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Donn's Blog - Hidden Treasures

Docent Donn Smith has been poking around the Mather Homestead and he has found treasures abound! Check out his blogs which document his findings including artifacts from 250 years of American life including a bible from 1743, a girl's dress from the 1860's, Stephen Mather's camera, and more. 
Donn Smith

Thank you Donn Smith for your research and blogs!

What Have They Talked About for 65 Years? - Monday, July 29th

Roots and Seeds - Wednesday, July 31st

If Wishes Were... - Monday, August 5th

Have You Seen This Man? - Wednesday, August 14th

She Wore Blue... - Monday, August 19th

Great-grandson of a Preacher Man - Monday, August 26th

In the Days Before Fortnite... - Monday, September 2nd

What Comes Up Must Come Down... - Monday, September 9th

A Look Back to That Middle Name... - Monday, September 30th

50 Years Ago This Year... - Monday, October 7th

Sometimes a Map Leads to a Chest... - Monday, October 14th

A Tie That Binds - Monday, October 21st

Was it really sheepskin? - Wednesday, March 18th

Rana's Shawl - Thursday, March 19th

A Second Cousin, A Notable First - Monday, March 23rd

Another Second Cousin, A Noble First - Winona Caroline Martin- Wednesday, March 25th

The Fabrics (and Follies) of Their Lives - Tuesday, March 31st

The Diary of Michael Floy, Jr.

Lights, Camera - Monday, April 13th

From Field to Dreams - Wednesday, April 15th

Ten Stamps, One Special Delivery - Tuesday, April 22nd

Ahhh, Wilderness... - Friday, May 1st

The Iceman Cometh - Monday, May 4th

There Are Moments That Words Don't Reach - Friday, May 8th

The Ted Mack Family Hour - Wednesday, May 13th

Saturday in the Park with Eleanor - Friday, May 15th

The Getty…the Whitney…and the Mather Attic - March 25, 2020

Here comes the bride…breakfast to follow - March 25, 2020

The Lineage of Happy Osborn Wakeman Mather - March 25, 2020

The Mather “Mother” Matter - March 25, 2020

The Last Woman Standing - April 15, 2020

To debut or not debut, that was the question - April 15, 2020

A Tree Grows in Darien - Does it Still? - April 15, 2020

Party like it's 1778 ... 175th Anniversary Celebration at the Mather Homestead, September 12, 1953

A rare book and the legacy of Moses Mather

The lineage of Hannah Smith Scott, Mother of Sarah Scott, wife of Deacon Joseph Mather

The Rockefeller Letters

And all before frequent flyer miles ... Stephen T. Mather and the Pan Pacific Conference

Party like it's 1778 ... the Sequel.  200th Anniversary Celebration at the Mather Homestead.  June 17, 1978

Another one for "the books" - an appreciation of John Roberts Hoole - October 20, 2020

A book of flowers ... an artist and her cousin - October 20, 2020

Dear Uncle Joe ... I suppose you will be looking for me at home tonight but - October 20, 2020

The Sutcliffe Letters - October 23 ,2020

What slave should be held any longer? - October 23, 2020

The Revelations of three family Bibles in the Homestead Attic - October 27, 2020

Rabbit or Boar, and wait, there's more! - October 27, 2020

"Mystery Books?"  Perhaps not.  7 strangers in the second floor bookcase - November 12, 2020

The Under-glass Menagerie.  The Height of Fashion:  Victorian Parlor Domes - November 13, 2020

"...prominent in his devotion to the cause of human freedom ..." an appreciation of James Floy, D.D. - November 14, 2020

More than words alone ... treasures from the golden age of illustration - November 14, 2020

"Dear Father" - Excerpts of letters from Stephen Mather to Josephen Wakeman Mather - December 17, 2020

Wheels and deals ... and a steal too?  Joseph W. Mather's horse and carriage correspondence - January 11, 2021

The Man who Be, and Was, King - January 16, 2021

Chateau du Mather - January 28, 2021

It's a stormy, dreary day - January 28, 2021

My Darling Wife ..." a Letter from Stephen Mather to Jeanie Floy Mather - February 13, 2021

Dr. Hosack Has Departed this Life ... the Mather Connection to David Hosack
March 23, 2021

Putting Faces to Names.... Three Faces of Mather Family Photographs
March 23, 2021

"In twenty-five words or less ..." a selection of inscriptions from books in the Homestead 
April 21, 2021

“She rests at last beneath the starry skies…” The Mather Cemetery and the children of Deacon Mather - April 27, 2021

“I make the following bequests…”  A brief look at the Last Will and Testament of Stephen T. Mather - May 6, 2021

