Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day at the Gore Place

The Gore Place mansion and estate has been steadily improving as a tourist destination. The house is made of brick in the federal style, therefore symmetrical with palladian windows and a simple but handsome facade. The inside has many items original to the house including a huge billiards table. Our costumed guide told us that both Christopher and Rebecca Gore played billiards in the early part of the nineteenth century.

The Mansion was just their summer home and Rebecca had much input on the architectural plans. The theme of today's tour was the labor required in the upkeep of the house. Rebecca was quite shrewd in her designing the width and placement of of servants' staircases and passage ways. Our docent told us that Jefferson's daughter complained that Montecello was well designed for her father's comfort but that the servants' staircases were too narrow for serving trays. Robert Roberts was a freed slave and the butler for the Gores. He wrote a manual for house servants and later became active in the abolitionist movement.

The estate is located on 45 acres on the Watertown/Waltham town line. It has a working farm with special breeds of animals bred to resemble the livestock of the nineteenth century. In the last few years they added a non-sequitor to the farm-a llama. This year comfortable benches and tasteful signage have been added to the grounds. The Gore Place offers concerts in the Mansion itself which are a real treat. They offer several events and special tours during the year.


At February 15, 2008, Blogger histfan said...

Visited again in February 2008. This was my second tour with Thom Roach, the Director of Programming and Publicity. He has an excellent command of Early American History.


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