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In the days before Kindle… Three centuries of books and four selected first editions

The Homestead preserves and presents not merely a single moment in time, but captures and reflects the lives and pursuits of six generations. It takes us from the founding of the nation to the founding of the National Park Service and beyond.


The bookshelves in the Homestead literally speak volumes to this breadth of time and scope of interests. The oldest volume appears to be Poems and Translations, with The Sophy from 1684, followed by The Universal Etymological English Dictionary from 1731, and of course, the Mather Bible from 1793.


Where the Mather Bible represents the first generation to call the Homestead home, in a

trunk we have found books belonging to the final generation for whom the Homestead was home, the three children of Ed and Bertha Mather McPherson. Among the books:


images below:

  1. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, 1938

  2. Three Mary Poppins books 1942-1943


And we are privileged to have several first editions that would have been read

by Bertha and Ed. Four of the most notable are:


Images below:

  1. For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940

  2. The Agony and the Ecstasy, A Novel of Michelangelo, Irving Stone, Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961

  3. A Night to Remember, Walter Lord, New York, Henry Holt & Company, 1955

  4. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck, Printed in the U.S.A., for the John Day Publishing Company, by J.J. Little & Ives Company, New York, 1931

  5. Of interest, the first edition of The Good Earth has a famous error on page 100 where “flees” is written instead of “fleas”















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