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Moseley, Frederick Strong III. Records of the Moseley Garden Collection (1906-1995): A Finding Aid.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University


The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: VI MGC
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Moseley, Frederick Strong III.
Title: Records of the Moseley Garden Collection,
Date(s): (1906-1995)
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet (1 boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The photographs and diary were donated to the Archives by Frederick Strong Moseley III of Hamilton, MA, a member of the Arnold Arboretum Advisory Board. The HOLLIS # for this collection is 009138340 and the file name is ajp00022.

Processed by:

Lisa PearsonFebruary 2001

Conditions Governing Access:

Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Biographical / Historical

The former Fredrick Moseley Estate was located in Newburyport, Masschusetts. Maudesleigh, as it was originally called (later it was known as Maudslay), was created on top of an existing agricultural landscape. A few of the approximately 30 structures on the property remain from the early nineteenth century. The principal architect of most of the buildings was William G. Rantoul of the Boston firm Jacques and Rantoul. He designed the 72-room main house (demolished in 1955) as well as houses for the coachman, forester, and head gardener, and several outbuildings including those in the garden complex. Most of the architectural work was done between 1895-1910. The landscape architect was Martha Brookes Hutcheson, one of the first three woman members of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She was responsible for designing the grounds around the main house, entry drive, and formal gardens (work done 1904-1906). Lord and Burnham designed some of the greenhouses, with William Rantoul responsible for at least one greenhouse and possibly the head house. A second large house was built between 1939 and 1941 for Helen Moseley, the unmarried daughter of Frederick and Helen Moseley. This house was destroyed by fire in 1978. At its peak, the property had a staff of about 40 and an extensive horticultural operation. There were three greenhouses, a head house, several types of cold frames, espaliered fruit trees, a large winter plant house, a two-acre formal vegetable and cutting garden, a 500 foot perennial border, an Italian garden, rose garden, and collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, and specimen trees in addition to the laurels naturally occurring on the estate. After the main house was demolished and Helen Moseley's house burned, the landscape received considerably less intensive management, although the family retained a crew to do mowing. The property was acquired in 1985 by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and became Maudslay State Park.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the materials consist of a series of 45 photographs of the Moseley Gardens dating from the first decade of the twentieth century. The photographs were originally mounted on five acidic posters. They include documentary photos of the construction of the gardens and "before and after" shots of many of the landmarks. In addition there are a small number of photographic negatives from the same period that might be family pictures of the Moseley family. There is a five-year diary from 1906-1910, which appears to have been kept by Helen Moseley. In it were found the contents of folders six and eight. There are eight topographic maps of the estate produced by the Massachusetts DEM, a Maudslay State Park brochure, and a letter giving some of the history of the Moseley estate.
This collection is organized into the following series: Series I: Photographs and negatives; Series II: Moseley papers, general; and Series III: Post 1985 documents

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