The Antique Flatiron Collection

Flat Iron

I grew up in Rocks Village, Massachusetts in the Deacon Phineas Nichols House. The house was built in 1740 and is a classic example of pre-revolutionary architecture. It has a central chimney with five fire places. The flooring is pumpkin pine and some of the boards are 24″ wide.  Before my parents purchased it, the house had served a store and school-house as well as a family home. When we lived there, all of the houses in the village dated from before the American revolution. The village had a small general store, a Firehouse that housed an ancient firetruck, a two room schoolhouse, a granite horse watering trough and the classic white Congregational Church. The village had sprung up around the Rocks Village Bridge that crosses the Merrimac River to West Newbury. The bridge had originally been a wooden covered bridge, however, in the 1930 the wooden structure was replaced with a steel one that opened to allow taller boats to continue up stream. My parents enjoyed antiques and after purchasing the house in 1945 they set out to furnish it with appropriate items. Many of our weekends were spent visiting antique shops, auctions and yard sales.

Crimp Iron
Antique flatiron – crimping iron
Flat Iron with Gauge
Flatiron with Gauge

Dad worked for the New England Electric Company. He started as an electric meter reader right after he graduated from high school and worked his way up to sales manager in Essex County. In those days, the electric company was encouraging people to use electricity. They had stores in most mid-sized cities. The stores sold and serviced electric appliances. One of the promotions that was quite successful was that customers could trade in a used flatiron for a new and improved model. The company had expected the flatirons to be the used electric versions. However, it was not uncommon for an elderly lady to walk into the store with one of the pre-electricity versions.  The salesmen would bring the antique flatiron to Dad’s office. He would go out onto the sales floor, give the customer the new iron of her choice. Then he would write up a sales slip and pay for the iron himself. That evening he would arrive home with his prize and we would all admire his acquisition and decide where it would serve as a doorstop. That was how the collection started.

Flat Iron
Flatiron with a heated brick inside and a cool wooden handle.

As a small child I can remember walking with my mother to Chip Germane’s house. Chip owned the fulling station on the Amesbury Line Road on the way into the city.  His brother also lived in the village and worked as the bridge tender and the janitor at the school. Chip’s housekeeper was an older woman named Dusty. My little sister would sleep in her carriage while Mom and Dusty would enjoy a cup of tea and chat. One sunny day as we arrived at Dusty’s kitchen door, we saw her ironing. She had the ironing board set-up in front of the black iron stove that she had stoked with firewood. There was an iron on the top of the stove and she was ironing a shirt with the another. When one iron would cool, she would switch it back to the stove top and pick up the other, wet her finger and rapidly touch it to the iron to see if it was hot enough. If she wanted to put the iron down in order to adjust the position of the shirt, she would place it on its holder that was on the end of the board. The handle of the iron would be quite hot, so she used a dish towel that had been folded several times to protect her hand. She also had a bowl of water on a table close by. Every once in a while she would lift up the iron, dip the fingers of her left hand into the bowl and snap the water on the shirt, then proceed to iron.  I sometimes think about how skilled she must have been to know just how hot the iron should be so that it did not singe the cloth. I guess that is one of those lost arts.

The iron collection has served us well at the Palmer House, decorating the fireplace and doorways. They are now being packed up and sent off to California to serve as doorstops in our daughter’s homes.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

 

 

Cape Cod Meets Blizzard Janice

Blizzard Janice: Snowy photo of Cape Cod storefront.

The Full Force of Blizzard Janice Hits the Cape

It is 7:00 am on a snow day at our cozy Cape Cod B&B. Bill and I are warm and cozy and preparing to start digging out as soon as the snow subsides.

Blizzard Janice: Snowy photo of Cape Cod storefront.
Snowy photo of Cape Cod storefront.
Blizzard Janice: warm Bird bath
The warm bird bath.

Brian will soon be arriving with his red pick-up truck to plow the lot. We will do the walk-ways. We have had wind gusts up to 35 mph. but there has not been much drifting. Our heated bird bath outside the dining room window is awaiting its morning visitors. No birds have arrived yet this morning. They must be hunkered-down in a sheltered spot.

Impromptu Girls Night out for Blizzard Janice.
Impromptu Girls Night out for Blizzard Janice.

