more on the wall paintings

Posted in programs & activities, Uncategorized on August 7th, 2009 by flg

Yesterday I met with Ann Eckert Brown of Warwick, Rhode Island. She is the author of American Wall Stenciling, 1790-1840 (University Press of New England, 2003), and one of the few acknowledged experts on the topic. She spent an hour examining the paintings and stenciling in the parlor, the kitchen and the hall, and it is fair to report that she was astonished. She wanted to spend a day examining the remnants of what was fairly extensive painting and stenciling in those rooms. She identified traces that I had overlooked, and talked about where to look and what to look for. She took many photos, which will supplement those on the CD I gave her of ones we had made. She said she intended to return when the restoration work begins. Actually, “restoration,” is the wrong term, for we intend to preserve, not restore the paintings. If our dating for the house proves accurate, these are some of the earliest wall paintings in the mid-Atlantic and may indeed be one of the defining characteristics of the Roseberry Homestead.

daisies in the parlor

daisies in the parlor

She gave me a copy of her book, which I will lend to anyone interested. We actually exchanged books—I gave her a copy of my Historic Churches of Warren County book. We agreed to stay in touch.  There are no examples of any early wall painting in New Jersey in her book—she said she had tried to find some, but was unsuccessful. Now she has some great examples for the next edition!

meeting set on Historic Preservation grant

Posted in programs & activities on August 7th, 2009 by flg

Our application for a Historic Preservation grant from the Warren County Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund has been scheduled for September 14, a Monday evening at 8:40 pm. We will be making a short PowerPoint presentation to the committee, and I assume there will be an opportunity for questions from the committee. Within a few days immediately following that meeting, the committee will visit the Roseberry House for a tour. Both are critical to our success in obtaining a grant.

I’m told one of the things the committee looks for is community support. There hasn’t been enough of that in the past. But things have changed. We can point to the large and enthusiastic attendance during the Ole Towne festival, the number of contributions received recently, and the number of volunteers working on the house and on genealogical and research projects connected to the history of the place. Your presence at the meeting on the 14th would be an unmistakable signal of our commitment. Please mark that date on your calendars.

it had to happen

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6th, 2009 by flg

We have been concerned since day one about security, of course, but without fencing in the whole place there is not much you can do to secure the house against random acts of vandalism. I guess we all knew that, sooner or later, there would be some act of destruction or theft. Yesterday, when Scott visited the place he noticed that some little  &#@!&%# had thrown a rock through a window.

We’re thinking of offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. Someone may have noticed it, or the little  &#@!&%# may have bragged about it to his friends. A reward probably won’t do much good, but it will alert the community that Phillipsburg still has a ways to go in fostering respect for the property and efforts of others.