Last night we attended a picnic concert
at the Crane estate on Castle Hill
in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
The site for this historic estate
was named Castle Hill in the 1650’s
after the very same Castle Hill in
Ipswich, Suffolk, UK.
The estate was built by the Crane family
out of Chicago as their summer home and
now is part of the Trustees for Reservations
which holds many historic properties in this
area for public use and to preserve their historic
nature, whether it be homes or open land.
The grounds were designed by the Olmstead
brothers who are famous for their Boston Common,
Central Park in NYC, the Chicago World’s Fair
about which the book Devil in the White City was
You can read more about it here…
We attended a concert by a local band
Orville Giddings, who was David’s guitar
teacher for a while.
It was 87F at 7:00p.m. last evening
and the haze filled the sky but
3,000 people enjoyed the music and
the slight breezes from the ocean
and their picnic suppers on the lawn.
I thought you would enjoy a little tour…
I snapped this when the
lawn was just beginning to fill.
The band set up between the two
wings at the back of the
house on the huge blue stone patio.
A few lucky folks got to walk
the widow’s walk and see a view
that traveled probably 60 miles in any direction.
The sweep of the Italian lawn garden covers a half a mile to
the sea. The white marble statuary was gorgeous. The Trustees
are in the process of restoring this and many new evergreens have
been planted as windbreak from the salty winds that flow up the
Statuary, and new trees
with a hazy view to the
sea and Gloucester and
Rockport in the distance.
Lawn bowling, crocquet
court (sorry about the cars
in the background, modern
life invades serenity).
The path sweeps up to the
house from the croquet lawn
with new spruce and hemlock
lining the way.
A final view to the sea
and Crane’s beach below.
Crane’s beach is also a Trustees property
and it a six mile stretch of soft, white sand that
seems to go on forever.
We listened to the blues, enjoyed our salad and
watched hundreds of dragonflies catch insects on
the lawn down to the sea. A magical place indeed.