In this Blog post: http://worthy2be.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/in-search-of-montmorenci/ I continue my search for these two staircases. Earlier, I mentioned that the 2nd staircase was located at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. I joined there, with my daughter, so we could visit this wonderful museum and learn more about it and the staircase Its a wonderful place to visit.
Recently, they started a blog:
So, I posted this question:
To the Staff:
Wonderful new Blog. Thank you.
I hope it’s OK to ask here.
In the museum, you have the Montmorenci Staircase. That staircase, as I understand it, came from South Carolina from a house called Montmorenci. I have seen photos of that house and have seen a couple of brief stories.
However, not an hour south of Winterthur is another Montmorenci which also has a Montmorenci Stair case.
So, my question is, how come there are Two Montmorenci’s and both of those houses have similar staircases.
My guess is, that the answer lies within architectural information about one or both of the houses. Did the architect or Mr duPont know of the Maryland Montmorenci.
I have posted some information on the Maryland Montmorenci here:
Thank you for your time an consideration and I look forward to your new Blog posts. With any luck, I’ll get back down to Winterthur this fall.
I did get an answer. Perhaps not the answer I wanted, but here it is.
Russ, I checked with our estate historian, and here’s what she says: The answer has to do with a coincidence of name. A French aristocrat named Montmorency commanded troops under Rochambeau in the American Revolution and became an American hero. There are many towns and houses named after him. The staircase in Maryland is curved like the one from the house named Montmorenci, which was located near Shocco Springs, North Carolina, but is not free-standing. The free-standing curve is what interested du Pont. Hope this helps!
So, for now, I will put my research aside for a while, as there may not have been a connection in the first place. The time for the naming of the property may be the connection, but what about the stairs. I need to make another visit to Maryland to get a better look at the staircase and to see if I can find “the rest of that story”.
So, for now, back to my Civil War Hero.