I have been told that I focus too much on southern plantations and that rich people have been building large houses in the northeast since the 17th century. And not just in Newport.

Back in October, I realized that the Yale Art Gallery exhibit of Rhode Island Furniture, Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, would be ending soon and I needed to make an effort to see it.

Searching around, I found cheap flight, a cheap hotel and a cheap rental car. Almost cheaper than staying home. Before I left, I finished my chores, the lawn, the laundry and the litter boxes. Early the next morning, I drove to the airport for a dawn flight to Boston.

This trip happened so quickly that I hadn’t really planned for much of anything. Yale was on the schedule for day two. It was day one. I was in a rental car and no clear idea of what I would be doing between 8:30 AM and bedtime. I pulled out the iPhone and started looking at some online resources.

I decided to visit Old Sturbridge Village in the afternoon. All I needed to do was find something fabulous en route. Three minutes later, I found a target and spent another two minutes trying to start the keyless car. I resolved that inconvenience set off for the Gore Place.

1804 to 1806, Governor/Senator Christopher Gore and his wife Rebecca built their mansion in Waltham, Mass for $24,000.  In 1827, Christopher dies. In 1834, Rebecca dies. Having no heirs, the estate is auctioned and runs through traditional series of owner that presided of the inevitable decline. In 1921, The Waltham Country Club purchased the estate. They build a golf course and tennis courts on the grounds and use the mansion as a clubhouse. The Great Depression hastened the bankruptcy and failure of the country club in 1935.

The buildings fall into disrepair and are scheduled to be torn down to make room for new housing. A group of Bostonians with a view toward preservation raised money to buy the estate and formed the Gore Place Society.

Like other auctioned estates, the furniture is scattered by the auction. The Gore Place Society is faced with repopulating the mansion with appropriate furniture. What they did was to acquire Boston built furniture for much of it and track down and return the actual pieces when available.

This server is in the mansion:

IMG_1601

An unusual and handsome server.

IMG_1603

The green acanthus leaf indicates it is a Boston piece. The diamond pattern is the Gore coat-of-arms indicating it was owned by the Gores.

This commode is of the estate:

IMG_1661

Much nicer than George’s.

IMG_5854

To remind you, this is George’s, not the Gores’.

IMG_1667

This simple bed was the Gores.

IMG_1653

Of Boston but not the Gores.

IMG_1651

Neither Gore nor Boston but still nice.

IMG_1691

And this little gem just fill a niche.

To see all the pictures I have, click HERE.