Last evening we decided to take a walk down Falmouth’s Main Street. It was quiet but Lium Maguire’s Pub and La Cucina sul Mare were open. We stopped in to say hello and to see how everyone was doing. There was a group of ladies at one end of La Cucina’s bar, who were having an impromptu “Lady’s Night Out”. As it turned out, they were school teachers who were celebrating, in advance, the school closings. Bill and I who are former school teachers, could identify with them.  I always looked at the school closings as a gift of time. I would spend those days catching up on many over due projects. Bill, on the other hand, had a three-quarter ton pick-up truck with a plow. He would spend the day plowing parking lots and driveways.

Fox News at Blizzard Janice on Cape Cod.
Fox News at Blizzard Janice on Cape Cod.

As we ventured further down Main Street, we saw a Fox News truck from Channel 25 in Boston. We had seen them on the TV at La Cucina and they had said that one of the local business’s had delivered hot chocolate to the truck. They had chosen Falmouth because the  forecasters had predicted that Janice’s full force was to be felt on Cape Cod. Before we left the restaurants, we left business cards with those who were still working and told them that if they thought that the trip, to their homes, was too dangerous, they had a warm, safe bed at the Palmer House Inn.

As we walked back to the inn I could not resist taking a photo of the Treasure Chest’s window all dressed up for Valentines.

 


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures and braving the snow, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Cape Cod Marathon Weekend

Cape Cod Marathon Finishline
Two runners on their way to the Cape Cod Marathon
Two runners on their way to the Cape Cod Marathon

On Saturday October 26, 2013 Falmouth hosted the third Nova Nordisk Cape Cod Marathon Half. On Sunday October 27, 2013 we hosted the 36th. Cape Cod Marathon and the 21st. Cape Cod Marathon Relay. In other words Falmouth is a runners kind of town. If you like to run and like being with other enthusiastic runners, this is the place to be.

Cape Cod Marathon Finishline
Finish line

Bill and I bought the Palmer house Inn nine years ago. At that time we had no idea that this community had such a love of running. The first few years we hosted a few very dedicated marathoners and a few relay teams. Then in 20o9 the half marathon was introduced. This year the inn was full for three days. It was great!

It was a wonderful weekend with lots of energetic folks enjoying our very special town. If you are a runner or a friend of a runner, and want to join us next year, it might be helpful to know that the staff at the Palmer House Inn will be up early to provide a pre-race breakfast to all of our guests. The dining room opens at 7:00 am, on race days and we serve buffet style. The offerings include: an assortment of juices and fruits (yes bananas too), scrambled eggs. corn pudding, bacon, assorted breads, bagels & cream cheese, cereals and piping hot muffins.

The Falmouth track club runs the events. There are hundreds of volunteers who are up and out in the wee hours of the mornings, setting up street barricades, signs, comfort stations to name just a few of the tasks that they accomplish. They are also working long past the end of the races  dismantling and cleaning. The day after the races one would never know that there had been thousands of people attending a major event in this charming town.

Some Race Related Activities

The weekend begins with “The Coffee-O Friday Night Five”. It is a five-mile race for runners and their friends and family. Participants can tune-up with the locals at this weekly Falmouth event. The race begins at 5:30 pm in Town Hall Square off Main Street. It is located just across the street from the Quarterdeck Restaurant. The course is an accurate five miles and all turns and miles are marked on the road. There is no fee and you time yourself. In addition to the run, there is a 2.5 mile walk held simultaneously.

Cape Cod Marathon Behind the Line
Behind the finish line

On Saturday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm the Falmouth Track Club sold a variety of marathon related items, including t-shirts and sweatshirts. The National Running Center also had a large selection of running gear for sale. In addition, many other exhibitors were present.

If the runners were interested in “carbo loading” on Friday and Saturday evenings, they could do just that at a variety of restaurants on Main Street in Falmouth Village and in Woods Hole. The restaurants served up the runner’s favorite pasta dishes.

Cape Cod Marathon: teammates cross the finishline.
Teammates cross the finish line.

There are race lunches after each race. The post-race lunches were sponsored by Sabatino Scafuto a Mashpee restaurant, that is a member of the Mashpee Booster Club. The meals were served on the lower level of the Lawrence School in the cafeteria.The cafeteria is where runners picked up their Race Packets earlier in the day. The lunch for the half marathoners consisted of a bowel of clam chowder or minestrone soup, French bread, salad and fruit. The full marathon runners had the traditional post-race meal of clam chowder, pasta with tomato sauce, salad, French bread and fruit. The meals for the runners were complimentary. Family and friends were asked to contribute $5.00.

There was also a post race party for the runners at the Falmouth Inn where live music was provided by the BaHa Brothers. A good time was had by all.

Other Links


Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

The Palmer House Inn is located just a few yards from the finish line. While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room or the Emily Dickinson room. Both rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.