Monday, May 6, 2024

 

HisTOURy Tours visits Mark Twain’s “The Lobster Pot”

On Sunday May 5th HisTOURy Tours, a 501©3 nonprofit  which promotes the appreciation and preservation of historic buildings throughout the New England and New York, visited Mark Twain’s  The Lobster Pot”, in Redding, Connecticut.

 

                                               Mark Twain's “The Lobster Pot”

 

 

It was a cloudy drizzly day but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of over 30 history buffs who arrived by bus in front of The Lobster Pot Home and Studio/Gallery Barn.

 

 



 

 

The group first visited “The Lobster Pot” Studio Barn, where I gave them a brief history how Mark Twain purchased the original 1720 antique Saltbox on 248 acres in 1906, sight unseen, and built his last home, Stormfield on the Acreage. He loved his new home so very much that he decided to move out of his New York apartment and make Stormfield his permanent home.  Mark Twain died at Stormfield on April 21, 1910. 

 

 

                                                The Lobster Pot Studio Barn

 

I informed the group that for 39 years this magical enchanting property has been home to my husband and I along with many much loved cats and dogs.

 We took a tour of my Studio and I talked about what it was like to be a professional artist and portraitist.  The views from the Studio balcony of the topiary garden and flowering lilacs and azaleas added to the visual richness.

Next, we ambled along the garden path to the house, stopping to view the 80 foot sunken garden from Mark Twain’s original stone patio.

                   The Mark Twain Dining Room showing portraits of Isabel Lyon and Mark Twain

 

Gathered in the Mark Twain dining room I explained to the visitors that Mark Twain gave “The Lobster Pot” to Isabel Lyon, his secretary, social companion, household manager and at one time, Power of Attorney, as a gift for her dedication and hard work. He also gave her money to fix up the antique saltbox, which included creating the large stone patio and huge stone well which we call “Twain’s Folly”.

Everyone wanted to know why the property was called “The Lobster Pot”.

Mark Twain named the property “The Lobster Pot” because it was a destination for his Angelfish Club.  At “Stormfield” Twain gave fish names to the rooms: the kitchen was the Fish Market, the loggia was the Aquarium and his red billiard room was the Headquarters of the Angelfish Club. 

“The Lobster Pot” was a continuation of the aquatic theme and when visiting “Stormfield”, the Angelfish would walk across the open fields to “The Lobster Pot”.

The Angel Fish Club were mostly daughters of his high society friends and each one was given a small enamel angel fish pin from Bermuda.

The original “Lobster Pot” burned in 1953 and was rebuilt on the same foundation.

There were so much interest and so such to talk about, I believe the HisTOURy tour was a great success and maybe even some budding “Twainiacs” where created.

 

 

2 comments:

  1. Susan, sounds like a wonderful event!

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  2. Great stuff, Susan! I wish I’d been there. And it looks amazing!

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