Wednesday, July 17, 2013

George Washington Slept Here

In this 1941 photograph taken by George Vaillancourt on North Main Street in Providence , there's a view of a long-gone building, the Mansion House Inn (it's the two frontages on the left, the one with a balcony and the other with a fire escape). Established by  in the 1780's as the Golden Ball, it hosted not only George Wasghington but also General Lafayette, John Adams, James Monroe, and even Edgar Allan Poe. In the 1790's it was even home to a Celebrated Learned Pig, who spelled out answers to audience questions with letters on cards. Alas, the sum of all its famous denizens could not save the Golden Ball from the wreckers' ball; it was demolished in 1942, not long after this photo was taken; the building at the far right still stands, and houses Geoff's sandwich shop. The photo is part of HABS, the Historic American Buildings Survey collection at the Library of Congress, all of which is in the public domain.

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