'Write Often, Write When You Think Best'
I have often thought of you these long winter evenings, that you must be lonesome. But leap year is here and widowers and bachelors are choosing their mates and I think if you should make up your mind the time would pass more agreeably away [with] one who would share in your domestic concerns … I should be happy to have you call over to East Boston. I have not purchased any spectacles at present for there is rumour that the world is coming to an end in 1843 and I did not think it was worth a while to spend my money useless.
In May Mary Pease wrote again, and we learn of a happy development:
You have given me an invitation to your castle for a home and [I] am happy for the invitation as I know you are a man of honour. I shall throw myself upon your care and protection and according to your invitation I will meet you at Brookfield the fifth day of June.
Reader, she married him … Pliny and Mary Pease Freeman would live together at the Sturbridge farm for the next 10 years. When Mary passed away in 1850, Pliny Sr., now 70, was a widower once again. A year later, he sold his farm and moved in with his daughter Delia and her husband in nearby Webster. He passed away in 1855, at the age of 75. Ninety-five years later, the Freeman home was rescued and moved from its original location south of town to the OSV property. In 1956, the museum settled it on its current site, a pasture that once long ago was part of the David Wight homestead–a patch of fertile ground that 150 years on is still a working farm–a fitting resting place for this venerable house that had seen so much of the community’s early history. –E.T.
For more on the Freeman family and additional excerpts from their correspondence, visit: YankeeMagazine.com/more. Quotations by permission of Old Sturbridge Village; research by former OSV historian Holly Izard and interpreter Connie Small. For full transcriptions of the Freeman family correspondence, go to: osv.org/explore_learn/document_list.php