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The Keeps were among the first settlers in Monson

  • They farmed this land
  • They were strong supporters of the Congregational Church
  • They took active parts
    • In Education
    • In Town Government

They were savers and collectors

  • of family history
  • family documents
  • and the artifacts of changing ways of daily living over a span of 150 years

The property has about 75 acres of farmland, a pond, and a small granite quarry (now a certified vernal pool

The house has sixteen rooms, three attics and two cellars

Among the collections are

  • Diaries from the 1860's to the 1940's detailing daily life
  • Extensive records of income produced on the farm and purchases made

In 1893, Myra's father, Charles Chapin Keep, brought his bride, Pearl Beckwith, to live in this home that he was occupying with his parents, Edward and Mary Keep

The addition to the house to accommodate the newlyweds, their purchases of all new bedroom, kitchen furniture and dishes are documented and form the basis for several exhibits

Ten-year-old Myra would feel right at home in the kitchen:

Antique Household Items

Antique Household Items
Antique Bottles
Pots & Pans in the Pantry

There is a story that when Charles married Pearl, she said, "I'll move into your family's home with you, but I won't share a kitchen with your mother." True or not, there are two kitchens in the house.

1950's Kitchen

!890's Kitchen on left & 1950's Pink & Gray on right

Charles and Pearl's bedroom on the southeast corner is ready for the newlyweds to move into:
It still has the original wall paper, carpet and furniture, and a copy of the bill-of-sale for the furniture hangs on the wall outside

Charles & Pearl's Bedroom

The Crazy Quilt on the Bed

Washstand
Pearl's Dresser

Another bedroom represents Myra and (her sister) Marion's room with their brass beds, handmade quilts and their toys:

Child's Brass Bed
Doll Carriage

The dining room closet contains their parents' 144 piece set of Haviland Limoges china with its original bill. .

The furniture reflects the 1930's

This cruet set sits on the marble topped chest in the dining room.
It held vinegar and other condiments used at meals.

Cruet Set

Myra, a school teacher, married her first husband, Charles Lovell, in 1929

Lovell was a Congregational Minister. He served the First Church in Monson from 1919 - 1925. They returned to Monson in 1941 to care for Myra's parents.

In the "Minister's Corner" on the 2nd floor are Bibles and religious books owned by Charles.

On display are items with Charles' own handwriting (sermons, hymns, even his notes on the pages of his Bible).

Minister's Corner

In the 1930's bedroom, in addition to furniture bought for her second marriage, to Ralph Moulton. are paintings done by Myra, several examples of her needlework, a collection of perfume bottles and a collection of quilts

 

Silver Evening Bag & Gloves

Silver Evening Bag & Gloves

Needlework

Crewel-work on Dressing Table Bench

Students gave teachers perfume for Christmas
& Myra saved the bottles

Quilts & 1930's Furniture

Quilt Collection on the Bed

Also represented is a miniature classroom with her teaching tools, books, and an exam on the blackboard

Schoolroom

There are copies of some of her student's work that have been laminated so that visitors can look through them

All of the women in the family, including Myra were accomplished needleworkers and extensive examples of their work are distributed throughout the house

Sampler
Crewel-work

 

Needlework

Both Myra and her father were "rock hounds" and many examples are displayed along with an extensive shell collection.

Shells
Shells

Shell Objects

Engraved Shells

Myra was nationally known for her button collection of several thousand cards.

 

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