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The Back Hall

The second floor back hall contains access to the maid’s room, an attic crawl space, a water closet, and the nursery. From a window on the nursery’s internal wall, one can look into the room from the hallway. It’s original function may have been to provide more light and airflow as the house was shaded by tall trees. The children of the house made great use of this narrow back hallway for play—Martha recollects using it to pretend the nursery was a train:

“On rainy days we turned the nursery hall into a sleeping car, with berths made up on the shelves of the linen closet opening conveniently from it…Mass tyranny in the nursery. But we never dreamed of breaking the spell which was upon us; and I can still see that train as I visualized it then — not the nursery hall — but as it looked outside, tearing along in the darkness.”

Martha Dickinson Bianchi, “The Recollections of a Country Girl,” unpublished typescript, 51, Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Brown University Library.

Nursery room corner with a narrow brass bed and wicker rocking chair. Behind the bed, an interior window faces the hallway.