If you have attentively followed my meanderings, you may remember that I discovered NAULAKHA on Flag Day, 2015. And then toured it during an open house in June of 2019. Landmark Trust USA has a number of historic, impeccably preserved properties, and I have enjoyed three of them since November 2020. It was now time for a stay at Rudyard Kipling’s Naulakha in Dummerston, Vermont.
I seem to gravitate to Porches and Rocking Chairs – time to get back to work on my ROCKING CHAIR STUDIES page.
Remember you may click images in my galleries for a larger view. Below is the rhododendron tunnel on 13 May. I have now visited it in June in bloom, in February in snow, and now about to bloom.
Heading south through the rhododendron tunnel you pass an old swimming pool (now filled in) ending at this peaceful pagoda overlooking the hills of New Hampshire in the distance. Kipling’s original clay tennis court is the first tennis court built in Vermont
and, another close-up view from this bucolic spot
The plan, as always, was to read, write, and watch some entertaining films. I brought three books to read, two pamphlets for reference to write my June “Did You Know That…” article, and I brought my projector, screen, and selection of films. Total accomplishment – about eight pages read, one and a half paragraphs written, and no videos. But – the company, the conversation, the laughs (“do you know how fast I was going, officer, when you jumped out? You could have been killed” – not me, culprit to remain unidentified, you had to have been there), and the meals.
But what I did get written was done at Kipling’s desk where he wrote, albeit in a different manner.
Below are a few images in Kipling’s library
I did not take a series of images around this amazing place on this visit because the professional images on Landmark Trust USA’s website are amazing, and the ones I took on the tour in June of 2019 are not bad either. Click on these links to take the tour(s).
In my writings I enjoy alliteration, particularly in titles. The selection of the date of arrival for this stay was an alliteration of a sort, based on the date of May 13th. A bittersweet time to be with family and friends and rejoice a life — May 13th was the 13th anniversary of the passing of Cathy, my bride of 13 years. My son David, his wife and family, sent this beautiful arrangement which arrived at my home just before I left for Dummerston. It went with me to enjoy in the breakfast nook, and at dinner on Saturday evening.
On our arrival evening, for ease we brought in Chinese from Panda North just down the hill on US 5 – never a bad idea. On Friday night we enjoyed the picnic table. How can you not enjoy this spot?
The sun sets behind the hills to the west, but looking east to New Hampshire can also provide interesting colors and feelings.
The “big adventure” for Saturday was to visit the “museum” in the horse barn at the bottom of the drive.
Built after Kipling had left, his horses that remained were stabled here. An addition (now removed) trapped water and did extensive damage to the structure. As is Landmark’s norm, the restoration is amazing, and you would never know it had been done (except the new support work in the basement). You may click on any image below for a larger view.
from left to right, top to bottom: one of the horse stalls (note the metal sheathing to protect from horses kicking, and their nibblings on the wood; Sled and skies used on the property; the main room; and the new supports underneath.
then back up the hill to “home” —
guessing game time — father? Number Two Son (in birth order)? — hard to tell who is who, isn’t it?
I do not even remember having lunch on Saturday (that busy and exhausted unwinding), but I do remember being coerced into a few games of pool after these two failed. They took the challenge at a quarter a game, and sunk the que ball loosing. And, three times. I may never forgive the 25 cents and 50 cents respectively owed to me. Nice to have people beholding.
On the third floor in one of the rooms is a little museum. I particularly like this showcase with Naulakha souvenirs. Michele, we have to talk. I have the perfect addition to gift the Trust to add here.
and, then it was “formal dinner night” albeit without tux and gowns. It cannot get much better.
and, I had to do this — not close, but close enough – one is Rudyard Kipling, and the other, “yours truly.” Was he that short? Even Ms. Google could not tell me.
And, all wonderful things come to an end, but must be repeated (Michele – I am looking at dates to book with you.)
1 – Visit and study LANDMARK TRUST, USA’s website
2 – Book a stay at one of their amazing properties
3 – Support Landmark Trusts preservation efforts in any way you can, and
ENJOY – have fun, stay safe and stay well, as always, yours, RAY