The Library

The small room off the entrance hall to the northwest was, according to tradition, Shirley's library, and it was used for this purpose by the Eustises. The fireplace surround dates to Shirley's time and is one of the only two in the house that were not replaced in the Federal period. The painted floor duplicates remnants of the original, which was discovered under many coats of paint when the house was restored in the 1980's. In deliberate contrast to the French furnishings in the rest of the house, and in commemoration of William Sumner Appleton (1874 - 1947) and the other early preservationists who saved the Shirley-Eustis House, the furnishings in this room were selected to represent the colonial revival style, which formerly dominated period-room installations. The Windsor chair was made in New England, 1775 - 1785. The mahogany and pine slant-front desk is from Massachusetts, 1770-1790. On it are a mahogany shelf clock made by Aaron Willard (1757-1844) in Boston, c. 1800; a pair of bell metal candlesticks, English, 1770-1800; an English brass taper stick, c. 1800; and a silver inkstand, also English, 1780-1800. The Great Hall faces south, overlooking what in Shirley's time were formal gardens and terraces dropping to salt marshes and the sea. The Palladian treatment of the doorway includes carved Corinthian pilasters, possibly the pilasters billed to Shirley in 1751 by Benjamin Eustis (1720-1804), no relation to the William Eustises. The staircase is a Federal addition. The sixteen-light chandelier, said originally to have hung in Saint John's College, Oxford, England, was donated to the Shirley-Eustis House Association by Mr. and Mrs. Pierson Richardson. The mahogany and mahogany-veneered card table, probably Boston, 1820-1840, is the gift of Mrs. Richard Bancroft.