Friday, September 3, 2010

Historic New England to Celebrate Sarah Orne Jewett’s Birthday

The annual celebration of Maine author Sarah Orne Jewett’s birthday will take place on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 4-6 p.m. at Historic New England’s Sarah Orne Jewett House. Besides selected readings from the author’s work and the ever popular parsnip cake, the event will feature the unveiling of multiple pieces of Jewett family furniture installed in the museum just in time for the birthday celebration.
“This year there is extra to celebrate – the permanent return to the house of Jewett’s writing desk and a number of other important pieces of furniture that were removed some decades ago,” said site manager Peggy Wishart. “We’re thrilled to have these pieces back and to be able to make adjustments to the furniture plans in several rooms to mirror the look of the house as documented in 1931 photographs.”
Historic New England conservator Michaela Neiro will give a brief illustrated talk about the furniture and the restoration work undertaken to make the pieces museum ready. Neiro will remain on hand to chat with visitors as they tour the house.
“The readings are the heart of this event,” said Wishart. “Jewett’s masterful use of dialect, playful sense of humor, and keen ability to capture the everyday of late nineteenth century life never fails to delight listeners.”
Refreshments will include a parsnip cake, a purported favorite of the author.
The Sarah Orne Jewett Celebration will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Sarah Orne Jewett House, at the intersection of Routes 4 and 236 in South Berwick. Admission for the event is $5 for Historic New England members and residents of the Berwicks, $10 for non-members/non-residents. Children under 12 are free. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Jewett House at 207-384-2454.
Photo caption: Sarah Orne Jewett at her writing desk - the same desk recently returned to the home and now on view. (Photo from Historic New England with permission of Harvard University Library)