July 30, 2012
In mid-July the Longyear Museum staff traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, to tour two historic houses for a summer day of staff training. The Sleeper-McCann House and the Sargent House Museum warmly welcomed our group of 26 and gave us engaging tours of their historic properties.
At the 1907 Sleeper-McCann House, the eclectic taste of designer Henry Davis Sleeper made for a visually appealing journey through his 45-room summer retreat. Memorable stops included a dark-paneled colonial kitchen, bright green sea-side dining room, and a regal Chinese living room—unique themes such as these boldly reinforce Sleeper’s place as one of America’s first professional interior designers.
Across the harbor and perched on a hill is the 1782 Georgian-style home of late eighteenth—early nineteenth century figure Judith Sargent Stevens Murray. Now the Sargent House Museum, it stands a tribute to the life of this woman who was a philosopher, writer, and early voice for women’s equality.
The Longyear staff welcomed this opportunity to support and learn from the local museum community. Participating as visitors, and taking special note of how these sites presented their particular histories, proved an insightful experience for our staff, considering we too maintain a collection of historic houses. Special thanks to the wonderfully accommodating staffs of the Sleeper-McCann House and Sargent House Museum.