Jervis McEntee Diaries

Wednesday July 18, 1888

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, July 18, 1888, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, July 18, 1888 I went up to Churchs by invitation on Monday last by the day boat. I had a delightful sail and [?] with Michael the coachman met me at the landing at Hudson and drove me to the house. Church was there alone with his two sons Winthrop and Louis who are home for their vacation, Mrs Church and her daughter having gone to the sea shore. Church is building a new studio in connection with his house, quite an elaborate building of stone, and has torn down his old studio. We took a drive about the place after tea. He is very much disabled, looks very thin and cannot walk but very little, yet he seems full of plans for the future and does not lose his ambition. Rouse came up from N.Y. on Tuesday and after dinner we took a pretty long ride around "Blue hill". Church's house is very charming. He has been twenty years nearly, at work at it, and every thing has been done in the best manner. He must have a pretty large fortune to be able to live as generously as he does and to do the things he does. I could not help contrasting the ease with which he carries out his plans with my own fears to incur even the smallest expense. I had a beautiful room in the S.W. front of the house looking down the river, elegantly furnished and with the very best attendance. I would like to be able to dispense such elegant hospitality. Church is a very remarkable man. He thoroughly believes in himself and he has no end of energy and ambition. He is very hospitable, likes to have his friends about him and gives them the best he has. There is no reason why he should be particularly kind and attentive to me, but he always has. I was struck afresh with his beautiful house. We talked in connection with our desire to sell our place, about his place and whether he would be likely to sell it for what it has cost. He said he had never regarded it as an investment but only as a home and if he should die he did not think Mrs. Church would live there. On the other hand the place has some celebrity and everything having been carried out in such good taste I have no doubt it would command a good price. Rouse talked to me a little yesterday telling me that as he grew older he more and more missed a domestic life and thought if I sold my place I would miss it. He said he feared he would die at an hotel and his experience seemed to be like mine, that life grew sadder as we grow older. The two boys went on a camping expedition up the Big Indian today and I came home by the day boat from Hudson. The weather is not hot but very dry. There are some indications of rain which I hope will not fail. I found letters from Nicoll regarding the Darley sale, from Phillips & Wells the real estate agents one of whom is to come here next Friday, one from Jay [?] the Minneapolis Art agent and a nice letter from Mary Gifford but none from Seager of Dry Brook to whom I wrote last Friday. We went on a moonlight sail this evening down below the [?] light house with the following party Frank Waters & Anna Ludlum, Mr & Mrs. Clark, Dewitt Rora and Miss Reed Mrs. Fitch's cousin, Mrs. D[?] young, Dr. Win. Crispell, Miss Sheffield & Miss Brownell, Mr & Mrs Searing, Sara and myself, Mr & Mrs. John Forsyth and Kitty Forsyth. The weather was a little threatening and the wind blew pretty hard on our way down but it was very pleasant coming back. We got home about 11 oclock.

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