Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tea with the Browns

Andrew and I like to do a variety of things and we'll travel a goodly distance to some of them.  On Sunday last, we traveled--one hundred and twenty-two years back in time--to Chesterton, Indiana.  We had an invitation to tea with George and Charity Brown.

The Browns have a lovely new home built in the Queen Anne style just four years ago in 1885.  The garden was in bloom with deep reddish-purple hyacinths and a beautiful azalea of similar color.  We were invited to gather on the porch and visit with other friends since the sun was shining--something we haven't seen much of this spring.

Alas, I failed to get an outside photo.  Cameras of the period are such cumbersome things!

Here's dear Charity.  She welcomed us warmly and shared with us what daily life was like in the home and around town.  Charity runs the large home without much help except for a daily maid and a cook.  Several of the Brown daughters also help with various chores.  As you can see, Charity's hands are never idle.

We also got to spend a little time with George.  He's such a busy man and a bit of a curmudgeon!

Arthur Bowser, the new owner of the Chesterton Tribune, was there as well.  He was busy pecking away on his new manual typewriter.  It was quite a nice machine--I suspect a Royal.  His paper keeps the folks in town informed on many issues of the day.

Let me not forget to mention the Brown's cook, Hilda Swenson.  Hilda was very busy when we ran into her on our way to take tea.  She loves her job!  The Brown house has all the "modern" conveniences including inside plumbing.  Hilda was very excited about that--no more going outside for pumping water for the kitchen!


Apple Cranberry Tart
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Candy "Raspberries"

The role of Charity Brown was played by my dear "old same", Jane.  Jane is the Founding Curator of the Westchester Township History Museum.  She frequently assumes the role of Charity at the museum. Photos of museum pieces are not allowed.  Had I been able to photograph the portrait of the actual Charity, you would be amazed at how much Jane looks like her.

Andrew and I discussed what a perfect day it had been as we drove back to 2011.


  1. This is overwhelming. What a lovely opportunity to partake in the past. Good for you!!!

  2. What a lovely experience. A special place and a special tea!
    So glad you enjoyed it

  3. I keep getting fun ideas from you for new outings. Thanks.


  4. Looks like an interesting trip! I have some of those cute luncheon plates:@)

  5. i like that old house and all old houses. now i know what a tart looks like, they show up in a lot of the books I read...did you age while you were back in time?

  6. Love this kind of experience.I would love to have this in our little corner; sometimes I think I was made to live in the past.
    We were both in the Tea mode today.

  7. Oh how lovely, what a special and different day. But I would have been very frustrated by not being able to take pictures!! Well, at least you got a few good ones! How far away is this?

  8. What a wonderful day! I love how you told the story :)

  9. Gosh, that looks like a great time!
    I love visiting places that take us back in time.
    Thanks for sharing your day!

  10. Loved reading about your trip back in time.

  11. What a great adventure and you're a great storyteller. Those must've been "the good ole days" for sure!

  12. It sounds/looks like a wonderful outing. Enjoyed your photos and glad you could sit on the verandah!

  13. How fun! That's not too far from my neck of the woods, just a hour or so drive north. Love the look back!

  14. Sounds like a great experience what a great day.

  15. What a wonderful afternoon! That's such a small world, my husband was born in Chesterton. I'll have to see if he's ever been "over to the Browns." :) I loved how you told the story of your day!

  16. Super fun trip! Looks like ya'll had a great time. I love doing stuff like that. There was a 'bush tea' party at Mission House in Bodden Town last year and they pulled out all the stops just like The Browns. Such a good time. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Haha this sounds like so much fun! I'm impressed that you could travel so far back in time, and back, within a day. That's faster than warp speed travel.

  18. Goodness, this place reminds me to The Mansion, only they had a bit more help. Sadly it burned down, fire in the kitchen.

    Great photos!

    Hope you are all safe from any flooding...

  19. It sounds like the day was a perfect break from the usual routine. It was truly a taste of living history and it sounds wonderful to me. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary.

  20. So much fun! This is a great post!

  21. Looks like a fun day out from the living history, to the food and tea!
    xo Cathy

  22. that cranberry tart looks divine!
    Mini Baker
    ps. just found your blog, I love it!


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