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Beverly -- Sea Meadow

Object Details

sova.aag.gca_ref17558
GUID
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb651a16679-93c7-4925-b8b6-2b6f1fc0ade9
General
The 55 acres acquired in 1950 by the Seamans family comprised the upland area with house, woodland, meadow and pond, and the low-lying wetlands and sandy beachfront. For most of their history these two sections had been separate. The first recorded owner of the upland was Cornelius Larcom, of French Huguenot descent, who acquired it for farmland in the early 1700s. It remained a working farm and family homestead for five generations of Larcoms who lived in the homestead until 1890. Although the original homestead was replaced by a larger house in the 19th century, an historic log cabin remains. It was once quarters for slaves belonging to David Larcom who died in 1775. Juno, one of his female slaves, was freed and continued to live on the property. When the Boston & Maine Railroad extension reached Beverly Farms in 1890, the value of the property soared and was split up into two and purchased separately by 1907. Eventually, the two properties were consolidated into today's "Sea Meadow," but there were virtually no changes over the next century.
Overlooking Massachusetts Bay, the 18-acre garden boasts whimsical designs by its former owner, Eugenia "Gene" Merrill Seamans. Plant material in formal beds, near the house, are carefully chosen, as well as wildflowers, native shrubs and grasses which densely cover the transition to meadow and pond. On the grounds are informal adaptions of formal elements, such as an allée of lindens with a hint of geometry; a folly, that floats above an outcropping, accessed along a hidden path of alpines; and an extensive herb garden nestled in a rocky ledge by the kitchen doors. In the wetlands is a rustic footbridge which crosses the tidal creeks, dotted by berry bushes and banks of towering pink and white mallows.
Persons associated with the garden include the Larcom Family, (former owners, 1730-1853?); the Dexter Family (former owners, 1885-1920); Augusta Putnam (former owner, 1920-1945); Oliver Ames (former owner, 1945-1950); Robert & Eugenia Seamans (former owners, 1950-2010); H. J. Collins & Associates (pool & tennis court designer, circa 1980); Beverly Benson Seamans (sculptor, 1970-1990); Austin Lydon (garden assistant, 1951-1965); Dick & Sylvia Forgit (garden assistants, 1966-1986); Bob & Cindi Bell (garden assistants, 1987-2011).
Former owner
Larcom Family
Dexter Family
Putnam, Augusta
Ames, Oliver
Seamans, Robert
Seamans, Eugenia
Sculptor
Seamans, Beverly Benson
Garden assistant
Lydon, Austin
Forgit, Dick
Forgit, Sylvia
Bell, Bob
Bell, Cindy
Pool and tennis court designer
H. J. Collins & Associates
Provenance
North Shore Garden Club of Massachusetts
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Place
Sea Meadow (Beverly, Massachusetts)
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Essex -- Beverly
Topic
Gardens -- Massachusetts -- Beverly
Former owner
Larcom Family
Dexter Family
Putnam, Augusta
Ames, Oliver
Seamans, Robert
Seamans, Eugenia
Sculptor
Seamans, Beverly Benson
Garden assistant
Lydon, Austin
Forgit, Dick
Forgit, Sylvia
Bell, Bob
Bell, Cindy
Pool and tennis court designer
H. J. Collins & Associates
Provenance
North Shore Garden Club of Massachusetts
See more items in
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Massachusetts
Sponsor
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Custodial History
The North Shore Garden Club facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
Identifier
AAG.GCA, File MA620
Type
Archival materials
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Bibliography
This property has been featured in "Old Days at Beverly Farms," by Mary Larcom Dow, published by North Shore Printing, 1921; "Light and Life," by Eugenia A. M. Seamans, published by Memoirs Unlimited, 2003; "Down by the Sea," by Dr. Richard Churchill with Anna Ozols, published in "Plants, The Magazine for Northeast Gardeners," Summer/Autumn, 2000, p. 46-49; "Rewriting History," by Felicity Lang, published in Northshore Magazine, June/July, 2011, p. 74.
Scope and Contents
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, photocopies of articles, historical images, biographical and other information.
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Related Materials
Sea Meadow related holdings consist of 1 folder (15 35mm slides (photographs); 5 digital images)
AAG.GCA_ref17558
Large EAD
AAG.GCA
AAG
Record ID
ebl-1643208220039-1643210180575-0
Beverly -- Sea Meadow
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