Monday, July 26, 2010

Glen Magna Farms: a look inside

John Singer Sargent’s 1902 portrait
of Mary Endicott Chamberlain,
who once lived at Glen Magna Farms

Now that everyone knows why returning to Glen Magna in Danvers last week for a designer event was like a trip down memory lane for me, I am now ready to move on and share some interior views of the estate. Views that I did not get much of a chance to see when
I was a young twenty-something running
back and forth to the kitchen.

Next to the small cook’s kitchen is a large and elegant dining room, where presidents Taft and Cleveland once dined. The Danvers Historical Society recently had new carpeting and window treatments added to this room. I can only imagine what kind of parties have taken place here over the last 200 years (Glen Magna was built in 1812). I guess that is why I love old
homes so much, for their mysterious past!

The wallpaper, which was hung in 1923, was created out of French wood blocks from 1814 and depicts
the love story of Cupid and Psyche (which is
not as romantic as it sounds!)

This statue, found on the second floor of Glen Magna in the historical archives, looks like the woman in the wallpaper, but is Lysithea, a figure
from Greek mythology, daughter of Oceanus (see how she is holding a shell and the ocean is at her feet)
and a lover of Zeus.

Next to the statue, is an original fence post finial from the historically renowned gardens of the estate.
This finial became the inspiration for one of
the designer vignettes at Tapley Hall.

Designer Ann Chapdelaine had a lamp created
using a reproduction of the classic finial shape from
Glen Magna’s collection, and repeated the
festoon motif throughout her vignette.

Above the mantel in the Bride’s Room at Glen Magna is a painting of the Derby Summer House with a mysterious woman dressed in white (Lysithea?) walking the grounds. If you can identify her, please do!

The Derby Summer House
or McIntire Tea House ...

A rare and unique example of
American Federal architecture

The Bride’s Room

The Groom’s Room

A closer look at the wallpaper in the Groom’s Room

Friends (and designers) Erica and Brandi,
who joined us for High Tea, pose for a
modern day snapshot in the foyer.

Close up of the pretty wallpaper in the foyer

I am not sure what is hidden up here, but it was
a beautiful view as seen from the second floor.

This wallpaper found in an upstairs hall is my favorite.

Although I like the graphic look of this one as well.

In the Drawing Room, “Greek Key
and “Egg and Dart wallpaper borders create panels that frame artwork,
like the portrait below of Mary Endicott,
painted in 1887 by Ethel Mortlock.

This is just a brief (and very unofficial!) look at the rich history seen at Glen Magna Farms. If you are in the area, contact the Danvers Historical Society to get a real tour of this magnificent property. And if you are a bride-to-be, consider hosting your special day
where many before you have elegantly
celebrated love and romance!

Still to come ... Q’s and A’s
from our discussion on design


  1. Beautiful estate! I love the architecture and the design details :)

  2. Your photos came out great - I wish I had taken a tour of the entire interiors.

  3. I think I'm making a trip out there soon after seeing these pictures!


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