Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tea Lane


As I mentioned in my "H is for Hammett" post, my great-great grandfather Franklin Hammett worked on a whaling ship and sailed around the world when he was a teenager. After he returned to Martha's Vineyard, he and his wife Nancy lived on a farm on a street called Tea Lane in the town of Chilmark.

The Hammetts had a horse named Grover, who is front and center along with Franklin in the above photo taken in the 1890s. My grandfather spent many summers on Tea Lane as a child and his grandchildren all loved his stories about Grover and the other goings-on on the farm. By all accounts, Grover was a fine horse and it seems clear from this picture that Franklin thought very highly of him.

Stella, the main character in my novel The Ghosts of Aquinnah, whose maiden name is Hammett, lives on a farm in the same area where Franklin and Nancy lived so many years ago. While writing the novel, I couldn't resist naming her horse Grover.



My A-Z of Martha's Vineyard theme is inspired by my book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which is set on the island. Click here for all the info on the book.

45 comments:

  1. I love old b&w photos.
    Grover has brought tears to my eyes. This A-Zing has made me more emotional than I am usually - I think it's the pressure!
    Alex mentioned your blog today. I was pleased for you. Get this Personal A-Z of Martha's Vineyard published, Julie. The inhabitants and tourists will love it. A personal view is genuine and holds more depth.

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  2. You HAD to name Stella's horse Grover! :)

    Julie, tales of Grover and your family in the 1890s would make a wonderful children's story or maybe a series of middle grade books like Little House on the Prairie.

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  3. Love the name Grover.

    I had fun naming the horses in my book, too. I've been told 'Cyrus' is a favorite character. LOL

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  4. I did notice that. I like how you incorporate your pets names into your novels as well. Clancy got his moment in the sun with Polar Night. :)

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  5. @Alex, he is! And thanks again for the shout-out.

    @Fanny, thanks for the encouragement, that's so nice of you!

    @Madeline, I did! And I never thought of that but you are right, I should try it. Thanks!

    @Melissa, oh, my grandpa's name was Cyrus! And so is my nephew's - he was named for my grandpa. I know I will love that horse. :D

    @LG, he did! And Nate too, he would have a fit if I left him out. :D

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  6. Old b&W photos like yours feature often in the Sepia Saturday meme in which I take part.

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  7. Love the old photo and Grover is a great name! Your grandfather must have had many stories and hopefully they are marked down for future generations. Glad to know the horse made it into your novel

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  8. Tea Lane seems a very odd name, but so does Grover. Isn't it funny the number of old names that are no longer used to name kids?

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  9. I always wanted to sail around the world.

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  10. I LOVE it. I totally would have had to name him Grover too. I hope you included that fact in your back matter. That's precious.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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  11. What a special picture and so great that you know who your great great gandparents were and where they lived.

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  12. Tea Lane sounds so quaint, like you could stroll down it and see all of the neighbors sitting outside their picturesque homes sipping on tea and nibbling on biscuits. :-)

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  13. @Bob, oh, I will have to check that out. I love old photos.

    @Birgit, I wish more of them were marked down or recorded, my grandpa was an amazing storyteller.

    @TB, me too!

    @Lexa, yeah you can see why this one went out of fashion LOL. But I love it for a horse. :)

    @Jenny, oh, you are braver than I am then.

    @Crystal, thanks!

    @Inger, I'm so glad we have the history. We don't really know anything about the ancestors on my mom's side and I wish we did.

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  14. @Kim, I wonder if you could back then. I love the name too. :)

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  15. Of course you had to name her horse Grover!
    And I love that her maiden name is Hammett ;)

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  16. Loved this, Julie:
    'While writing the novel, I couldn't resist naming her horse Grover.' That's our literary license, isn't it?

    Writers who tell tales about the places of their ancestors help a lot in keeping local stories alive.

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  17. @SK, I definitely had to. :D Thanks!

    @DG, that license is part of the fun of writing, isn't it? :)

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  18. Your great-great grandfather worked on a whaling ship and sailed around the world as a teenager? That sounds like a fantastic premise for a future novel!