When the 4th of July was Flag Day too!  A Birthday Celebration for Stephen Mather - July 27, 2021
Kissing Cousins: A genealogical look at four early Mather family marriages - August 11, 2021
All in the Families: A genealogical look at four more Mather family marriages - August 11, 2021


“How was your birthday?”  “It was a blast!”  A look at the Many Glacier Sawmill “episode”. September 19, 2021

The Horace Albright Letters, correspondence with Bertha Mather McPherson, September 29, 2021


“You say tomato, I say…” The dedication of Stephen Mather High School, Chicago, Illinois, October 22, 2021

A Yule Blog from the Mather Bookshelf, "Christmas Stories about Santa Claus," December 15, 2021

Another Yule Blog from the Mather Bookshelf, "The Poems of Fanny deGroot Hastings," December 16, 2021

In the days before Kindle ... Three centuries of books and four selected first editions," December 20, 2021

Stephen T. Mather, cub reporter, Stephen Mather, the New York Sun, and James G. Blaine, December 20, 2021

Whose garden was this?  It must have been lovely ..., January 4, 2022


Enigmas in the attic…two 175-year old documents, January 24, 2022

Vests of interest: the latest attic discovery, January 25, 2022

Under the watchful eye… Bertha Mather McPherson upbraids Professor Joseph Lawrence Sax, January 29, 2022

"... to take up my new duties at Washington ..."  Letters from Stephen Mather to George C. Purdy, January 30, 2022

Travels of the Little Lost Sheet - How a woven heirloom made its way back to the Mather Homestead, March 13, 2022

The French Connection - An 1869 Letter from Samuel McPherson to his brother Theodore, March 13, 2022

“Come down and see my etchings…”  A discovery on the Homestead basement floor.  April 5, 2022

“…and bequeath my watch, piano and books to my son Stephen Tyng Mather…”, April 7, 2022

From silk hats to horse manure… The voluminous paid bill files of Joseph Wakeman Mather, April 11, 2022

Where there’s a will… The contested estate of Stephen Mather’s maternal grandfather. April 23, 2022

The price of success…The two wills of Stephen Tyng Mather’s mother-in-law, May 6, 2022


Oh to be in England… A letter to Family written from Bristol in 1858, May 19, 2022


Hey, we’re still here… Not to forget the chests and trunks in the Homestead attic, May 24, 2022

Safekeeping indeed!  A first look at documents in the Mather Homestead basement safe.  July 30, 2022

Here’s my card…a treasury of Stephen Mather’s business and calling cards.  August 1, 2022

The well…the Tories…and Jesse Raymond’s £10 State Notes, August 2, 2022

So, what’s for dessert?  The evening dinner when the ceiling came crashing down, August 4, 2022

“No man was earlier in his seat at church than he…” More about Joseph Mather Jr., Stephen Mather’s grandfather, August 24, 2022

Bad enough Loyalists raid your house… Deacon Mather and his pursuit of a Revolutionary War Pension, August 24, 2022

“What shall we name the baby?” From family suggestions to a 21st birthday letter from dad. August 25, 2022

Where does time go? Rediscovering Joseph Wakeman Mather’s pocket watch.  September 1, 2022

Ah, had the Deacon lived another 182 years…A look at the Last Will and the estate of Deacon Joseph Mather.  September 4, 2022

From the Deacon to Stephen…Tracing the ownership of the Homestead from 1840 to 1905. September 5, 2022 

Make that 71…the latest Mather Plaque—Ours!  “…There will never come an end to the good that he has done.”  September 15, 2022

“…a simple little celebration of the event…”. Stephen Mather and the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead, September 16, 2022

Montague, a 1926 Franklin, Walter Stewart, and more: Interesting discoveries you won't find at the Stephen Mather Exhibit, October 4, 2022

Tea for two, or nine, or maybe once for twelve.  The Tea Set and Silver of Rana Mather, October 15, 2022

“...gaily and profusely decorated with flags and bunting…”  the 100th anniversary of the Mather Homestead, October 19, 2022 -- # 100!!!!

The portrait on the wall…and the silver in the safe. The presence and presents of Michael Floy in the Mather Homestead.   October 20, 2022

Flower baskets, two cats, and a cockatoo. A pause to look at the doorstops in the Mather Homestead. November 22, 2022

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust… A brief look at early generation Mather gravesites.  December 9, 2022

The Treasurer, the Mayflower, and a horse and cow.  The dazzling distaff genealogy of Stephen Tyng Mather.  December 9, 2022

Click here for Darien Times article on Hidden Treasures

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