Special Collections and University Archives

The Special Collections Unit provides access to research collections.

Oliver Watson House Tour

exterior

Watson House is furnished in keeping with the period from the early 18th century to the mid 19th century. The main architectural feature, an eight foot square central chimney, provides the home with six fireplaces for the four bedrooms, keeping room, borning room and parlor.

Pictured here is the Peckham Room, or the front parlor, where the family kept their best furniture for special entertaining. Seen here is a Chippendale slant front desk originally owned by the Watson family

Pictured here is the Peckham Room, or the front parlor, where the family kept their best furniture for special entertaining. Seen here is a Chippendale slant front desk originally owned by the Watson family

 

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

 

The largest of the six fireplaces is in the Keeping Room, the main room of the house. All the cooking was done and the bread was baked in the beehive oven. There is a fine collection of cast iron pots and kettles on display. All household activity such as spinning, sewing, cooking, and baking was done in the Keeping Room . In the foreground a wagon bench can be seen. This rare piece of furniture dates circa 1780-1820.

keepingroomfireplace

From a narrow front hallway, stairs rise steeply behind the large chimney to the second floor hallway.

upstairshall

Adjoining the weaving room is the Cusack Room, dedicated to Dr. Beverly Downing Cusack, late Dean of the College of Home Economics. The first of the upstairs bed chambers was the largest and received the most sunlight. It was shared by the youngest children and the parents. It contains a four poster bed which belonged to the Watson family. In addition there is a cradle and a small trundle bed under the four poster bed. The chest at the foot of the bed was used to store clothes and linens.

chair

fourpostbeddresser

The beds all have rope springs and cornhusk mattresses covered with homespun material and topped with feather mattresses.
The second of the bed chambers contains a trundle bed. There is also a bed chamber chair (ca. 1930) and a child’s playpen.

 

 

 

 

 

trundle

borningroomThe loom on display in the third room on the second floor belonged to Quaker Billy Rose, a nationally known weaver from South County.

spinningwheel
History of the Oliver Watson house

Restoration

Think Big We Do

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