March 16, 2016

Eleazer Arnold House; My 8th Great Grandfather of Early RI!

Ancestral Old New England Houses!
The Eleazer Arnold house built ca 1693 in Lincoln, Rhode Island, near Providence.

My 8th great grandparents Eleazer and Eleanor Arnold lived in this house.
The house and its wonderful stone chimney hark back to the architecture of old England, where so many of my ancestors hailed from before settling in New England.

The huge stone chimney that formed much of the end of the house is known as a stone-ender and is unique to Rhode Island.

How marvelous it would have been to be greeted at the door by my 8th great grandparents Eleazer and Eleanor Arnold, and bid to come and sit by the fireplace and warm myself whilst hearing tales of the early settlement of Rhode Island, things that were passed down through the generations. Eleazer Arnold's inventory lists that he had a "spining wheale", "27 1/2 pound of wool", and "Nineteene sheepe". How I would have enjoyed spinning in front of the fire with my kindred folk, perhaps sharing the pleasant task of spinning, taking turns at the wheel with my 7th great grandmother Elizabeth. To take part in the preparation of a meal at the old family fireplace would have been most joyful!

Such are some of the thoughts that come to mind when e'er I visit an old ancestral home.

My 5th great grandfather Stephen Smith, Revolutionary War soldier, was great grandson to Eleazer Arnold through Eleazer's daughter Elizabeth (Arnold) Smith. Stephen Smith's wife was Elizabeth (Tinkham) Smith.

My grandfather and his brother, direct 6th great grandsons of Eleazer Arnold.

Rhode Island was home to many of my direct early New England ancestors, such as Cook, Angell, Bates, Weaver, Whipple, Harrington, Arnold, Whitford, Smith, Aylesworth, Lewis, Greene, Lee, Mumford, Whitman, Harding, Rose, Tripp, Cummings, Gardner, Austin, Sly, Brownell, Matteson, Wood, Straight, Chase, Sweet, Head, Dodge, Freeborn, Tinkham, Eddy, Nichols, Vaughan, Coggeshall and others.

Please do not "Pin" our photographs.
Please do not post our photographs on facebook.

Our email:
copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

March 7, 2016

Valentine's Celebration at Hitty Beth's Towpath Cottage!

Corgyncombe Hittys Meet Towpath Cottage Duckies!
Ima, Hitty Beth, and Hitty Rachel celebrate Valentine's Day!

The Corgyncombe Hittys were invited to a Valentine Celebration at Towpath Cottage. That morn before leaving, and upon coming from barn chores I was delighted to discover that an expected package had arrived. Without time to open the package as we were due at Towpath Cottage, I loaded the package in the vehicle and off we dashed to the party. The first thing that we did after arriving and unloading was to open the package. What fun it was opening the package with a friend! How we all oohed and aahed at the contents of the package... Our Dear Readers will have to wait to see what was inside that package in a later post at the Corgyncombe Courant.

After a cup of tea, in the photograph above the Corgyncombe Hittys were most delighted to present Hitty Beth of Towpath Cottage and Hitty Beth's Mum with a surprise gift! There for the occasion was a representative of Finch Post, Willy Nilly Tweet Sweet who holds an end of the ribbon that ties the surprise.
We were inspired by Tasha Tudor's Sparrow Post to have our own post for the dolls and critters.

With the package open, Hitty Beth was thrilled to have her own Post Box for her own Towpath Cottage!

Recently, Hitty Beth had found a couple of cute Ducky friends who now live at Towpath Cottage, too. They were also very happy with the new Post Box! The little Ducky boy was so excited he got his bill stuck in the post slot and Ima had to pull him out!

Hitty Beth's Towpath Cottage

The Post Box was hung outside Towpath Cottage. Hitty Beth opens the door to see Willy Nilly Tweet Sweet delivering a Valentine! She thinks the Post Box is placed just right.

The Duckies brought out their stool so they could check out the Post Box.

