We are very lucky to have two long-time historic treasures in our town, Historic Bush House Museum and Deepwood Museum & Gardens, both run by amazing organizations. If you have not recently visited these wonderful venues, you should make a point to do so soon!
Curator/Managers Roth Sutherland and Sarah Pearson joined us in the studio to talk about their roles in caring for the sites as well as what makes each site unique. Ross described to us that the 1877 Bush House, the home of the prominent businessman and publisher Asahel Bush II and his family for 75 years, was donated in its entirety--furnishings, outbuildings and grounds--to the City of Salem in the late 1940s. It has been operated by the Salem Art Association since 1953. Having the original furnishings provides a very realistic view into how an affluent family of the time truly lived their lives. On the other hand, having so many artifacts in place makes hosting inside events unfeasible. To our great luck, however, the large park-like grounds house the Bush Barn Art Center and Gallery and also offer the perfect tree-filled site for the very popular Salem Art Festival held each July. You can learn more about the museum at its website: salemart.org/programs/bush-house-museum
Sarah explained that Deepwood Museum & Gardens was formerly known as Historic Deepwood Estate. Aside from the ornate Queen-Anne style house built in 1894 for druggist and land speculator Luke A Port, the site is also known for its extensive gardens, designed by historic landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, and its system of nature trails. Because this house was the home of many families over the years, furnishings were not left in place, but the original Posey Brothers stained glass windows and the warm golden woodwork throughout the house remain. This has allowed Deepwood the opportunity to host many indoor events like teas and weddings. For more information on the museum and its events, check our its website: www.historicdeepwoodestate.org
Ross and Sarah are also the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Salem All-Star Forum, a benefit of Salem being designated as a Heritage All-Star Community. The forum brings together representatives of the area's heritage and cultural community to share their concerns and skills and to collaborate on fundraising and educational events for the public, thereby strengthening the individual organizations. If your organization would like to become involved, check out their website for more information: https://salemallstarforum.wordpress.com
Photos: TN Green, Jr.