About the Author

Sarah at her desk x 2

Sarah Lowry Ames and her husband, John S. Ames III, are retired and live in Boston. They used to own and operate Ten High Street, a seasonal fine art and antique gallery in mid-coast Maine.  Before that, Sarah held various curatorial and administrative positions at the Farnsworth Art Museum, the University of Maine Museum of Art and Maine Coast Artists, now Center for Maine Contemporary Art.  Her avocation, however, has long been the study of America in the 19th century.

When a cousin of her husband brought over a box of 19th century family diaries, she offered to transcribe them.  That was around 2001, and since then Sarah has read, studied, prodded and in all other respects delved into the lives of the Ames family during the 19th century.  The Ameses were both ordinary and extraordinary, representative and remarkable.  The diary of Evelina Orville Gilmore Ames helps tell their story.

18 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Hi Sarah, I transcribed much of Evelina’s diary from the Stonehill microfilm several years ago and added some cross-references to old Oliver’s diary, but never did anything with it. I am looking forward to comparing notes here and finally getting to talk about them a little. Dwight

  2. As a genealogist and lover of history, I’m looking forward to reading more. I found your site while researching another question that you might be able to answer using your knowledge of the family diaries and lore. Which royal child marriage, if a real one, inspired John Ames Mitchell to paint “A Political Wedding” in 1880. My sister-in-law has a print of the etching he subsequently made of this work and we were curious about the subject. The attire of the man on the left would indicate that it’s an English royal wedding. The smug look on the face of the lady behind the young couple put me in mind of Isabella of France and the arrangements she made to marry her son, the future Edward III, to Philippa of Hainault, and manage a coup to depose her husband. This theory, however, pales, when the bride and groom look like they’re both younger than 12.

  3. Kimberly, hello. I don’t have the answer to your question about John Ames Mitchell. What information there is in the family reocrds refers to Mitchell’s early career in architecture – he designed the family-funded Unitarian Church in 1875 – and/or to his financial status over the years. He occasionally asked certainly family members for financial support as he tried to keep his young magazine going. We have no information about his art or his writing. Wish we did!

  4. Kimberly – do you have a photograph of the painting you reference “A Political Wedding”? Your description sounds like something my mother owns. Thanks! – Adrienne

  5. Hello,We operate the Herald Square Hotel in NYC former Life Building as well as John Ames Mitchell home in Ridgefield CT,Would love any information that you may have on him.

    • Hello, Abraham. I’d be happy to share what little information I have about JAM’s childhood and his place in the Ames family. Will be in touch. Have you ever visited North Easton, Mass?
      Sarah Ames, tibwin@gmail.com.

  6. Hello Sarah! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog. We are restoring the Ames-Webster Mansion in Boston, and was wondering if you might have any insight through writings or otherwise to that time during which Frederick Lothrop Ames, son of Sarah and Oliver Ames, Jr. added to the mansion. He was such a prolific patron of the arts. Thank you!

    • Helene – Thanks for the inquiry about Fred Ames. Don’t have anything on hand at the moment, as we’re traveling. But I may be able to find something later in the spring. Good luck.

  7. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for this interesting insight into our family history!
    I enjoyed the read very much.

    Keith Gilmore
    -eighth child of Robert Gilmore (son of Wallace Gilmore (son of Edwin Jr.) and Anna Ames Gilmore).

  8. In an 1877 letter written by Jonathan B. Sargent from the New Hampshire Insane Asylum to somebody at the Taunton Lunatic Hospital where he had formerly resided, Jonathan names Asa Mitchell (an inmate at Taunton) as one of his friends. (Letter is owned by the New Hampshire Historical Society.) – Also interesting is the fact that Oliver Ames was one of the trustees of the Taunton Lunatic Hospital

    Louis Lehmann louislehmann24@gmail.com

    • Thank you for this information. We knew that Oliver Ames (Jr.) was a trustee (and later, his nephew Oakes Angier Ames was also possibly a trustee) and that the family made payments to the hospital – presumably because Asa Mitchell was there – but we have no information about the nature of AM’s incarceration or diagnosis. Family lore has assumed that AM became senile. At some point I’d be interested to learn about Jonathan B. Sargent. Again, thank you! Sarah Lowry Ames, Boston

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