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When Lucy Salmon returned to Vassar after her sabbatical, she was determined to establish a home off campus.  It took her and AU a year and a half to find a suitable house to move into together.  In 1901, they moved into the row house on Mill Street in downtown Poughkeepsie where they would live together until LMS’s death.

Photograph, 263 Mill Street home (exterior).  View in New York Heritage

Letter, LMS to AU, December 31, 1902. View in New York Heritage

In this letter, LMS writes to AU, who is with her family in Skaneateles for the holidays.  Brimming with excitement about their new home, she writes of the new furnishings, which she says “William pronounces ‘magnificent.’”  William was a handyman and cook who lived in and worked for the household for many years.

After her previous years of disillusionment and dissatisfaction, at the conclusion of 1902, LMS writes to AU, “This is the last day of the very happiest year I have ever known because [it is] the only year in which I could claim you every day!  Come back to me soon, but until you come, and always, think of me as your most devoted friend, Lucy.”

The two letters below were written while AU was in the hospital in Auburn, near her family’s home in Skaneateles.  LMS expresses her concern and sends news of the household and says, “My dearest- you know that absolutely nothing on earth makes your home so happy as the knowledge that all is well!"

Letter, LMS to AU, January 1, 1903. View in New York Heritage

Letter, LMS to AU, January 4, 1903. View in New York Heritage

Pamphlet, The United Crafts -- A Guild of Cabinet-Makers, Metal, and Leather Workers. View in New York Heritage

The United Craftsman Workshop was founded by Gustav Stickley in Eastwood, NY.  In furnishing her new home, LMS embraced the Arts and Crafts movement with its emphasis on comfort and sturdy design.

Photograph, LMS and Vassar College students, Poughkeepsie, NY. View in New York Heritage

This picture was taken in the dining room of Lucy Salmon and Adelaide Underhill's home, where LMS frequently held her seminars.

Photograph, 263 Mill Street home interior (kitchen -- stove and oven). View in New York Heritage

Photograph, 263 Mill Street home interior (kitchen -- sink and counter). View in New York Heritage

Article, "Our Home Department," The Craftsman, September 1906. Read the full article > (Courtesy University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Salmon published an article in Gustav Stickley's The Craftsman magazine in September 1906 entitled, "Our Home Department: Philosophy, Art and Sense for the Kitchen."  In it, she writes, "We are busy women who have learned in other lines of work outside the household, the value of order and system, and when we began housekeeping we saw no reason why the application to the kitchen of the same principles that were used in arranging a study or a library should not produce the same ease and joy in the work of the household" (p. 811).

Circular/pamphlet- Dogs in Literature.  View in New York Heritage

The personal and professional partnership between LMS and AU became seamless. LMS's biographer Louise Fargo Brown wrote: “The evening ritual was for Miss Salmon to sit in a rocking chair in front of her desk under the gas light, with Miss Underhill facing her in a similarly comfortable chair, each going through the catalogues of secondhand book dealers which Miss Underhill brought back from the library at the close of the day. When a new member was added to the department [of History] this catalogue reading was suggested to her, in order that she might put at the service of the college her knowledge of the desiderata in her own particular field. ... Miss Salmon issued gaily-colored leaflets describing the special collections which she was interested in making for the library. These leaflets she was wont to enclose in her letters. [One collection consisted of] ‘Everything pertaining to the American frontier, whether in the 17th or the 20th century, or in any geographical locality, or concerning any nationality or any industry.” (Brown, Apostle of Democracy, p. 242. See Bibliography)

Through their collaborative efforts, the Vassar Library collection became outstanding among its peers for its depth and breadth, and its reflection of the research interests of the college’s faculty.

One of the more personal library collections created by LMS and AU was the “Dogs in Literature” collection that came to be known as “The Mary Ann Collection” in honor of a dog particularly beloved by LMS, who died in 1922.  LMS called the collection a “pleasant kind of knitting work” and told a friend, “Alas that Mary Ann herself is no more with us save in thought; the house seems forlorn enough without her cheerful, active little body and trusting spirit.”  In this pamphlet, LMS invites anyone who had ever loved and lost a dog to contribute in their memory some book on the subject of dogs. (Brown, Apostle of Democracy, p. 243. See Bibliography)

Bookplate, The Mary Ann Collection.  View in New York Heritage

One of the more personal library collections created by LMS and AU was the “Dogs in Literature” collection that came to be known as “The Mary Ann Collection” in honor of a dog particularly beloved by LMS, who died in 1922.  LMS called the collection a “pleasant kind of knitting work” and told a friend, “Alas that Mary Ann herself is no more with us save in thought; the house seems forlorn enough without her cheerful, active little body and trusting spirit.” In this pamphlet, LMS invites anyone who had ever loved and lost a dog to contribute in their memory some book on the subject of dogs. (Brown, Apostle of Democracy, p. 243. See Bibliography)

View in Hathi Trust Digital Library (Courtesy Hathi Trust Digital Library)

In the 1920s, LMS wrote an article called “Our Guests,” describing the many dogs who had lived in the Salmon Underhill household, including Scrap, Fritz, Raggles, Queen, Lady, Ponto and Mary Ann.  Although the text is written entirely in the personal plural, the human members of the household are never named or described, and the only author listed is Lucy Maynard Salmon.

The absence of a description of Salmon’s partner adds to the wistfulness of this text, which begins “We have never understood how it came about that so many of the dogs in the community learned of our sorrows and misfortunes and that so many of them proffered their sympathy.” It ends with the story of Mary Ann, daughter of Lady, concluding, “We never knew the answer to the many silent questions we put to Mary Ann, but we like to think that we could project ourselves into her inwardly tumultuous, outwardly calm life and understandingly sympathize with the conflicts born with her life.”

After Lucy Salmon’s death, Adelaide Underhill commissioned Merrymount Press to publish the article as a small book, with a limited run of 100 copies, which she distributed to friends, former students and colleagues.