Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Franklin Pierce Homestead


The 14th U.S. President is not high on the hit parade of presidents for their effectiveness and smarts.  Actually he rates under tRump who comes in at 4th place for worst presidents.  I think Buchanan ranks 1st as worst.  But this didn't stop us from visiting this NH Park that offers a tour of Pierce's boyhood home.  Historic homes are always fascinating to see how people lived in other times.

The house is quite imposing.  Benjamin Pierce, the father of Franklin, was a self made man.  When he heard about the fight with the British, he grabbed his uncle's rifle and set off to serve at Bunker Hill.  He had quite a war record, too. Once returned to Hillsborough after the war he married and eventually built this house.  It served as a tavern/inn sitting as it does on NH 2nd turnpike. That front door was rarely used though.  The windows on the upper floor all open on a ballroom also used for sleeping accommodations.

Access to the tavern was by this side door.  The left lower window was the tavern and the double windows the family dining/living room.

The well was under this awning and accessed from the kitchen through that doorway.  The red barn/carriage house to the right was added on much later.

It now houses the park office and gift shop/museum.  There are tours of the house on the hour but no interior photos allowed..  No fee for senior residents of NH.  The tour guide was very knowledgeable though rather biased in Pierce's favor of course.  I'll let you read on your own why he was not viewed as a very good President.

The house has some very lovely restored wall coverings.  The stenciling is quite stunning. Some of the furnishings and paintings are original to the house or the period.

Back outside looking at the side of the house the symmetry is very Georgian.  Those middle windows open to very small rooms off bedrooms used for chamber pots, storage, or sewing rooms. They are created because of the chimneys that rise through the house.

The house is attached to a second building used as a kitchen and mud room which is then attached to the barn.  The outhouse would have been in the barn.  No reason to go out in the cold winter.

Dan purchased the biography of Pierce written for a younger high school audience.  A quick read for both of us and very good at recognizing Pierce's failings as a Congressman, Senator, and then President.  We've done it too often in this country - falling under the spell of a charmer who has no real leadership abilities, or interest in being open to solving problems.