Exploring the Federal Bedroom
Hi, there! Millie again! Today, I am on the second floor, checking out the Federal Bedroom. Can you see me peaking out from the pitcher and washbowl, or underneath the chair?
So this is the Federal Bedroom. It's painted in a deep federal blue wall color. The bed is called a tester bed from the Sheraton period (1830s) and has four carved bed posts that support the canopy.
On the left of the bed is a secretary desk made by Oliver Parsell who was a furniture maker in New Brunswick. He made this desk around 1800-1815. There are trunks and hat boxes at the foot of the bed that would have been used by the family when traveling.
There is an iron stove, made around 1858, that is labeled H. Backus, 233 Water St., NY - Backus Empire Grate; Number 2. This iron stove likely burned coal to keep the bedroom warm, since there was no central heat until the mid-late 20th century.
There are several chamber sets, like a pitcher and wash bowl (above, left), some include a shaving mug, a small pitcher, chamber pot with cover, covered buchet, covered soap dish, and toothbrush holder. These were generally set on a wash stand that held the bowl and pitcher securely. There is also a commode chair upholstered in yellow brocade (above, right). The seat lifts off to use the chamber pot that is placed below the seat. It's a fancy indoor toilet from around 1925!
Out the windows of this bedroom, I can see the Raritan River and remember what the view would have looked like in the 1700s. There were ships running up and down the river to Raritan Landing, which is on the opposite side of the river in Piscataway. Ships that would have brought supplies, new colonists and all types of exotic goods from the Caribbean islands and Europe. This used to be a very busy river port!
I'm off on more adventures! And I will share them with you soon!
"Written" by Millie Mouse
Millie's family lived in the mansion from the very beginning of the building. Learn about the story of her life in Colonial America through her observations and adventures as she shares the history of the New Brunswick area with young visitors.
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