- Collection ID:
Weems, Katharine Lane, 1899-
Olmsted, Frederick Law, Jr., 1870-1957
Massachusetts Horticultural Society
North Shore Horticultural Society
- Physical Description:
Correspondence, invoices, nursery and seed catalogs, estimates, planting plans, photocopies of blueprints, photographs, negatives, autochromes, and drawings relating to the gardens of The Chimneys, the home of Emma and Gardiner Martin Lane and their daughter Katharine Lane Weems in Manchester, Massachusetts. Also included are four garden journals (1903-1928), garden-related medals awarded to Emma Lane, index files of plant materials, photocopies of garden related library cards belonging to Gardiner M. Lane, a diascope and nursery and seed catalogs. The collection also includes architectural plans, invoices and specifications from, and a framed photograph of, Raleigh C. Gildersleeve, architect of The Chimneys and brother of Emma Lane.
Scope and Contents Note
Scope and Contents Note
The Chimneys Collection includes extensive documentation relating to the gardens and grounds of "The Chimneys" estate in Manchester, Massachusetts, the home of Katharine Lane Weems and her parents in Manchester, Massachusetts. There is also some documentation on the residence designed by Raleigh Gildersleeve. The collection includes photographs, negatives, autochromes, a stereograph viewer, plant lists and index files of plant materials, garden journals, correspondence, nursery and seed catalogs, estimates, invoices, design specifications and plans and drawings. There are also three horticultural medals. The images focus primarily on the gardens at The Chimneys, though there are also numerous images showing the beachfront adjoining the property and images of family, friends, Weems' studio, the vicinity around Manchester, Massachusetts, and interiors of Beverwyck Manor in Rensselaer, New York. A copy of Katharine Lane Weems' autobiography, Odds Were Against Me, is also included in the collection.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
1) Design and Planting Records 2) Photographic images 3) Correspondence 4) Garden Journals 5) Printed Matter 6) Artifacts
The property on which this estate in Manchester, Massachusetts sits was originally owned by the father of Richard Henry Dana, Jr., the author of Two Years Before the Mast. The estate was subdivided after the elder Dana's death in 1879. Gardiner Martin Lane purchased the land and had his brother-in-law, Raleigh Gildersleeve, design a large Georgian Colonial Revival summer house for him known as "The Chimneys." The Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm was hired in 1902 to help with the overall siting of the house and to plan a number of garden areas. During the next ten years, the Olmsted firm designed a number of areas including an approach road, formal terraced gardens, a water garden, and a variety of outdoor structures such as an arbor, tea house, and greenhouse.
Katharine Lane Weems (1899-1989), the daughter of Emma and Gardiner M. Lane, spent her childhood summers at "The Chimneys." She later attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and went on to specialize in sculpting animals. "The Chimneys" served as her principal studio after the stable was remodeled in 1930; later it became her primary residence. She married F. Carrington Weems in 1947 and published an autobiography, Odds Were Against Me, in 1985. She died at her family estate in 1989.
Custodial History Note
The estate of Katharine Lane Weems donated The Chimneys Collection to the Garden Club of America in 1989. The GCA, in turn, passed the collection along to the Archives of American Gardens.
Historic Inventory Report, "The Chimneys." The Estate of Katharine Lane Weems, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Prepared for Ropes and Gray by Lauren G. Meier, ASLA, July 5, 1989. Revised August 5, 1989. American Country Homes and Gardens, November, 1907.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conditions Governing Use note
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Preferred Citation note
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Chimneys collection.
Related Archival Materials Note
Records related to this site can be found at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Olmsted Job Number 00273 Gardiner M. Lane / Richard H. Dana Estate.
The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts has the Papers of Katharine Lane Weems (MC406) which include various files and images relating to The Chimneys.
The Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C. has the Katharine Lane Weems Papers, 1865-1989 which include images of The Chimneys.
Other Finding Aid note
Other Finding Aid note
An inventory of The Chimneys Collection was generated by one or more members of the Garden Club of America, prior to its being donated to the Archives of American Gardens.
Archives of American Gardens
P.O. Box 37012
Capital Gallery West, Suite 3300, MRC 506
Washington, DC 20013-7012