Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt, the Bears, & the Oaks

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Loretta reports:

During my recent visit to the Historic Paine Estate’s Holiday Open House,

I came upon a small room filled with teddy bears. Of course I wondered what this had to do with the Paine family—or was it simply holiday décor?

A little of both, it turns out.

The name “teddy bear” derives from an incident involving Theodore Roosevelt and a bear he refused to shoot.

But what did Theodore Roosevelt have to do with the Paines?

The clue lies in this wedding invitation (recently discovered, if I remember correctly*). It’s tricky trying to take photos of objects under glass, and we had a very sunny day. But the invitation reads:

“Mrs. and Mrs. George C. Lee request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, Wednesday, October Twenty-seventh at Twelve o’clock, Unitarian Church, Brookline.”

Mr. and Mrs. Lee’s Daughter was Alice Hathaway Lee. The Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the DAR, whose chapter house this is, did some research and learned that she was a great-great-great-granddaughter of Judge Timothy Paine. This is an invitation to her wedding to Theodore Roosevelt in 1880. Sadly, she died on Valentine’s Day 1884, two days after giving birth to the formidable Alice Lee Roosevelt.

I thought the teddy bear display was a charming way to celebrate the holiday as well as the Roosevelt-Paine connection—just one example of the discoveries and intriguing network of history related to this lovely old house.

*You can find out more here about the intriguing bits of history that turn up in the Oaks.

Please click on images to enlarge.


nightsmusic said...

I have a solid silver spoon that my aunt cut her teeth on back in 1906. It has an ornate handle with a bear and some fauna and it's based on the story of Roosevelt and his bear. It's pretty cool, not worth much other than the silver in it, I'm sure, but I love it.


QNPoohBear said...

Wow I've never been there. I have never even heard of this house though it's close. This looks like a fun holiday display!

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