Mrs. Morrill's Bedroom: This room has been interpreted as being the bedroom used by Justin Morrill’s wife, Ruth Swan Morrill (1821-1898). It originally may have been a reading room or a ladies’ sitting room evidenced by the built-in bookcases. This is also the only upstairs room with a fireplace. On the bed is an embroidered linen dress from circa 1890 that belonged to Ruth. The drapes in the room are of an uncertain date however the rods have a Japanese influence which would indicate they were from the early 20th century. The picture rail is wood with plaster details called “gesso”. The Constantino Brumidi oil painting above the fireplace is a sketch depicting “Painting” with the noted 19th century historian William Prescott depicted on a painter’s palette. This was a study done for a Senate committee room ceiling. Morrill had many of Prescott’s books in his private library. A colored lithograph by the English painter Edwin Henry Landseer of “Childhood Friends” hangs in the room. The mahogany furniture may have come from the Washington, DC home. The small closet has a window, shelves and hooks for hanging cloths. Mrs. Morrill had epilepsy and may have spent more time in this room. In an 1852 letter from Justin Morrill to Ruth’s father, Dr. Caleb Swan, he writes that Ruth had had an epileptic seizure on the second week of their marriage.
Photo Credit: Mary Louise Pierson