Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 4

One goal of the Thomas Gardner Society will be to collect, and hopefully organize, material that references, even if indirectly, the lives and time of Thomas and Margaret and to construct a coherent view for future generations. However sketchy this material might be in the beginning, future research can help flesh out the story. The works of Dr. Frank A. Gardner, and prior work, by others, establish the basis. Gardner's Beacon, and its corresponding blog, has tasks related to supporting this theme. Another approach would be support for scholarly papers.


We have our first guest article written by John Goff who is an architect and who has been very active in preservation efforts across New England, principally Salem. He is a Thomas descendant. John provides technical commentary on the Gardner-Pingree house (see earlier post) whose construction represents the amount of wealth that had been attained by the Gardners.

Image from Conant book

As we look back, there can be obvious differences of opinion about what information means, especially, if it's scanty. Scholarship would suggest to look at all sides of the issue. There are several examples.

The house built on Cape Ann, called the Governor's Faire House (GFH) by Rev.Higginson, is a good example. Earlier (Thomas' (note comparison to a house in the Pilgrim area) or Margaret's house), we used an image provided in the 1887 book by the Conant family (pg 104). The house had been moved by Endicott from Cape Ann to Salem. That means that many would have seen it and could describe what they saw to an artist.

Photo by John Goff
Salem Preservation, Inc. 
In 1930, Dow, et al, built the Salem Pioneer Village so that people could see how things were 300 years before. We have the 400th look back coming up. The image on the right (photo by John Goff, Salem Preservation, Inc.) shows how Dow conceived the building. It does not match up with what the Conant book said. Of course, any information about dimensions may have been hard to find. Yet, one could imagine that the ship(s) may have carried material for a house, as depicted by Conant. There would not have been enough time, even with tools, for even the house of Dow to be built, given the small size of the crew plus the fact that they had to get themselves settled, fed, and a whole lot of other important things.

What did Dow go on to make his re-creation? John Goff mentions that the GFH towers over the other houses which are mostly either diminutive English timber frame cottages or English wigwams built with bent-sapling frames.


See Vol. II, No. 4 of Gardner's Beacon which considers some of the houses that have been associated with the Gardner family over the years.This issue on houses was interesting; our coverage of the topic ought not be thought of as complete, by any means.
References: Conant -- History and genealogy ..., Dow - Every Day Life ..., Fischer - Albion's Seed ..., Stone & Fickett - Every Day Life ...


03/09/2019 -- Added in image to build an index at our portal to truth.

01/25/2013 -- By the way, we're going to document this more thoroughly on Wikipedia - Great House (Cape Ann). We have John Goff's expertise available to assist us. This house was the first of its kind in New England.
10/27/2012 -- See Great House (Cape Ann) on Wikipedia. As Higginson said, it was two-storied with a high-pitched roof. The image from Conant's book, and from the letter by C.M. Endicott, shows three-stories. The house underwent major alterations in 1792 which was before the sketches were done. Unfortunately, no sketch exists from earlier times.

10/24/2012 -- John Goff (Salem's Witch House ..., pg 24) writes: After his arrival downtown in 1628, Endicott ruled that the old Thomas Gardner "Governor's House" from Cape Ann (built about 1623) be dismantled, moved by sea from Cape Ann to Naumkeag and be re-erected in earliest Salem to serve as a new Governor's House here. It stood north of the old shawmut on what is now Washington Street.

09/12/2012 -- It was said that we're not done with houses. Fischer notes, in Albion's Seed, that the lean-to was found in Kent, England in the 17th century, though not many have survived. Despite its usefulness in New England, evidently the 'seed' for this type of house came over with those whose background was from the Kent area.

09/11/2012 -- The Stone & Fickett book has the younger student in mind and provides classroom exercise. Ought something similar be done for later students?

Modified: 03/09/2019

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