Marcia Strykowski

Category Archives: New England

What Goes On at the Highest Peak in New England

I recently took a trip up Mt. Washington in NH via the Cog Railway. When I returned I was curious to learn more about its history. I’m happy to report there is a lot of online information including many public domain pictures from 150 years ago. I’ll share a few with you and we can compare …

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Picture Book Boot Camp

I’m back after an amazing adventure! Attending Picture Book Boot Camp this past week was a high point in my decades-long interest in creating books for children. Picture Book Boot Camp translates to spending four fun, inspiration-filled days at Phoenix Farm in western Massachusetts with a prolific group of authors, led by literary legend Jane Yolen and her talented daughter Heidi Stemple.I felt extremely fortunate, not only …

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Orchard House & Little Women

Are you one of the more than 50,000 visitors who arrive at Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts each year? This is the very house where Louisa May Alcott penned Little Women. The Alcott family moved there in 1858. Although healthy for many reasons, it’s become almost a fad to minimize, downsize, and unclutter, but I’m sure I’m …

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Lighthouse Love

For centuries, people around the world have been fascinated by lighthouses. They can be found on dangerous coastlines, islands, and harbors. Before their existence, people lit fires along the shore to guide sailors. One of the very first (and tallest) lighthouses was built in Egypt around 280 BC. The first in America was built in …

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Fall in New England

Here in New England we’re having a glorious autumn filled with crisp vivid colors. Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’ll let these photographs write the post.  

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Edith’s Beautiful Home

It’s time for a peek into another long-ago famous author’s amazing home. Influential writer Edith Wharton (1862-1937) designed and built ‘The Mount’ in lovely Lenox, Massachusetts, beginning in 1902. While living on this 100+ acre estate she wrote some of her most beloved works, including “The House of Mirth” and “Ethan Frome.” Although she was pretty much self-educated, Edith still …

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Pickity Place and Little Red

Back in 1786 a small cottage was built in the scenic hills of Mason, New Hampshire. Many years later, Caldecott Medal winner Elizabeth Orton Jones (1910-2005) lived in the quaint little red house.  She used it as a model for her illustrations in Little Red Riding Hood, (Little Golden Books, 1948). I recently visited this idyllic setting–now called Pickity Place–with a group of …

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Mark Twain

I recently visited the beautiful home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 – 1910), better known as “Mark Twain.” If you’re ever in Hartford, CT, I highly recommend the tour. He lived here for seventeen years and nearly every room holds a fascinating story. His next-door neighbor was Harriet Beecher Stowe (her lovely home is open for …

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Seal or Sea Lion?

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a seal and a sea lion? Seals have small earholes and short, hairy front flippers with a claw on each toe. On land, they move by wiggling along on their bellies like caterpillars, with their hind flippers straight out. Seals swim by steering with fore flippers  and …

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Cape Celebrates Literacy!

The third annual Cape AuthorFest was held yesterday in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It was a privilege to participate in this impressive event.The fair is run by a super-powered team, led by Superintendent of Schools Meredith Nadeau and her husband Travis Nadeau. I’m sure it took many volunteers and sponsors, as well. A friendly group of …

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