"NESTLENOOK", Jackson, Dec. 26, (1881)
Nestlenook is the valley-farm of Mr. F. H. MASON, the genial
proprietor of the Mason's Hotel, North Conway. The Glen Ellis
River forms a half circle around it, and it is entirely secluded from
the "rude world" by hill and forest. In the summer a foot-bridge
crosses the river, but in winter the only connection with the highway
is a woodland road a quarter of a mile in length. Mount
Washington, Carter Notch and Moat Mountain are very beautiful from the
immediate vicinity of its tasteful cottage. Here, on Christmas,
Mr. Mason gave a select dinner party, issuing invitations to a few
friends and the members of his own family. A glorious morning
ushered in a lovely day, and the warm sunshine rippling over the snowless fields gave them a spring-time warmth and brightness, quite
unusual at this season of the year. The majority of the party
arrived at Nestlenook about eleven a.m. Mr. M. C. Mason and his
brilliant little wife were among the later arrivals.
The cottage was becomingly attired and garlanded; ferns and
evergreen fresh from the heart of the neighboring woodlands, decorated
every conceivable nook. Plates of exquisite moss, prisoned
bright berries and stems of trailing vines; pitcher plants and
skeleton bouquets grew in the antique vases and bright leaves nodded
welcome to the guests. The dinner was a grand
success. Mr. Mason's hotel cook had been summoned to Nestlenook
to prepare and superintend the repast and her culinary triumph
elicited universal commendation. The table was most tastefully
and temptingly arranged and much to the surprise of the guests each
one found by his or her plate a bill of fare to be retained as a
souvenir of the occasion. These had been designed and prepared
expressly for this dinner. They were of birch bark, ornamented
with immortelles and sprigs of pressed moss; and contained an
original Christmas verse appropriate to the recipient. They were
received with marked admiration. The bill of fare was as follows:
Merry Christmas, 1881 Mr. W. Jacobs,
May Christmas be to you a flower,
Pansy-veined and shaded,
Worn within thy heart of hearts,
When its bloom has faded.
Potatoes, Squash, Boiled Onions, Celery.
JELLIES AND SAUCES.
Apple Jelly, Apple Sauce, Sherry Wine Jelly, Lemon Jelly.
English Plum Pudding,wine sauce.
Mince,Apple,Custard,Cream and Lemon pies.
Italian cream, White Grapes, Oranges, Apples.
Mr. Mason and his loveable wife thoroughly understand the art of
entertaining guests, having regard not only for their epicurean, but
their social tastes. I am satisfied that no pleasanter
circumstances for any party in the land than those which surrounded
the group of friends who met at Nestlenook. The affair
passed off with decided éclat, and were it not for the sadness of an
after occurrence would stand forever in memory as a perfect day.
How closely allied are joy and sorrow! All the guests except Mr.
F. FELLOWS had departed, when a favorite horse owned by Mr. Mason, for
many years, escaped from the field, fell on the ice, and conveyed to
the barn, and died within two hours. The family grieve
exceedingly for the faithful dumb creature who has served them so
long. Her death was a sorrowful after-act to the joyful holiday
drama so recently enacted.