December 31, 2015

Hitty, Block Island, Mystic Seaport, Pirates and Roses!

Celebrating Tasha Tudor's 100th Birthday Year!
Hitty Hannah Austin Rose was named after my 5th great grandmother Hannah Austin Rose, wife of James Rose, who lived on Block Island, Rhode Island. The Rose family of Block Island descended from Tormut Rose from Scotland, said to have come to New England as a Prisoner of War after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.
Hitty Hannah Austin Rose is inhaling the beautiful scent of the David Austin rose selected as Corgyncombe's choice for adding to our cottage garden this past year.

The gravestone on Block Island of my 5th great grandmother Hannah Austin Rose, wife of James Rose.

In Memory of
Hannah wife of Mr.
James Rose,
who departed this Life
December 1st 1791 in the
60th year of her Age.
She was a Kind wife, a tender
Parent, and beloved by all her

The Corgyncombe Courant thanks their dear friends for the use of the above photograph.

The Block Island North Lighthouse.
The Corgyncombe Courant thanks their dear friends for the use of the above photograph.

Hitty Hannah Austin Rose wanted to see an old tall ship like in Rachel Field's book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years". In the book, Hitty accompanies Phoebe Preble and her family on a whaling expedition. Phoebe's father was Captain of the whaling ship they sailed on.

At Mystic Seaport in Connecticut her dream came true as she went aboard the Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving American whaling ship.  The Charles W. Morgan was built in 1841 and first launched from New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport.
Hitty was thrilled!

Hitty Hannah Austin Rose at the helm of the Charles W. Morgan.
It was a beautiful moment for Hitty as she felt almost as if she had returned to her ship.
All the memories of Hitty's adventures on the whaler came to her mind!
Here you can see the serene expression of awe and emotion in Hitty's face as she gazes up at the sails.

Looking up at the sails of the Charles W. Morgan.

As we explored the ship, it felt like Hitty was showing us around!

Coming up from below deck on the Charles W. Morgan; the loveliest blue sky!

 One of the Captains who sailed on the Charles W. Morgan was Capt. John Tinkham.
Captain Tinkham was a distant cousin of ours through our Tinkham family and we also share ancestor Peter Brown, a Mayflower passenger.
Capt. Tinkham had this special cabin made on deck for his wife as Mrs. Clara Tinkham suffered from seasickness.

Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, made herself comfortable in the bed in Mrs. Tinkham's cabin on board the Charles W. Morgan. She was quite taken by the delightful quilt that looks to have pieced "sails", on Mrs. Tinkham's bed.

In Rachel Field's book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years", the ship that Hitty sailed on with the Prebles was first called the "Diana" and later called the "Diana Kate".
Above, Hitty looks out at Tasha Tudor's illustration of the "Diana" in the book "Wings from the Wind". One can see the name "Diana" on the ship.

The Whale Oil Lamps exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village.

The silent film "Down to the Sea in Ships" was released in 1923. The Charles W. Morgan was one of the ships used in the movie.
One thinks that perhaps Rachel Field could have seen this movie and been inspired by various things featured; the whaling ship and the detailed whaling adventure, the Quaker families, and dolls dressed as Quakers belonging to Patience Morgan the Quakeress. In the movie Clara Bow plays saucy Dot Morgan, who rebels against her strict grandfather and stows away on the whaling ship, disguised as a boy. Dot's friend Jimmie is the cabin boy on the ship.

In the early 1800s my third great grand uncle Nathan Herrington was a cabin boy on a ship that sailed out of New London, Connecticut.

In Rachel Field's book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years", published in 1929, Hitty goes on a whaling ship with Phoebe Preble and her family and later in the book Hitty dons Quaker dress and lives with a Quaker girl named Clarissa.

Hitty Rachel, who insists on being called Hitty Content when in Quaker dress, at the Quaker Meetinghouse (originally in Bolton, Massachusetts) at Old Sturbridge Village.
Some of my Quaker ancestors were from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, which is very close to New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The New Shoreham Life-Saving Station was built on Block Island and moved to Mystic Seaport.
New Shoreham is another name for Block Island.

Captain Kidd from Scotland, was said to be a pirate.
In the Tasha Tudor illustration of Captain Kidd in "Wings from the Wind", we see a little boy and his corgi peeking apprehensively out from behind the barrel. Hitty had an urge to run into a comforting pocket to make a hasty retreat from Captain Kidd!
Captain Kidd was said to have stopped at Block Island and was rumored to have given Mercy (Sands) Raymond an apron full of gold in payment for room and board for himself and a woman he referred to as his wife.

As Hitty gazed into the looking glass, with its sailing motif, recollections of Hitty's time aboard the "Diana Kate" with Captain Preble and his family came to her mind. The looking glass is a reproduction of an old one from the Bixby house at Old Sturbridge Village.

The Bixby house at Old Sturbridge Village. Emerson and Laura (Doane) Bixby lived in the house in the 1800s. Laura was a distant cousin of ours through our Doane family who in early New England were from Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Hitty Hannah Austin Rose's reflection in the looking glass at the Bixby house.

This old box decorated with a boat on exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village caught Hitty's eye.

Nanny Nettie-Kin readies tea for the girls.
Behind Nanny is a lovely old Victorian tea cozy.

Hitty Hannah Austin Rose and Hitty Sue have tea using Nanny Nettie-Kin's favorite Rose teapot and discuss roses, museums, genealogy, pirates and the sea!

