Glen Magna Farms is truly a unique property that leaves a lasting impression on all who experience it.
During my first visit to Glen Magna Farms, I was very eager to take in all that I could see; the magnificent country house and the beautifully tended gardens and grounds. I had previously looked at some of the pictures of this historic property posted on the website, but these views couldn't possibly have prepared me for the on sight presentation.
The approach to the house prepared me for the visual adventure inside and once through the imposing front portal, I was suddenly transported back into the brief period of time when prosperous America merchant families were beginning to transcend their former modes of living by bringing more worldly styles and elegance from Europe to the rural settings outside of the growing urban industrial areas of Boston and Salem.
I was in this mind set as I walked into the room now called the Peabody Parlor. The private end of the great house was a reflection of earlier days of the new republic when Salem merchants were building their houses in a more restrained manner than those more novel estate residences built by the late 19th century.
The grandest of these latter day dwellings were built to emulate the great English country houses. Some examples built in the pre income tax years of the late 19th century and early 20th century can be found throughout the north shore: Hammond Castle, Stilling ton Hall and the Crane Mansion in Ipswich. These interpretations of English country houses were built for the few who had travelled abroad and could afford to live apart from the general population.
The idea to create a comfortable and relatively private family dining and sitting room came to me as I was reliving the Edwardian experience which Glen Magna evokes. The largest houses of the era were designed to accommodate many guests for over- night or extensive stays during the busy summer season. The host families were obligated to present themselves before their guests as dignified and affable while managing their large staff of household employees who worked tirelessly to keep the house running smoothly.
No doubt, there were few occasions when the owner/residents could simply relax or find a place to have intimate conversation away from the others. The retreating rooms of the big houses such as the Peabody Parlor and the Endicott Library are rooms which need to offer a warm and inviting. atmosphere away from the larger and more imposing rooms.
With these thoughts in mind, I have brought together familiar furnishings from the past and added new brightness
which will serve to invite guests to stop awhile and reflect upon the architectural qualities which made this house so
unique and extraordinary.
Named after Salem Marine Merchant, Millionaire, and family founder, Joseph Peabody, who purchased Glen
Magna Farms in 1814 and made it his country estate, the Peabody Parlor's architecture remains unchanged from the time of "Grandfather" Peabody. An intact example of the simplicity but, yet, elegance of Federal period architecture, one cannot but helpappreciate the Parlor's balanced proportions, the symmetry of its cornices, the double hung windows framed with Indian shutters, and the antique fireplace/stove. During the 1893 renovations, the family directed that the Parlor, then known as the small parlor, not be changed and remain a memorial to Grandfather Peabody.
Window Treatments: “Lenox Toile” - Country Curtains
Drapery Hardware: Windows Imaginations
Rug: Landry & Arcari
Furniture and AIccessories: William Ralph
Chandelier: William Ralph
Photo: Eric Roth