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So, this was my quirky introduction to a venerable new England institution.
My brother is the OCD genealogist in the family and he's not inclined to share; however, my cousin is also a family archivist, so we have had some wonderful chats. One day I found myself sitting in the Salisbury, MA library researching Mary Bradbury (convicted Salem witch) and thought, if I research every ancestor 10 generations back as she is, not only will I need to research over 1000 ancestors (well, probably less as some lines actually cross), but I will be crazy. So, I decided to research my motherline - a bit more difficult as there is much less in the books on women. Not to mention that I tend to spread my research out as to how they lived at that time, what was the town like they lived in and so on.
I'm back to 1801 in my motherline with Anna Stevens (might be Stearns) marrying John G. Crawford in Worcester and settling in N. Paris, Maine. I haven't found her birth yet, although I found his (days in the Worcester library).
On the first floor, there was a living room, a den, dining room, butler's pantry, huge kictchen (with 6 range gas stove, and 2 gas refrigerators), a laundry room, and a servant's sitting room. When made into an aprt, the kitchen became a living room, and th landry a kitchen, and the sitting room became a den. There was fairly long porch on the right side of the house, and old watercolor of the house shows it stretching around the front. Delft tile in the dining room, which was very dark, the wide-planked floors were painted navy gray with black trim - the wallpaper looked like a floral scene with a wire mash mostly blocking it out, one electrical outlet in the middle of the floor. All the electrical outlets were for a different shaped plugs (instead of 2 parallel slots of today, the 2 slots were end to end). Western redcedar floor in the den, beautiful floor. A communication system existed where you could press a buzzer in each room, and it would ring in the kitchen and a little slot would pop down at the ringer telling you which room the ring had come from.
There was a nice trail to the beach about .4 mile away -- this has been developed by others, but the tidal flat is still there from looking at aerial photos.
My mother's paternal grandfather was Irish (Riley) (his parents were from Ireland), his wife was a Fanning - American born not sure what Fanning is. My mother's maternal grandfather was Alsatian with a German surname (Leonhardt), and an immigrant and a silversmith - we still have some of his butter dishes (my granddad had a fire when he moved to Florida in retirement -- his wife had passed during WW2 before I was born) -- so a fair amount of stuff was lost then.
All these people mentioned above lived in Rhode Island.