Friday, July 25, 2014

The Patton Homestead and Archives, home of two General George S. Pattons, in Hamilton, Massachusetts


I took a trip through time with my Mom this week.  No, we didn't have access to a DeLorean time machine, but while riding in my little Hyundai together on our way to Hamilton, Mom shared some great stories with me.  We were on our way to Hamilton, Massachusetts to tour the archives at four star General George S. Patton’s estate (the World War II general).  Mom grew up down the street from this estate, and had lots of memories of playing in and around the main house, barns and 500 acres of fields and woods.  She had never been inside the main house, and now was her chance.  It had been the residence of the Patton family from 1928 until 2012. 

Several years ago, Joanne Patton, the widow of Major General George S. Patton (the Vietnam era general) donated the main house and 27 acres of land to the town of Hamilton.  It houses the Patton Family Collection, which is managed by Gordon College’s Institute for Public History. 

Carol Mori, archivist
giving a tour of the Patton Homestead

The current archivist of the Patton Homestead archives, Carol Mori, gave a great tour of the many artifacts, photographs, paintings, military memorabilia, books and documents under her care.  This was a special series of tours available only for Wednesdays during the month of July 2014. This library was built as a first floor wing to the Homestead in the 1930s by General Patton and his wife Beatrice Ayer Patton for their retirement after World War II.  As you all know, history intervened and General Patton was killed in a jeep accident in 1945.  He never returned to Hamilton, Massachusetts to enjoy his new wing of the homestead.

Can you find the 5 "George Smith Pattons" on this chart?
One of the two Juniors was the famous WWII general,
but it is confusing because there were two General George Smith Pattons!

Did you know there were five George Pattons?  The first George Patton was a military officer for the Confederacy during the civil war.  The second George Patton died young, but not before he fathered the George S. Patton who would become the four star general during World War II.  The fourth George S. Patton was a major general during Vietnam.  The fifth George Patton is still alive, but he was born mentally challenged and is living with a caretaker in Colorado. 

Mom remembers playing in this meadow behind the main estate house
and seeing the barns and horses. She said it still looks exactly the same.

My mom was thrilled to be inside the main house!
Here she is examining military memorabilia.
Mom used to peek in the windows as a child.

Mom grew up playing with the children of the estate workers.  She especially remembered the six children of the caretaker, who lived above the barn.  Certain things in the yards of the estate were objects she remembered, like the cast iron jockey hitching post by the kitchen door.  She remembered the cook in the kitchen wing giving them cookies, and her brothers camping out at the bottom of the meadow by the Ipswich River.   One vivid memory she remembers was of peeking into the windows, because all the kids wanted to see General Patton’s pistol!

In 1950 one of General Patton’s tanks from World War II was donated to the Town of Hamilton.  That same year my grandfather, Stanley E. Allen, was a member of the recreation committee.  The committee accepted the tank and placed it in the center of town at what is now called Patton Park.  I remember playing at this playground as a kid, and being able to climb inside the tank to sit on the driver’s seat and peek out through the slits.  Sometime in the 1970s the hatch to the tank was welded shut, but kids still climb all over the tank. 

My daughter climbing on the Patton tank in Hamilton's Patton Park 2004.
I played on this tank, too, as a kid.
This little boy on the tour wore his "Generals" tshirt-
the mascot of the Hamilton-Wenham regional school system.
Another generation of kids learning about the Patton family. 
The Patton Homestead at 650 Asbury Street in Hamilton, Massachusetts is not currently open to the public, except for occasional special tours like the one I took with Mom.  Any inquiries should be directed to the Town Manager of the Town of Hamilton, Massachusetts.  The Patton Family archive is available for research by appointment.  Please contact:
Phone 978-468-1849
Town of Hamilton, Massachusetts webpage for Patton Homestead  http://hamiltonma.gov/Pages/HamiltonMA_Patton/index

The former master bedroom is now the archive
I wish I had a good reason to do some research here!
Look at the label on this file drawer:
"GSP Baby records/ School essays - '32
Diaries/ SCD Leadership letters/ rosters
GSP bibles/ war crimes file / evaluation
reports/medals/citations/ photos
GSP personal caputred weaons & permits"

This is Four Star General George S. Patton's personal office

This is Four Star General George S. Patton's personal library,
His son's office, Major General George S. Patton of the Vietnam War,
was located below, but was destroyed in a fire that almost consumed both libraries.

Green Meadows Farm, the current home of the Patton family (on land adjacent to the Patton Homestead)   http://www.gmfarm.com/history  at 656 Asbury Street, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

A link to the obituary of General George S. Patton 30 June 2004 New York Times

There is also a General Patton Museum in Fort Knox, Kentucky  http://generalpatton.org/       

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The URL for this post is
 http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-patton-homestead-and-archives-home.html

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

2 comments:

  1. Fabulous, Heather! I've climbed the tank, too. I've always wondered about the homestead and now we get to see your photos of inside. What a bonus that your mother grew up "next door" and has her special memories, too.

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  2. I am envious of your trip inside the Patton house - I would love to be able to do this. I have studied GSP for the last few years. Maybe one day I'll get an opportunity - that archive would be a dream. Thanks for sharing.

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