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  19. That's wonderful that you have a picture of him. I love that you used his name and his horse's in your book. :)

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  20. What a beautiful horse! Your gr-gr-grandfather sailed around the world on a whaling ship! Oh, how great it would have been if he had kept a journal.

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  21. Hi Julie - that seems to make sense - because you'd always see your Grover with great great grandfather .. and so could so easily picture him (Grover that is ..and probably your grandfather too) ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  22. @Jennifer, oh, that's a good point! I hadn't thought of that LOL.

    @km, thank you!

    @Susan, he did write a letter about it that we have, it's amazing to read.

    @Hilary, exactly. :)

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  23. What a rich family history you have. I love the name Tea Lane for an address. It seems like an address you'd read in a story about magic.

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  24. Who wouldn't love living on a street named Tea Lane? And I'm glad you kept Grover.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts about your novel.

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  25. BTW - have you thought of including these posts in a book or in a second edition of Ghosts of Aquinnah? I think that would be cool.

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  26. Grover is a magnificent name! I also like the name Tea Lane. It sounds so classy. :)

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  27. Ha! Naming the horse Grover sounds like such a cute touch.

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  28. Julie, I am sure stories about Grover will go down well with children. They will adore a horse like Grover.

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  29. I love all of the connections you make between your family's past and your novel. You're keeping their past alive with your novel :)

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  30. Such wonderful memories with old photos! I wish I had some of my family. No idea if they ever had them or where they went if they did. Just like my genealogy study on some of my family. I know my Father's name history but not his mother's maiden, or my mother's on either side because my grandparents are gone, and the language barrier amongst them all. So glad to see you treasuring them in this way!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

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  31. @Elizabeth, oh, it does! I hadn't thought of that but it would be perfect.

    @Tyrean, I would love it. :D And thanks for the suggestion!

    @Loni, agree 100%. :)

    @John, it was fun. :D

    @Rachna, I know we all did when I was a kid, it's definitely something to think about. Thanks!

    @Laura, I didn't even intend for that to happen originally so it's been a welcome addition. :)

    @Lady, that's how it is for us with my mom's side of the family, we don't know much at all. Thank you!

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  32. That's so cool you have this old picture. My aunt is a great collector of family history and we're thinking of working on a project together.

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  33. You would have been bad not to name him Grover. What a beautiful horse. Me personally? I'm afraid of horses, but I know people who raise them. Horses seem to have the affection and personalities of dogs. They are like best friends who can carry you around.

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  34. @Marcy, oh I bet that will be a great project for you.

    @Elizabeth, honestly I'm afraid of them too, I think they're beautiful but when I've tried to ride I've been scared to death. Would love to try again sometime though.

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  35. I love the old photograph and the fact that you gave your heroine and your story so much from your great-great grandfather. It's a great tribute. :)

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  36. I love that picture! And I love that you named the horse in your book Grover, too. A great tribute to a great animal :)

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  37. How nice to have an old photo. I love how personally connected you are to this story. It was a great read and must have made the story special to you.

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  38. Beautiful horse. How great to have picture of your great-great grandfather. Very exciting.

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  39. Awesome old photo! Grover is a great tribute. :)

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  40. Gosh, I'm such a sucker for names. Love Grover, and Tea Lane gives me such a placid sense. Love them both!

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  41. Hi Julie,

    Grover the horse, of course. Franklin Hammett had quite the adventures for a teenager. A lot of teenagers I know think an adventure is getting to the next level on some game on Playstation :)

    Thanks for this, Julie.

    Gary

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  42. Hi, Julie,

    How awesome you have such amazing family roots to pull from to enrich your story!

    SO COOL!

    I wish I knew my family history. I can only go back to the 1890's and those are sketchy to say the least. Thankfully I do have rich stories from the 1920's to present.

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  43. @Chrys, thanks! It was fun to do.

    @Liz, aww, thank you. :)

    @Mary, thanks so much again, I'm so glad you liked the story.

    @Lee, it is fun, I'm so glad we have it.

    @Christine, thanks!

    @SA, I do too. :)

    @Gary, you crack me up so much. The world has definitely changed, hasn't it? :D

    @Michael, I'm glad you do have some history, we are lucky to be able to go back so far on my dad's side. Thanks!

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Thank you for your comments!