Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Another Indian Chief

I post a weather vane photograph every Wednesday.  This series started with images of weathervanes from the Londonderry, New Hampshire area, but now I've found interesting weather vanes all across New England and across the globe.  Sometimes my weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are interesting.  Often my readers tip me off to some very unique or unusual weathervanes, too!  If you know a great weather vane near you, let me know if you'd like to have it featured on this blog.

Today's weather vane was photographed in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weathervane post #378?  Scroll down to find the answer.

Today's weathervane was spotted at the Tewksbury State Hospital in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, on the big cupola over the Old Administration Building.  This 800 acre campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Adminstration Building was built in 1894 and designed by Richard Morris.  Today you can visit the Museum of Public Health inside this building.

This facility started in 1852 as the Tewksbury almshouse.  A hospital was added in 1866, and by the 1880s this was used solely as a hospital for the mentally and physically ill. One of the most famous inmates here was Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher.  The campus expanded over the years to many buildings, mostly in victorian style brick.  During the 1930s the WPA built many structures that still stand today. There is a modern hospital now called the Saunders Building.

The Indian weathervane is a motif commonly seen over civic buildings and fraternal organizations.  This weathervane is a copy of a famous pattern that appears all over New England.  I featured a similar weathervane a few months ago, seen in Rowley, Massachusetts at this LINK.

Rowley, Massachusetts Town Hall

A more finely detailed version of this pattern was sold by Sotheby's auction house in 2010 for $122,500. It was titled  "A Fine and Important Molded Coper Standing Indian 'Massasoit' Weathervane" attributed to the J. Harris & Company of Boston, Massachusetts and dated from the third quarter of the 19th century. It originally was installed on the Fairbanks-Lincoln House in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Sotheby's auction catalog 30 September 2010

The Public Health Museum website:  

An interesting website, listing information about the Tewksbury State Hospital and also a list of deaths at the hospital 1854 - 1905 extracted from the vital records (According to the Public Health Museum, there are about 15,000 patients buried in two separate pauper cemeteries- mostly Irish immigrants): 

Click here to see all the Weathervane Wednesday posts!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Weathervane Wednesday ~  Another Indian Chief", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 29, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

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