Friday Find

Friday Find: Preserve recipes…

Preservation, what does it mean to you?

Webster notes to “preserve” means:
to keep (something) in its original state or in good condition
to keep (something) safe from harm or loss
to prevent (food) from decaying

For the culinary minded out there we decided to ask you to find your favorite “preservation recipes”. Nantucket is fortunate to have a climate that allows for cranberries, blueberries and beach-plums to thrive and that are ideal for canning and preserving, but there are many other types of preserve food. Starting today or Now through June 1 we’ll be accepting any recipe that has a “preservation” theme (jams, pickles etc.) or a recipe with a highlighted preserved ingredient. All recipes will be featured on our website in June—Nantucket’s Preservation Month. We’ll be testing them out or will accept prepared recipes (55 Main Street – 3rd floor) and our favorite will receive a special reward! Below are recipes to give you some ideas (click photos for recipe).
We encourage you to join in the fun and to explore what preservation means on Nantucket as we celebrate National Preservation Month. To submit your recipe(s) click here

Jalapeno Bread & Butter Pickles
Fruit Preserve Sandwich Cookies
Sour Cherry Preserves


Thanks to our membership bag sponsor, Bartlett’s Farm you can purchase locally made preserves right here on island and even use them to make a delicious muffin (Recipe courtesy of: Maryjane Mojer, Market Manager)

muffin recipe


– Marisa Holden


Friday Find: GREEN!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, March 17th historic architecture will embrace the holiday by turning green! These historic landmarks are all part of the “Global Greening Campaign” which the tourism Board of Ireland began six years ago. This year the campaign has changed a bit and the idea of “greening” has been extended to include websites, shop displays, and anything else one can turn green! The goal is not only to celebrate the holiday, but to encourage overseas heritage tourism. Below are n some well-known landmarks that will turn GREEN:


1. The Rome Colosseum
The Colosseum, constructed in 70 AD and located in the heart of Rome, is an elliptical amphitheater that draws tourists from all around the world.

2. Sacré-Cœur Basilica
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica, also known as Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is a Roman-Catholic church designed by architect PaulAbadie and took approximately 15 years to build. On Saint Patrick’s Day the building’s travertine stone, which keeps it white will shine, green!

3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
All 183 feet of the Leaning Tower of Pisa will be lit up green in honor or Saint Patrick’s Day. Construction of the tower, also known as the Bell Tower, began in 1173 and took about 200 years to complete.


Don’t forget to show your pride and join the campaign by turning green! Click here for a complete list of participating United States landmarks. Use hashtag #GoGreen4PatricksDay

– Marisa Holden

Friday Find: A house full of history…

This week we found out that actor Samuel L. Jackson, author Ransom Riggs, and film director Tim Burton have something in common with our organization.

The trio is working on a film titled, Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on the novel written by Riggs. Riggs, who created movie trailers in the past, decided to create one for his own film. He traveled to Europe in search of abandoned houses that would bring the words of his novel to life and discovered that the interior of many houses had remained untouched and undisturbed for decades. He then teamed up with photographer Martino Zegwaard to record his discoveries. Together they were able to document and reveal the importance of these abandoned properties. As Riggs states in the intriguing video below, “houses aren’t graves; they’re secret histories waiting to be discovered.” Their discoveries shine a light on what we have always believed, “every historic house has a story to tell.”

Are you interested in discovering your house’s history?
Click here to learn about the benefits of our house history program.

– Marisa Holden

Friday Find: 55 Union Street UPDATE

In this week’s Friday Find learn more about the restoration project at 55 Union Street.


A lot of progress has been made at 55 Union Street since our first report (click here) posted in November. Do you remember this photo of the chimney?


As we approached the house this week, smoke was pouring out of the chimney which lead us to believe inside things were going to be quite different. The photos below show the progress made over three months!

In November, Pen Austin (55 Union Street co-owner and master craftsman) broke through the chimney wall to gain access to the flue in order to repair the lime mortar. The repair work is now complete and the chimney’s original bricks are covered by plaster (see photo below).image1

The mantels, covered with many layers of paint, have been carefully stripped by hand and primed—ready to receive a final painting.


During our visit, the project was in full swing with multiple projects going on in different rooms. A preservation carpenter, a graduate of the North Bennet Street School’s Preservation Carpentry Program, was restoring doors including repairing damage and correcting previous improper repairs to the original front door which will soon be reinstalled.FullSizeRender

Artifacts, including antique bottles, pottery shards, and newspaper articles, discovered around the house and in the cistern, were gathered in one room of the house (see video below).

Among the significant finds was the discovery that the rear ell was built at the same time as the front core of the structure. Rear ells are often thought to be later additions, but that is not always the case. At 55 Union, the age was discovered by looking at the consistent and continuous sheathing boards, timbers and sills found in both sections. Although in poor condition much of the ell’s structure will be reused. For example, the lath has been salvaged and will be reused where new plaster walls are needed.image4

The work is ongoing and discoveries are being made every day. A majority of the original windows were saved and are currently undergoing repair off site. The front elevation of the house is being restored to its original state with clapboards rather than shingles as evident in early photographs. The elaborate door frame has been lovingly restored and will be installed soon.The project is making fast progress so stay tuned for future updates.
– Marisa Holden

Friday Find: Madaket Millie Memorabilia!

