Friday, October 05, 2012

Ipswich and the Crane Estate on a foggy fall day

 Even though it was a dreary, drizzly day, we didn't want to stay at home.  We headed in sort of a different direction this time:  South East.  I had heard of Ipswich, but hadn't been there.  We found a little, old downtown area that was quite charming.  An otherwise not-particularly-auspicious Insurance agency had this magnificent kale surrounded by mums.
 This flyer for an Art Sale caught my attention.  I hadn't heard of Castle Hill or the Crane Estate.
 There was a sort of all-purpose shop that carried "stuff" (candles, note cards, gifts) and quite an excellent selection of children's books and toys. I ought to write Ed Emberley a fan letter before it's too late! (Yup, he lives in Ipswich!)
 I'm thinking that my grand daughter might "need" this for Christmas.  She does have a humdinger of an Italian surname, after all!
 I'm wondering if Jan Bret lives in Ipswich, too.  Or on Nantucket.  Comet's Nine Lives looks like something I need to find at the library. Did you know she has 37 MILLION books in print?  Or that her husband is in the Boston Symphony?  Interesting folks live around her.
 Nice contrast I saw between a moss covered tree trunk and coppery falling leaves.
 Time and Tide is a photography gallery with a charming owner and FABULOUS photographs.  Made me think I need to take a class or something.  Makes my Flickr gallery look very amateurish.
 The Green Elephant was a fun toy store.  Not your average % of plastic "junk".  They carry Usborne books, Legos, other things to build with and lovely plush animals.  It didn't hurt that Chris liked my Two-Row scarf!  Maybe they'll get a knitting kit and he can make one for himself.
More plantings by business owners.  I never thought I'd see Mums, begonias and pumpkins all together.

 After my conversation with Kristen at Time and Tide, we headed out to the Crane Estate and Castle Hill.  I imagine that when it is hot and sunny, the place is packed.  I sort of liked the forlorn fogginess we found.
 An employees only road to through the marsh to the beach.
 Marsh grass and bird/bat house

 Marsh pond with stand of trees in the distance.
 The "farm complex" portion of the estate.  The Crane family (of bathroom fixture and valve fame) build a succession of buildings during the era of Beach Cottages at the beginning of the 20th century.  They thought being self sufficient was necessary even at their summer homes.  They had a dairy, produce, horses, a power plant and several reservoirs.
 A view from the hill.

 Looking down a hill toward the "formal" garden.  If it had stones and pines, it would be very much like a zen garden.
 We arrived very late in the day and paid a reduced rate which allowed us to get out of the car and walk on the grounds.  Apparently this is intended to be an English style manor.  It was impressive, but not particularly attractive in my opinion.
 At the main entrance to the house/parking lot, there were obelisks with stern, powerful animals carved into their bases
 A view from above into the former Rose Garden.  I saw no evidence of roses at this time.
 An urn-est substitution for an obelisk.
 Multiple spruce trees were planted to the side of a huge "allee" which leads from the house to the ocean. Some of the landscaping was done by the son and stepson of Frederick Law Olmstead. 
 Below is the "casino".  I usually think of casinos as places for parties and gambling (like the one in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island). But the Estate brochure called it a "small house."  In this case that means FOUR guest bedrooms and a ballroom for dancing or billiards. I guess only turkeys live there now.

 Have you ever seen a statue with goose bumps?  If we had been close enough this gal might have had them.
 Hubby spied a deer dozing in the dewy grass in front of the casino.

 The Inn is an up-scale Bed and Breakfast, the income from which apparently supports the estate.  There is an adjacent pub/tavern for the guests, as well.
 If Lady Chatterly had lived in the big house, this would have been the gardeners house. 

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