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  • Samantha Hunter, Curator of Education

A Fun Find and Lippitt House's Newest Additions: Just in time for Christmas!

To me, one of the many exciting things about working in a house museum is that you never know what kind of treasures you might find. Recently, I stumbled upon an old document and discovered it was a typed copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The font was a bit faded so I decided to transcribe it. As I read through, I realized this wasn’t any old version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas—it was Lippitt themed! In the spirit of Dickens’ Christmas ghosts, this poem details Henry Lippitt coming to life from his portrait in the main hall and going upstairs to check in on his family during Christmas in 1959.

Here’s the full transcription of the poem:

Twas the night before Christmas and

all through the house

Every creature was stirring

including a mouse

When old Grandfather Lippitt

got down from his frame

And mounting the stairs,

to the Third Floor he came

He started up there to allay

his worst fears

To see what had happened

in the last 70 years

Free and Dunc were not nestled

all snug in their beds

But, who the dickens they were

never entered his head.

The old place seemed changed

from the house as of yore,

With a flock of new faces

on e-ver-y floor.

Izzy, he met and asked who

she might be.

“Only your great granddaughter,

Governor,” said she.

On the next floor he thought

he would try his own bed,

But- “Nothing doing in there.”

Grandfather Doolittle, said.

And then in Aunt Jennie’s room

whom did he see

“Why, Grandpa, don’t you remember-

it’s only me.”

In the Pink Room he found

a Doolittle, Pesta.

A queer name in R. I.

Is a Lippitt an Esta?

Then just for the fun

he stayed around until noon,

To see what went on in the

old Dining Room

Dunc had arrived, with his

bevy he came,

As he whistled & shouted,

he called them by name.

“Now Pets & Harriet, now Abby

and Will

On Elisha & Nicoll—

Please all keep still”

Aunt Lucy and Freddie

came with Mary-Ann

Aunt Bunt, Hunt and Skip

with the Ladies Mauran.

The Chafees en masse,

with Alex of course,

Uncle George & Aunt Fran

and all Off-spring in force.

Betty, Alice, and the Brooks

to increase the confusion,

Lois and guests- a brand new


“It’s too much for me.”

We heard Grandfather say

“I’ll go back where I came


And call it a day.

But ere I depart and get

back in my frame,

Merry Christmas to all,

And I’m so glad I came.”

This exciting remnant of Lippitt Christmas will be out to see during our Christmas at Lippitt House celebration on December 16th. If you join us that day, you can also meet a new member of the museum team--our hound friend! This adorable hound is based on a carved wooden hound in the Dining Room.

This friendly hound will be a mascot and serve as a symbol for all our kid-friendly events, activities, and tours. But we need your help naming our hound friend. Submit your name suggestions to use via social media before December 16th or share your ideas while you're visiting the house. If we choose your name for the hound, you will win a free tour of Lippitt House with the Museum Director. We can't wait to hear what names you come up with!

Name our new museum friend - the hound! Help name him at the Lippitt House Museum Dec 16
The "buffet hound" at Lippitt House Museum

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