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.