Written by: Cristina Tejada
I am currently serving as the Curatorial and Education Assistant at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, New Hampshire for the year. Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park preserves the home, gardens, and studio space of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a prominent 19th century American sculptor. In this role, I will be working with the park’s collections and provide interpretation of the site through tours of the grounds and the historic home.
Prior to arriving at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, I did not know much about Augustus Saint-Gaudens or his career as a sculptor. However, I discovered an unexpected connection with the Saint-Gaudens family when I began researching more about Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his wife, Augusta Homer Saint-Gaudens.
The Saint-Gaudens lived in the home seasonally beginning in 1885. Following Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ cancer diagnosis, the family lived in the Cornish home full-time until Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ death in 1907. While reading about the family, I learned that Augusta Homer Saint-Gaudens continued to live in the Cornish home in the summers following her husband’s death, but spent winters in a home in Florida. Since I am from Florida, I was naturally curious and wanted to find out more about where she lived.
After some digging, I discovered that she lived in Coconut Grove, a neighborhood in Miami, and the road that she lived on was renamed St-Gaudens Road in her honor after her death in 1926. I have yet to confirm whether or not the house is still standing, but the road she lived on is very close to where I live. I have driven by this area many times and never even realized that this road existed. This unexpected connection really excited me and helped me feel more connected to the Saint-Gaudens family and their story. As my service at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park progresses during the year, I am looking forward to discovering even more connections with the park and its history.