Janet Nichols Derouin has written a book to convey the story of our great-grandparents’ early lives, courtship, and eventual family life at Pine Knoll – the place they called home. Our grandfather and his siblings were raised there, and Pine Knoll remained in the family until 1975. A fortuitous discovery one day in the Pine Knoll attic motivated Janet to begin researching this story. She then spent years reading old letters and diaries, researching in libraries and archives, and compiling a chronological account. She incorporated transcripts of original letters and quotes from diaries, letting us read the exact words written by these ancestors and their contemporaries. Janet wrote descriptions to provide context, and at times added her own commentary.

The result? A book-draft of over 900 pages, covering the story from the 1850’s to 1883, in three parts:

  • Part I: ANDREW AND LIZZIE’S COURTSHIP YEARS, 1856-1861   (You can view or download a PDF of Part I here. 198 pages.)
  • Part II: PINE KNOLL COTTAGE, 1861-1880
     [Not yet edited, but some short excerpts are now accessible: The Farmer Takes A Wife (1 page, Remembering Danvers blog); 1856 Through 1876 (5 pages, pdf, reviewing changes in the 20 years since Andrew met Lizzie);   The Dead Are Like Stars by Day (11 pages, pdf, on death of Andrew’s mother, 1880).]
    [Janet intended Part III to cover 1880-1900, but a retirement move to a smaller home interrupted her project.  Her writing stops at the end of 1883. She had planned a Part IV, 1900-1929.  Relevant resources for these unwritten parts were collected and have been preserved, in case someone else wishes to continue the project.]  

Illustrations, charts, and  plates are NOT included in the text, but Janet prepared many of them, and hoped that the book would eventually be well-illustrated. In late 2018 I (Janet’s cousin Sandy) began posting selected images into online galleries on SmugMug so they can be consulted by readers:

Note: each link is set to open in a separate window, so it should be possible to have the illustrations handy while still viewing this website and/or reading Janet’s text.

Parts II and III of the text are not yet posted. Please be patient. The photo below reveals the physical size of Parts II and III, with Sandy’s notes sticking out:

Parts II and III, May 2018

Part III is incomplete, but there are boxes of letters, diaries, and files that Janet intended to work into future pages covering 1884-1929. When she and her husband retired to Maine in 2000, moving to a smaller home, she packed this project away. Years passed. In 2012, when I called Janet to inquire about an obscure bit of family history, she readily answered my question, but then offered the entire project to me! She had just turned 83 and was happily creating paintings (which were selling well), so she did not expect to resume the Pine Knoll book project. In May 2013 I accepted her boxes and files for safe keeping, including the latest printout of her book-draft.  In 2017/2018 I carefully read the entire draft, taking notes and making marks for possible edits. By July 2018, Part 1 was edited, and I began to design this website, to share it.  — Sandy Nichols Ward

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