Both Mystic Seaport and Old Sturbridge Village are wonderful museums with outstanding exhibits!

We have many, many more photographs of both museums that we hope to feature on the Corgyncombe Courant in the future.

Happy New Year to our Dear Readers!

Our email:
copyright © 2015 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

December 24, 2015

Hitty Rachel in Norman Rockwell's Stockbridge, Massachusetts!

Celebrating Old New England Kindred Families!
Hitty Rachel stands in front of Norman Rockwell's "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas".  Across the street, the Christmas tree lights up the window of what was Norman Rockwell's studio in the 1950s. Hitty feels pleased to have found snow in Stockbridge this year!

Click Here for Lovely Music

The original Hitty, from Rachel Field's book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years", resides in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The Norman Rockwell Museum is in Stockbridge and exhibits many of his wonderful paintings. In 2005 "Tasha Tudor’s Spirit of the Holidays" was on exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell is a cousin of ours through both our Blashfield and Morgan families of Brimfield, Massachusetts. The Morgans and Blashfields were early New England families.

We at the Corgyncombe Courant wish our Dear Readers a Merry Christmas!

Our email:
copyright © 2015 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

December 6, 2015

St. Nicholas Day, Dundee Cake and Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea!

Celebrating Tasha Tudor's 100th Birthday Year!
When lit, the Advent wreath creates such lovely shadows and light on the ceiling.

Today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day.
This post highlights some of the Dundee cakes that I have made throughout the years.

Mixing the Dundee cake.
Dundee cakes are made a month ahead of time and put in cold storage until time for St. Nicholas Tea.
The receipt for Dundee Cake is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".
I never add the citron nor the raisins as called for in the receipt, but add more than the called for amount of currants and in addition to the almonds in the receipt, add walnuts.
This combination makes the most delicious Dundee cake!

During the days before Christmas, delicious and festive Dundee cakes are enjoyed at tea time.
At the Corgyncombe Bakery I make many Dundee cakes in all different shapes and sizes.

The design on the cup has St. Nicholas pulling a gift laden sled, with a tree over his shoulder, and a doll in a sack at his waist, whilst adoring children look on.
Inside the cup is fresh milk from Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille!

Domestic & Darling Daisy makes Dundee Cake.

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our web site and our previous postings elsewhere on the internet.

Nanny Nettie-Kin readies St. Nicholas Tea with her Dundee cake baked in her little stove the "Ark" and Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea for Hitty and her friends.

The beeswax candles of the Advent Wreath over 863 Park Avenue are lit and the pretty music is playing.
The dollhouse, with its two large opening doors, reminds us of Beatrix Potter's doll's house at Hill Top.

Charlotte enjoys her Dundee cake at tea, with Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea.

In her cookbook Tasha Tudor says to decorate the top of the Dundee cake with cherries and almonds. I have always decorated my Dundee cakes in a different pattern than those that I have seen Tasha illustrate. I use the cherry as the center with almonds or other nuts around the cherries forming flower-like shapes. I also use the currants to decorate the top of the Dundee cake.

The 100th anniversary of Tasha Tudor's birth was on August 28th, 1915.

We at Corgyncombe will continue to be celebrating this, the 100th year since Tasha Tudor's birth!

Our email:
copyright © 2015 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

November 29, 2015

Louisa May Alcott's Birthday; Hitty in the Garret at Orchard House!

Celebrating Tasha Tudor's 100th Birthday Year!
Hitty looks out from the garret window at "Orchard House".
There is a warm, cozy glow coming from within the windows.
Louisa May Alcott wrote "Little Women" at Orchard House.
In the book, Jo, the character for Louisa, did her writing up in the garret.

Today is the anniversary of Louisa May Alcott's birth.
She was born 183 years ago on November 29, 1832.

My 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Abigail (May) Alcott's grandfather Samuel May. Abigail (May) Alcott was Louisa's mother; "Marmee" in "Little Women".

Tasha Tudor illustrated "Little Women" and "A Round Dozen, Stories by Louisa May Alcott".

Ima points out "Little Women" whilst little Hitty Diane and Hitty Rachel admire the bobbin lace bookmark atop the Louisa May Alcott book.
This winter the dolls at Corgyncombe are going to read "Little Women" and Louisa May Alcott's "Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag" series which includes one of our favorite stories "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving".

We gave Tasha one of our handmade bobbin lace bookmarks in the pattern called Love-in-a-mist, like the one pictured on the Louisa May Alcott book.

 Sarah making bobbin lace.

This is part of what Tasha wrote to us: "Dear Diane and Sarah, Such a delightful surprise the other day to receive your nice letter full of your news, and with the charming photographs of Sarah making lace! I assure you I am impressed no end by your new skill and really treasure the dainty lace Bookmarker. Thank you so very, very much!!!" She goes on to say, amongst other things, how she is eagerly awaiting spring...

We wrote to Tasha Tudor about some of our ancestral names and Louisa May Alcott being a cousin of ours through the May family. It was so special to share an interest in genealogy with Tasha Tudor. It is such an inspiration for Sarah in her genealogical researches.

The following is what Tasha Tudor wrote to us in another letter:

"That fine red envelope full of photographs and the pages of Family names, was no end impressive."
"Have fun with your genealogical researches. What fun!!"

Hitty agrees, "What fun!"

Our email:
copyright © 2015 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson