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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A-Z Challenge: N for New England.


Join me on his A-Z journey  into  A SENSE OF PLACE where I reminiscence on places that are connected with my family history or are part of my own personal memories.

      N is for:  NEW ENGLAND
      As a student, studying history, one of my  favourite novels was "The Winthrop Woman" by Anya Seton, which tells the story of Elizabeth, the niece of John Winthrop, first Governor of Boston, Massachusetts.  It presents a vivid picture of what life must have been like for the first settles in New England.   
      I was lucky enough to spend a year working in New England - at Radcliffe College Library, Cambridge across the Charles River from Boston.  It was  a wonderful experience, and although I was able to explore across the USA on a Greyhound bus ticket ($99 for 99 days travel) the New England region remained my favourite.  A return visit some 30 years later reinforced my love for the city of Boston, the coast and countryside, the history and the architecture.  Here is a snapshot view of some happy memories.

      Some facts to start with:  - New England consists of the six states of
      Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut  The Pilgrim Fathers founded the Plymouth Colony in 1620 and ten years later the Masasachuesetts Bay Colony was founded in Boston.  It was there that  resistance surfaced to British rule, leading to the American War of Independence.  Some of the first movements of American literature, philosophy
      , and education originated in New England and New England played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery. 

        The Old State House in Boston was built in  in 1713, as  the seat of the Massachusetts legislature.  It is the oldest surviving public building in Boston and one of the key landmarks on the  city's Freedom Trail which links historic sites.

      Radcliffe College Library, Cambridge, Mass. where I worked.  The College was the sister institution to Harvard, and was founded in  1879 after prolonged efforts by women to gain access to Harvard itself had failed.  The library was one of many similar buildings situated around "Radcliffe Yard" - not quite what we in Britain think of as a "Yard" but a leafy quadrangle. 

      Christchurch, Cambridge which I attended whilst in the USA.  Now designated a National Historic Site, it was founded in 1759 and there is a beautiful and elegant Georgian simplicity to its interior. During the American Revolution,  the church was attacked by dissenting colonials for its Tory leanings, but it was also the site of a  service attended  by George and Martha Washington attended.  During the Revolution., the  church was closed, and its organ melted down for bullets.  


      Two memories above  of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard -  islands off the coast of Cape Cod.  They were wonderful places to visit with their history linked to the whaling industry, their coastal charm and the distinctive style of houses - clapboard and "gingerbread" decorations.  

      In Autumn I became a "leafer peeper" eager to  view the "fall foliage".  Pumpkins held a fascination - they were such a cheery symbol . 


      Covered Bridge in New Hampshire

      Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved
      Join me on the next stage of my A-Z Journey to O

      Postsript:  In my thoughts, the victims of yesterday's bombings in Boston.


      1. Thank you so much for sharing. Great pictures. I definitely hope to visit sometime soon. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


        1. Many thanks, Sylvia, for your kind comment.


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