This week we found some amazing Madaket Millie memorabilia! To be technically correct, we were generously gifted items by the current property owners of 343/345 Madaket Road, which is home to infamous Madaket Millie’s shack. Mildred Carpenter Jewitt, who later became known as Madaket Millie was born in 1907 and passed away on the island in 1990. She left behind quite a legacy and was an island celebrity. Many may remember or have heard the stories of island curmudgeon, Madaket Millie!


Living her entire life on the island’s west end with very few trips off-island Millie served as Madaket Harbor’s watch guard. Ironically she disliked water and could not swim but was eventually was given the honorary rank of chief warrant officer. She helped rescued ships and it has been noted killed a 300 lb shark, with a pitchfork!

92af9c0b70b578011266be7c34f16792The term “crusty” has been used to describe her; however those who truly knew the island celebrity knew Millie was full of love. She cared for her neighbors (one being Mr. Rogers) and was a passionate animal lover. Millie not only guarded the seas but was known to be a master at shucking scallops and briefly an ice-cream shop owner.

6c-1The memorabilia includes items such as her blood donor card, personal love letters, Christmas cards, personal photographs, newspaper clippings and more! A raffle package containing items will be raffled off  at the August Fete. This year’s event will feature Nantucket’s historic village, Madaket. The tent site will be located on the property, where Madaket Millie’s shack still stands and along with her scallop shanty will be available to tour along with historic Madaket cottages. Are you interested in owning a piece of Nantucket’s history and experiencing what life may have been like for Madaket Millie?! Be sure to purchase tickets to the 2015 August Fete (for more information click here).

Friday Find: Found the “Friday Find”!

Original heart bomb group – Buffalo’s Young Preservationist


This week we found last week’s “Friday Find” which disappeared into cyberspace! Ironically the featured subject “heart bombing” is a perfect fit for the week of Valentine’s Day. The term heart bombing was coined by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists in February, 2012 by founding members Bernice Radle and John Wilson. Heart bombing, has now grown to be a national movement practiced by many preservation organizations during the month of February. Are you wondering what exactly heart bombing is? According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation the term refers to:

“It’s the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion — preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow.”

The act is rather basic, but has shown to have a large impact and even saved endangered buildings. Preservationists gather together and create old-school valentines using sparkles, construction paper, scissors, markers, crayons ect. They then either place these all over an endangered building or stand in the front holding them and document with photographs. The first year Buffalo’s Young Preservationists decided to heart bomb four historic buildings, which they feared were in danger. Today, the four buildings are all standing and have been saved!

Digital heart bomb created in Vermont by “Preservation in Pink”

Today, the act is practiced across the nation and is an excellent way to highlight the need for preservation. Last year five cities participated including Cleveland OH, Buffalo NY, New Orleans, Twin Cities MN, and Vermont (digitally). The valentines created stated messages such as: Love me don’t leave me, Invest in me, This building rocks, and This place matters.

Would you like to heart bomb a certain endangered building?
Follow the steps below listed on The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website:

  • Read these two blog posts to learn where heart bombing comes from and see how other communities have spread the love.
  • Buy your basic, elementary school art supplies.
  • Gather a group of people who are passionate about saving a place.
  • Make big Valentines for the place you love.
  • Use glitter. Lots of it.
  • Take your Valentines and either affix them to the place, or stand in front of it holding your declarations of love.
  • Take pictures. Lots of them. Especially of your smiling faces in front of the bedazzled location.
  • Share all those pictures (and tweets and Facebook posts and pins …) with the hashtag #iheartpreservation.
  • Send your very best pictures to by Friday, February 20. (Feel free to keep heartbombing until the end of the month, though!) Please include a one-paragraph blurb about why you love this place and why more people should fall in love with it too.

140220_blog_photo_heartbombs-valentine 140220_blog_photo_heartbombs-cleveland 140220_blog_photo_heartbombs-prcno


Friday Find: A snow covered island…

This week after the big snowstorm “Juno” we were lucky to find a way into the office! The island is slowing starting to come alive after a day (or more for some) of no power, cell-phone service and even access to certain roads! One thing the storm did bring was some excellent photographs. This week we’re featuring a slideshow of photos we found on social media and Nantucket photographer’s websites.

