Although he spent most of his life in or near Springfield, Massachusetts (latterly in Hampden, where his former home is now the Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary), the children's writer and conservationist Thornton W. Burgess (1874—1965) saw his birthplace in Sandwich, Cape Cod as his spiritual home: it is where his deep concern for wildlife was born.
The house was built in 1746, and Burgess was a direct descendant of Thomas Burgess, one of the first settlers in the town in 1637.
The museum is inside the Deacon Eldred House, and also serves as the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center. We couldn't see inside because it had just come to the end of the season.
A welcome sign at the side of the door gives an indication of a few of Burgess's many animal characters, such as Peter Rabbit, Reddy Fox, and Sammy Jay depicted here.
And unsurprisngly, representations of animals are present outside, such as this rabbit in the sage.
Or this metal squirrel.
Or this plaque of rabbits on the roof. The quotation 'The finest gift is a portion of thyself' is from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
'A TUSSIE-MUSSIE GARDEN
OUR HERB GARDEN IS A 50' CIRCULAR GARDEN
DESIGNED TO REPRESENT A TUSSIE-MUSSIE,
A SMALL NOSEGAY OF FLOWERS AND HERBS
TIED WITH A RIBBON.
THE GARDEN IS DIVIDED INTO AREAS OF
FRAGRANT, CULINARY, MEDICINAL AND DYEING HERBS.
THE OPPOSITE END OF OUR GARDEN OFFERS A
"DIFFERENT VIEW" AND TWO SPECIAL GARDENS.
CREATED FOR THE THORNTON BURGESS MUSEUM
BY WILLIAM & BARBARA SOLLER'
I couldn't work it out, but then I didn't expect to.
Ditto the sundial.
There is also a 'small touch and smell' herb garden.
At the back of the house is Shawme pond, and a few yards further down is Dexter's Grist Mill, which was first operated in about 1654. It was restored in 1961.