The Parlor

The Parlor in the Coolidge Homestead

The parlor or "Best Room" in most 19th century Vermont homes was seldom used except for funerals and weddings. Because Colonel John was a deacon in the Union Church across the road, services were often held in this room when it was too cold to have them in the church. The minister from nearby Sherburne would conduct the service.

In 1876, Colonel John bought this house, a blacksmith shop, and several acres of land for $375. He soon sold one of the principal barns on the property for $100. About this transaction his son commented, "My father was a good trader."

Colonel John made some repairs to the house, put in the bay window in the oath of office room, added the front porch, and purchased this set of black walnut parlor furniture in Boston.

Carrie Brown Coolidge often played the piano, also bought in Boston. On its lid are two photographs of Carrie seated at her piano. Between the front windows are two pictures of Colonel John, one as a young man and the other taken about the time Calvin became President. Near the corner whatnot is a photograph of a Plymouth Sunday school picnic the only photograph taken of young Calvin and his sister Abigail together.

The hassock in front of the horsehair sofa has a secret compartment for holding valuables. On the marble-top table are an album of family portraits, a stereopticon viewer with cards, and a pair of spectacles. In the open cupboard are several family albums and daguerreotypes.