What a fun day we all had!

Chirpy Cheerful, as seen in a photograph taken in 2009, also flies for Finch Post.
Here he is at the Finch Post Office Main Branch.

Our email:
copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

March 1, 2016

Mary's Lamb: Hitty and I Love the Lambs So!

So Happy to Have Inspired Tasha Tudor to Spin Again!
At the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village the sheep is very curious about Hitty Rachel.
Hitty Rachel asks "Can I get closer?"

"I hope the sheep doesn't nibble my hand, I'm made of wood."
The sheep loves Hitty and Hitty loves the sheep!

Hitty remembers the lamb that looked up right at her in the spring meadow at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

Andy and Hitty Diane stand in front of "Mary's Lamb", a page from McGuffey's Reader.
The old illustration shows Mary hugging her lamb.

Diane hugging a sweet little lamb!

How I have always loved little lambs!
I have loved old fashioned things since I was a little girl, even before I discovered Tasha Tudor!
The first Tasha Tudor illustrations I saw was when I was a child after the above photograph was taken and the illustrations were in "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood". In the poem "Mary's Lamb" Tasha illustrated an old fashioned schoolhouse with the children working on their slates at their desks when Mary's little lamb appears and tries to enter the schoolhouse. Tasha's illustration also shows the old schoolhouse with the lovely rolling hills in the background. I have always and forever loved rolling hills! The last illustration shows Mary tenderly giving her lamb a hug!
The photograph of me hugging the lamb reminds us of Tasha Tudor's Mary hugging her lamb and of other Tasha Tudor illustrations, as well!

What Tasha has drawn in her illustrations are the same old ways that I grew up with. I find them familiar, comforting, and I am drawn to them.

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 previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

The "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood" book with Tasha Tudor's illustration of Mary's Lamb.

My great wheel in the garret. The great wheel is also called the walking wheel or the wool wheel.

Spinning off the point of the spindle of my old wool wheel. The fibers are drawn out just right to create an even yarn.

My spinning wheel outside at daffodil time.

Tasha Tudor wrote to me after I gave her some of my spun Corgi hair:

"Seeing the spun Corgi hair inspired me to get my wheel out, I've not used it for almost twelve years, so I'm grateful for your inspiration."
I was so pleased to have inspired Tasha Tudor to bring out her wheel after not having used it for twelve years.

My handspun yarn, spun and plied very fine for making doll sweaters and shawls.

I truly like the smell of the unwashed fleece. I love spinning wool in the grease. Spinning in the grease is not for everyone but I do not mind the smell of the fleece, in fact I find the smell comforting as it reminds me of when I was a little girl going into the old barn with the beautiful stone foundation and seeing all the lambs with their mamas.

My yarn wound on the niddy noddy to measure the yardage.

"Red Stone School" from Sterling, Massachusetts was moved to Sudbury, Massachusetts nearby Howe Tavern also known as Longfellow's Wayside Inn. The Howe Tavern belonged to my 7th great grandparents David and Hepzibah Howe.

Mary Sawyer was the little girl whose lamb followed her to school and this is the school house that she attended.
Mary Sawyer was related to us through our early New England Sawyer family.

Inside the Red Stone School... the Mary's Little Lamb School.
One can imagine Mary's lamb sleeping under a school bench near Mary's feet!

Hitty Rachel standing with her lamb on the windowsill at the little red school house.

To celebrate 20 years of Air Mail service, envelopes were sometimes stamped with special designs commemorating something special about their town. Sterling, Massachusetts chose Mary and her lamb.

Hitty herding the sheep at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

Hitty Rachel stops at the carding mill at Old Sturbridge Village with a basket of wool.

I've seen old mittens like these listed as liners for mittens or mittens. Alongside the mittens are skeins of my handspun white and black yarn. The yarn was spun in the grease and when washed the tan yarn will be white.

The sheep at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

Here is a link to our post at the Corgyncombe Courant:

Our email:
copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson