|Click here for purchase information|
Click here to visit Eileen O'Finlan's website
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’ve been researching Worcester history and the neighborhood in which some of the characters in the sequel would have worked and lived as domestic servants. Randy Bloom, a long time resident of the Crown Hill historic district of Worcester generously opened his 1856 home to me for a private two-hour tour.
Like the residents before him, Randy has kept the interior of his home true to its original. What a treat it was to meander through all those rooms – three floors in the main house plus a two-story carriage house – taking the original gas lighting fixtures and coal burning fireplaces, reproduction wallpaper perfectly replicating the original, the floor-to-ceiling windows and the French doors leading from the parlor to a glassed-in porch, which in the 1850s was use as a greenhouse to lengthen the growing season and as a solar collector to add warmth to the porch and parlor in the colder months.
As I walked through the house and grounds, I was struck with inspiration for exactly how this house will fit into the sequel. I’m not telling, though – no spoilers here!
Again, my gratitude to Randy for his generous hospitality!
|Original gas lighting fixture in the dining room. The extra gas jet (visible at front center) allowed for an attached rubber tube to hang down and connect with a gas lamp in the center of the table.|
|Kindling and coal were burned in the basket at the front of this fireplace. Though the mantel and surround appear to be marble they are really soapstone painted to look like marble right down to the gold veining.|