Friday, October 26, 2012

Margie and The Maples Tea House

Margaret Pillsbury Carter was born in Portland, Maine, on December 9, 1885, the second child, and eldest of four daughters, of Frank and Emma Barrett Carter.  During her childhood, her family moved to Melrose, Massachusetts, and she graduated from Melrose High School.

In 1925, at the age of 40, she married Alexander Archibald Hamilton, a successful proprietor of an ice company, born and raised down east in Nova Scotia, and my great grandmother's brother.

Arch and Margie made their home on a farm along the Mohawk Trail in central Massachusetts, in the town of Orange, where they raised chickens and grew vegetables. The story of Arch Hamilton and the ice trade has been told in a prior blogpost, entitled "The Ice Man Cometh: Arch Hamilton and the Orange Independent Ice Company," but Aunt Margie's own career as the successful proprietor of two restaurants, deserves its own tale.

The following advertisement from the Boston Herald of July 22, 1928, beckoned travelers in their Model T's  to The Maples Tea House, beside the road on Highway 7.

The Maples Tea House
(vintage postage purchased on eBay)

By the mid-1930's, during the Great Depression, she even expanded her business, opening the Orange Coffee House in the Weymouth Hotel in Orange:

The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Oct. 20, 1934, p.6, col.8

As a needleworker myself, I love this mention of a luncheon held there the following Spring:

The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Apr. 4. 1935, p.6, col.5

In later years, as the ice business waned, Arch and Margie operated the Hamilton Tourist Home and Gardens, continuing to offer their warm hospitality to motoring tourists in the '40's and '50's.

Margie died on this date in 1963, one year after her husband Arch.  They are buried together in the Pembroke Cemetery in Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, Canada.