Around the Island

Sylvester Manor welcomes virtual visitors; tours of historic rooms continue

Tired of the four walls of your own living room? Let Sylvester Manor take you away to a time in its historic past, on a virtual tour.

The tours began last week with a look at the Morning Parlor. This week, the destination is the western parlor in the Manor House, referred to as the Ladies’ Parlor or Landscape Parlor. The highlight of the room is the wallpaper, which was bought by the Horsford family during a trip to Paris in the 1880s.

It was made by Zuber & Cie, a company renowned for its woodblock printing techniques, founded in 1797 and still in business today. This pattern, which is called “El Dorado,” is re-issued about every 25 years. The room had served as an office for Brinley Sylvester who built the Manor house in 1735.

Later descendants, l’Hommedieus and Horsfords, used it as a bedroom, then a library before it was turned into a parlor by the Horsford daughters, Cornelia and Kate.

Several pieces of the original furniture came from the Horsford house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while other pieces were bought by the Horsford family on travels overseas or around the country.

The candelabra was bought in Windsor, England and is a replica of one that hangs in Windsor Castle. Vintage photographs show a tigerskin rug in the room; it now safely stored in a trunk in the attic between special exhibits.

When you take the virtual tour, you will get a glimpse not only into this iconic Island estate, but the personalities who brought it to life and shaped its evolution since the 18th century.

To be sure to get the newsletters continuing the virtual tours, visit the website sylvestermanor.org and sign up at [email protected]