Reading with Rose: ‘Tis the Season

For this month’s book blog, we are going to explore a book owned by two generations of Nichols women: The Star of Bethlehem, or, Stories for Christmas. 

The Star of Bethlehem was published in 1852 in Philadelphia.

This book provides valuable insight into the Nichols’ family values. Although it is inscribed to Rose Standish Nichols, it originally belonged to her mother, Elizabeth Homer Nichols. Elizabeth, or “Lizzie,” as her family called her, was eight years old when she received the book as a gift from her mother. It’s a pleasure to find a book that was passed along to Rose, from the mother she so loved.

“Lizzie Homer. From her Mother, Sept 12th 1852. 8 Greenville St. Roxbury.”

If you’ve come on a tour with us, you know that the Nichols family traveled quite frequently. Some of their travels took place during the winter season. In December of 1893, Elizabeth wrote to Rose about a tea party she hosted during the winter season:

“My tea yesterday was successful. It was a fine day and I think there were about fifty here.[…] Then we had a little mistletoe about […] and the rooms really looked very attractive.”

Elizabeth writing to her daughter, Rose, December 19, 1893

Postcard from Rose Standish Nichols’ collection.

Three years later, Elizabeth told Rose of another winter season, spent in the Nichols’ summer home in Cornish, New Hampshire:

“We find things here about as we left them, the principal difference being that there is enough snow, though barely enough to justify sleighing. So as our new Canada sleigh, otherwise called a cariole, has arrived, papa and I have been out twice.”

Elizabeth writing to her daughter, Rose, January 26, 1896

Margaret with her children, Sarah, William and Jack (left to right) and their horse Whitey.

Wherever they were, the Nichols women didn’t let the winter season slow them down.

Margaret and Elizabeth, 1921.

Author: Nichols House Museum

The Nichols House Museum's mission is: To preserve and interpret the 1804 townhouse that was from 1885 until 1960 the home of Rose Standish Nichols, landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist. The house was built by Jonathan Mason and is attributed to Charles Bulfinch. The museum educates visitors by providing a unique glimpse into the domestic life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on Boston's historic Beacon Hill.