May 24, 2010
Armed with protective cotton gloves and museum-friendly cleaning products, Longyear staff recently finished sprucing up the Museum's Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses. Spring cleaning projects - and year-round maintenance and upkeep - help the Museum preserve these historic sites, while providing the public with accurate facts about Mary Baker Eddy's life history.
At the house in Amesbury, Longyear staff members worked from attic to cellar, dusting walls, corners, fixtures, artifacts and furniture; cleaning window shades; and carefully vacuuming the floor boards, windows, and upholstery as they worked. Especially interesting was the gentle cleaning of the historic 1829 carpet in the parlor on which the staff used a light suction brush, drawing dust and dirt up through a protective mesh screen so the carpet fibers would remain intact. The staff also aired out the house and made note of the condition of the artifacts, furnishings, and interior paint and wallpaper. Their work in Amesbury is representative of similar processes at each of the Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The Amesbury house is located forty miles north of Boston, and six miles from Newburyport. The oldest Historic House in the Longyear collection, it closely embodies the social and economic atmosphere of the late 1860s, when Mrs. Eddy (then Mary Baker Glover) was a houseguest there, first, in the summer of 1868, and later, for a few weeks in the spring of 1870. Many furnishings that would have been familiar to Mrs. Eddy remain there today.
For information about each of the eight Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses in the Longyear Museum collection, please visit us online at www.longyear.org.
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