Ghost in the Machine

Hello world! I’m logged in today as “Sarah Griswold,” but actually I’m a guest. I never lived in this amazing and lovely old house, but I have been fortunate to visit it many times during the past 40-some years. Recently I’ve taken a lot of photos during the packing process, as Sarah (and the rest of the Griswold family) prepares to move out of the house, and I’ll be sharing them here. My knowledge of the house’s history can’t hope to rival the Griswolds,’  so I hope that Sarah and other family members will chime in with more details as needed and correct anything I get wrong.

Let’s start in the front hall, shall we? These hand-blown crown glass panes are perched, three to a side, over the front doors.

front door lightsfront hall lights

The doors are also equipped with a doughty bar, sitting in iron brackets at roughly waist height, to fortify the entrance in times of siege. Given the date the house was built, I’m guessing that Jabez Bacon was more worried about Revolutionary combatants than Indian raids.

front hall doughty bar

The entire hall features wood paneling, chestnut I believe, and hand-cut and –turned details on the stairs.

front hall stairs detail

At the top of the stairs (narrow and winding by today’s standards for entry stairs, which seems an odd design oversight considering the long, full skirts of the day) is an alcove for statuary. Jabez clearly aimed to impress his visitors!

front hall alcove from top of stairs

Like the rest of the house, the front hall has wonderful light. Unlike the rest of the house, it’s also home to djinns of light, created by the glass panes above the doors, which chase each other over the paneling and into the adjoining rooms.

front hall djinn  front hall djinn  closeupfront hall big djinn - cropfront hall djinn 2


About skgriswold

My love of history and art was nurtured by living in a wonderful significant historical house for much of my life.
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2 Responses to Ghost in the Machine

  1. Sarah Griswold says:

    Just a couple of clarifications: most of the paneling is pine, not chestnut. But it’s clear, knot-free, and wide. The niche at the front stairs was hidden behind a plaster and lathe wall until the 1960s, when it was uncovered by Harlan and Dorothy who thought it was so cool they finished it off with the molding, stone floor, and plaster. And that was the thing about them: they loved restoring the house to its 18th century aspect, but they weren’t slavish about it.

  2. I have berm missing Jabez Bacon House posts. This one is wonderful . I had no idea these remarkable thoughtful details , nor the experience light has on the entryway. Thank you .

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