(click the photo below to see all)

image1*All professional photographs are either marked by the photographer or we have added in a credit line

Friday Find: Academy Award winner and preservationist…

1926849_625916184156952_9159889852346549773_nLupita Nyong’o may be known for her Academy Award winning performance in 12 Years a Slave or her reputation in the fashion world but did you know she recently became known for her concern of Shockoe Bottom located in downtown Richmond, Virginia? Shockoe Bottom was placed on the 2014 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list and has been recognized as a National Treasure. The town was the second largest slave-trading center in the world from approximately 1830 – 1865. It is estimated over 300,000 slaves were sold and traded from this exact location. Today many feel the historical background of the town is essential to preserve as a reminder and education tool for today’s society.
Actress, Lupita Nyong’o was contacted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation after the town’s archaeological history was put in danger. The hope was to have an influential celebrity help support and spread awareness of Shockoe’s potential fate. A plan titled “Revitalize RVA” which includes building a baseball stadium, hotel and grocery store. If the proposed plan goes through the archaeological remains which lay below the town’s asphalt would be destroyed. Nyong’o has made it clear that she strongly supports the preservation of the town and feels that without it her role in the film would have suffered.lupita letter
nyongo_aThe film 12 Years a Slave features the life of an American slave, Solomon Northrup. In 1941 Northrup was held in the Shockoe trade center, until sold into slavery. Nyong’o has shown her support through social media and most recently sending a handwritten letter to the Richmond’s Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Her letter, which can be view by clicking here, is passionate and to the point. It’s important that endangered places such as Shockoe receive the press they need to be saved. The celebrity status of Nyong’o has fortunately been a useful tool creating a greater amount of publicity to the potential fate of, Shockoe Bottom.

Friday Find: Is it a Church or a Home?

1D274907613907-119-nagle-st-harrisburg.blocks_desktop_largeA passerby of 119 Nagel Street, Harrisburg PA, especially on a Sunday may expect to see church goers exiting or entering the building. Today the chances of this are very slim, considering it is now home to Tony and Carolyn Sangrey. Originally built in 1876 it ran under the name Nagle Street Church of God until becoming a Mennonite church called Peace Chapel in the early 1980’s. It wasn’t until 2002 when Tony and Carolyn purchased it that the building was converted into a residence.

10263261-01-altLocated in a historic district they felt it was important to properly convert the space into their new home by preserving elements of its original use. Main features of the church were therefore preserved, with special attention taken to the stained glass windows. Each day the Sangrey’s enter their home through a door underneath the original stained glass window and welcome sign “Peace Chapel Welcome”. The windows installed in 1923 are now protected on the exterior and visible throughout the home.

10263261-11-altThe interior was kept open to maintain the original style of the church. It features re-purposed pews, which line the living room wall and now face a pool table. At 3,085 sq. ft. the building’s interior consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining room, loft, open living room and a large modern kitchen. The Sangrey’s bedroom is located in what used to be the church’s choir loft and the church’s office has been converted into a bathroom. The photos below depict the open interior and modern day conveniences, which were added to convert the church into a residence for two. If you’re interested in purchasing and living in a unique setting than you may be happy to hear, 119 Nagel Street is currently on the market listed at $259,900. To learn more about the property click here10263261-17-alt 10263261-03-alt 10263261-06-alt1D274907613716-peace-chapel-bath2.blocks_desktop_large


Friday Find: A close by historic bar…

150108_blog-photo_Alibi_aerialDo you remember the blog post titled: The Chicken Box – Historic Bar List? Well, this week we found another historic bar only a hop-skip-and-a-jump away! The Alibi Bar in Boston’s historic hotel The Liberty is located at 215 Charles Street, Boston, MA. The luxury hotel was originally built in 1851 as a jail, which housed several notable Boston prisoners (Malcolm X, James Michael Curley, and more) during the 120 years during which it actively functioned as the The Charles Street Jail. It was built by one of the most prominent (at the time) Boston architects Gridley James Fox Bryant and Reverend Louis Dwight a penologist. The granite building was built in a cross shape and included large arched windows. The interior included a 90 foot high octagonal rotunda in the center of the jail and was connected to four wings, which housed a total of 220 prison cells.

Liberty-Exterior-KwesiA mere 164 years later and at first glance you may mistake 215 Charles Street for a jail, however it has been restored and is now home to the luxury hotel The Liberty. In 1973 due to deterioration and a lawsuit brought to court by the jail’s inmates a Federal Judge ordered it closed. It wasn’t until 1991 when Massachusetts General Hospital purchased the building and began a search for a company to properly preserve the building, due to it’s status as part of the National Register of Historic Places list. This is when Boston developer Richard Friedman and his firm Carpenter and Company took over the project.

Lobby-first_frameThe jail was restored through a collaboration of efforts and officially opened as The Liberty in 2007. The project, under the direction of Cambridge Seven Associates architecture group and Ann Beha Architects and with the help from Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Boston Landmarks Commission, the National Park Service, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority cost a total of $150 million. Today the hotel houses 300 guest-rooms and many of the original jail features including the octagonal rotunda.

150108_blog-photo_Alibi_interiorThe Alibi Bar ironically is located in what used to be the jail’s “drunk-tank”. It features the original jail’s brick walls and bluestone floors. Additions to keep the jail theme include: mug shot photographs, jail inspired artwork and prison bars along the windows and walls. Even the menu has been designed to reflect the prison theme and includes the cocktails Doin’ Thyme and Jail Bait. The bar is known to fill up quickly, however in the summertime the overflow is welcomed into a 100-seat patio area. If you’re interested in an unique hotel or dining experience (not too far away) check out the historic Boston hotel The Liberty and The Alibi Bar.