The Polish Christmas event at The Bellamy-Ferriday House in Bethlehem, CT. yesterday was so much fun. The incredible staff decorated Caroline Ferriday’s house so beautifully and to my surprise, this year’s theme was roses in honor of Lost Roses, the Lilac Girls prequel arriving this spring. Fresh roses were everywhere in the house, very welcome in a Connecticut winter, and I got to meet so many unbelievably wonderful Lilac Girls fans (even Caroline’s former hairdresser.) I loved meeting everyone, including a teacher with her brilliant students who showed me her copy of Lilac Girls, complete with a million Post-its and the Ott family, all the way from New Jersey, who created a multi-generational family book group to read Lilac Girls. I was delighted to find the house staff has opened a new exhibit on the tour, a rose room, where Caroline’s collection of rose books is displayed with great care. But the biggest surprise of the day came when tour guide Gary Cicognani told me he and site administrator Peg Shimer had opened a hidden drawer in one the desks at the house and discovered a photo of Caroline and her mother Eliza.
Isn’t it exquisite? Finding any new photos of Caroline or her family is so exciting for everyone at Connecticut Landmarks, but this one is especially moving, having just finished a book, which focuses on Caroline and her Mother’s strong bond and to top it all, Eliza is wearing roses in the photo. The house will close soon, the house and garden spending the winter months under a blanket of snow, but will open in the spring to welcome Lost Roses with a Random House launch event. Can’t wait for April!