Red Cross House

P1020937Walking down the drive past the Brown House and past the polo field, you come to a house in need of much repair.  Some call it the Phelps House, but Glen Farm families called it Red Cross House.  This was the home of the farm superintendent and it was another home for Nan Waters.  During World War II it was a center of Red Cross activity.  The owner of Glen Farm, Edith Taylor Nicholson, was anxious to help the war effort. She became the chairperson for Red Cross activities in Portsmouth.   She had potatoes grown in the farm fields that were specifically grown to feed our soldiers.  She even refurbished a barn for possible use in the war – more about that in a later blog.

The Red Cross meetings at the superintendent’s house were open to all who wanted to come, not just Glen Farm women.  The Taylor family provided cookies and hot chocolate and filled the living room with flowers.  The Red Cross volunteers met to roll bandages and prepare what they could for the troops. Newport Mercury articles in the early 1940’s give us a picture of all work these volunteers were able to accomplish.  They made service kits for the troops as they embarked for duty.  One year they made 64,000 surgical dressings.  They sewed surgical gowns as well.  They met on Wednesdays and Mondays and the Junior Red Cross met on Saturdays.  One year there were 129 volunteers working with the Portsmouth Red Cross

The town of Portsmouth is entertaining suggestions for restoring this house to usefulness once again.

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