels and Redcoats coming to Chase Farm Park
for a one-day event on October 21.

The somewhat morbid but popular “Gone But Not Forgotten: Victorian Mourning &
Funeral Customs” exhibit returns for a 3-week run starting October 28, and continues
Nov. 5, 11 and 12. Probably Hearthside’s most visited time is during the Christmas
season for an Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration which takes place on Dec. 3, 9, and
10 and the Home for the Holidays Candlelight Tours on Dec. 28 and 30.
Some very special evenings are planned as fundraisers which include an elaborate
Victorian Dinner Party on October 7 and an intimate evening with medium Roland
Comtois, “Validating the After Life” on September 28.

Hartley notes that “Tickets for our special events go on sale one month prior to the date,
except for members, who have the added benefit of early purchase.” Admission for tours
and exhibits may be paid at the door.
By Kathy Hartley 01 Feb, 2017
FEBRUARY 2017 - With the sad news of the closing of the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts comes the good news that all the weaving equipment that Francis Talbot left to the Museum upon her passing in 1975 is being donated back to Hearthside. Her will specified that the collection would go to her nephew William Talbot should something happen to the Museum. In turn, William has signed the entire collection over to Hearthside, as was his wish ever since he first discovered that his grandparents’ house had been turned into a museum.

The collection includes six additional large looms, a warping frame, several spinning wheels, winders, and other weaving equipment, most of which date to the mid-1700s. Also in the collection are a variety of coverlets and fragments that show examples of different patterns that the Talbots produced. Shawls, dating to the mid-19th century, are included in the collection as well. It is thought that these may have been heirlooms from the family’s ancestors, who were merchants in the China Trade and could have been brought here from their travels abroad. When Francis Talbot passed away, it meant the end to the family weaving business, which at that time was located in Philadelphia.

“What makes this collection so meaningful is that all of this antique equipment was here at Hearthside and used by the Talbots while operating their business “The Hearthside Looms” in the very same space on the third floor from 1904-1926,” states Hearthside president Kathy Hartley. “The fact that the Talbots were at the forefront of the Arts & Crafts movement in this country and were so widely recognized for the high quality of their hand woven goods make this gift an extraordinary addition to our museum,” she adds. “While a house museum may receive items that were once part of the household, it is extremely rare that such a complete collection comes back home again.”

The attic exhibit has expanded into a third room where classes in hand weaving, spinning, and embroidery will take place beginning in late spring. Modern table top looms, books and materials were also donated by the American Textile History Museum to aid in Hearthside’s mission to keep these traditional arts alive.

“In addition to hand weaving, both Katherine Talbot and her daughter Frances were especially skilled in embroidery, which they added to pieces such as altar cloths and wall hangings that were commissioned by churches throughout the country,” adds Hartley.

Visitors may view the third floor weaving exhibit during any of our tours, with demonstrations taking place whenever possible. An announcement for the start-up of classes will be forthcoming as arrangements are completed.
By Kathy Hartley 01 Sep, 2016
September 2016---Lincoln’s Hearthside House Museum announces the release of a most unique
cookbook, “From Hearth Side to Stove Top,” which features the tastes, traditions and lifestyles
spanning the time period from 1810 to 1910, the first hundred years of Hearthside House.
During that time, there was the most dramatic changes in food production, consumption, and
cooking methods, which ranged from the open fire to cast iron stove, to electric stove.

This carefully researched book, compiled by Lois Hartley, contains a treasury of over 200
recipes, or “receipts” as they were known then, are arranged by food group from soup to
“syllabubs,” with early to later recipes within each category. The book is embellished
throughout with an interesting history of this most unique stone house located within the Great
Road Historic District, with a gallery of families who called Hearthside their home between
1810-1910. One can just imagine the family sitting down to a meal of Potted Pigeon or Mock
Turtle Soup of Calf’s Head. While it isn’t expected that anyone would want to cook those
recipes, it does provide an interesting and entertaining look back at what the typical New
England foods were at that time. Later recipes such as Lobster Stew, Mulled Cider, or OldFashioned
Hermits are much more likely to appeal to today’s cooks. The spiral-bound book is
illustrated throughout with pen and ink drawings, historical photographs, and quotes and
tidbits about food preparation. The book’s cover art features a copy of a hand-colored
photograph taken in 1910 of Hearthside’s kitchen hearth by Rhode Island photographer, Rufus
Waterman, which is part of the museum’s collection of Waterman’s and David Davidson’s early
20th century hand-colored photographs of the house.

A demonstration of cooking over the open fire, using some of the Colonial recipes from the
book, will be held at Hearthside on Saturday, September 24th during “Great Road Day,” an
open house event taking place among several historic sites along one of America’s earliest
highways. Between 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., volunteers in period costume will welcome guests to
tour the house for free during the event, which is part of Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live
celebration nationwide. “From Hearth Side to Stove Top” will be available for sale and a book
signing will also take place. The book may be purchased for $15 at the Hearthside Gift Shop, or
through Hearthside’s website, and all proceeds from the book sales support the mission of the
Friends of Hearthside to preserve history along Great Road.

The “culinary journey” featured in this book will continue with a Victorian Dinner Party
fundraiser being held on Saturday, November 12th. Set by elegant candlelight, this intimate
five-course dinner will be limited to 22 guests. Using local farm fresh foods, the exceptional
cuisine will reflect the time and culture of the different time periods represented within the
book. The meal will be prepared in Hearthside’s Colonial kitchen by executive chefs, Nate
Martin and John Scanlon. A special dessert prepared by former Supreme Court Justice Frank
Williams will top off the evening. Reservations for the fundraiser will be available starting
October 12th.
By Kathy Hartley 01 Jul, 2016
July 2016 - After a long winter with an exposed front porch roof, and scaffolding across the
front of the house in the spring, our long-awaited repairs to both the porch and our front
dormer have been completed. The rotting 200-year old timbers that make up the structure of
the front porch roof have all been reinforced and the majority of the original ceiling paneling
has been reinstalled.

An extensive paint job was also done at the conclusion of the work and was extended to the
back addition of the house as well, along with the window frames, side portico, and the
dormer. As a result, Hearthside practically looks brand new.

This major restoration work was made possible with grant funds from the 1772 Foundation and
the Town of Lincoln, as well as from our members and visitors, whose support helped to
provide matching funds for the grants. The 1772 Foundation has provided funding for past
projects including restoration of the ogee curve and roofline last year, along with the
restoration of the roof on the main part of the house, also funded in part by the Town of
Lincoln. Our sincerest appreciation to all for this significant support to insure that this grand
home is preserved for the future.
Share by: