Mabel Raguse sitting beneath From a May Hill
Back in the 1930s and 1940s Robert Strong Woodward was at the height of his creative genius. At that time there was a grammar schoolteacher living and teaching in the town of Buckland, who fell in love with Woodward paintings and chalk drawings. She purchased two oil paintings and three chalk drawings which filled her little apartment on the Buckland side of Shelburne Falls on State Street along the Deerfield River. When she became elderly and was about to enter a nursing home she gave one of the oil paintings (The Village Church in Winter
) to the Shelburne Falls Savings Bank, sold one of them (Spring Window
) to this writer for the exact price for which she had paid, and gave the three chalk drawings to a beloved couple who rented an apartment from her.
She has now long gone but her "Woodwards" have continued to be much loved and appreciated. The painting given to the bank is now privately owned, but exhibited alternately at the historical societies of both Buckland and Shelburne for several months each summer.
hung for many years in her family doctor's office in Buckland and, now retired, that doctor's painting now hangs on the wall of his son's kitchen.
The three chalk drawings (The Unfinished Silo
, From A May Hill
, and In the Sugar House, Boiling
) were willed to the son of the original couple and he and his wife have now given one to each of their sons.
The "Woodwards" live on.
In The Sugar House, Boiling
The Village Church in Winter
The Unfinished Silo
From a May Hill
Letter to us from Mabel Raguse
67 State Street
Tuesday, Oct. 4..
I wonder if you would like to purchase my Robert Strong Woodward window painting. MY health and inflation has made me feel that I had best part with this which means so much to me but I feel that you, two, would cherish it.
A Mr. Williams has been wishing I would part with it ever since I hung it. Florence Haeberle has brought me his wishes but somehow I have always thought of you as the one..
I only ask what I paid for it $600 - If you telephone do so please around nine thirty. I'll be right near my telephone.
Mabel R. Raguse
My house is rather cluttered now.