Montmorenci, In search of ….

November 15, 2010

In 2007, I gave a presentation on a historical house in Maryland.

This is Montmorenci as it is today. This property was part of other property purchased by John Worthington, Jr (1688-1763) in the Valley that bears his name. Worthington Valley. This property was willed to he son Samuel (1734-1815).

John Worthington, Jr, was the oldest son of “Capt” John Worthington (1650-1701), my ancestor. However, I am a descendant of the youngest son, Charles Worthington.

The presentation was not on the history of the house, but the story of those who lived in this house and their impact on the area. But that’s another story.

This house, from my research, was in the Worthington family until about 1918.

While there, I took this picture.

It was a cool picture for me, at that time, and not much more. However, when I got home, I did a little research for Montmorenci and discovered that there was a Montmorenci that was in Delaware and it wasn’t this one.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010, July 2nd to be exact, I answered a phone call: and blogged about that telephone call.

Our visit was documneted in this blog: During the visit to the Cheyney House:

I was introduced to that Delaware Montmorenci Staircase. The owner of the Cheyney house is a tourguide at Winterthur.

This past weekend we traveled to Winterthur to see “the other staircase”.

Some pictures of the Grounds

Some pictures of the Enchanted Forest

Some pictures of the Gardens (in the fall)

Although I grew up, not far from here, I do not remember visiting Winterthur.

We took one of the tours of this 7 story mansion, now museum, of the du Pont family to see the Montmorenci Stair.

As the story goes, the family was on a cruise and on their return that former marble staircase was replaced with a 360-degree turn staircase. This staircase was fashioned from an 1822 plantation home called “Montmorenci” built in Shoocco Springs, North Carolina. The original staircase, as was told by our tour guide, was not structurally sound to be uses, so Thomas Waterman redesigned the one-story staircase to two stories and widening the circular shape to an elliptical oval that now reaches to the ceiling or to the current 7th floor.

A return visit to see this Staircase, all decorated for the Christmas holidays are in the plans. The photos at Winterthur are awesome.

So now there are two questions.

1) What is behind the fact that there are two Montmorenci homes. One in Maryland and the other in North Carolina?

2) Why do both have these beautiful, might I add unique, staircases?

During a slide show orientation, there is a photo of the North Carolina Plantation. Not knowing it was coming and moving quickly, I need to find a photo of that house to compare to the one on this Blog. The other side of the house, not show here, may be similar to the one in North Carolina.

So, I am now “in search of” … the history of the Montmorenci Staircases.


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