Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finding Family History in Malden, MA

1. Mom and us-kab Standing on the staircase built by my great-grandfather 8-6-12

Ever since I moved back east two years ago I have wanted to go and see the staircases built by my great-grandfather, Robert Paine Palmer in Malden, Massachusetts. My mother had shown me photos of the staircases but she herself had never seen them in person. So, with my impending move back to Tucson looming, yesterday seemed like the perfect time! My sister brought my mother up from Connecticut and we all bundled into the car and were on our way.

2. malden church-kab Mom and Mary Grace standing in front of the First Baptist Church of Malden

Robert Paine Palmer is said to have been a master staircase builder back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Mom has always heard from her mother that he built the curved staircases in the Malden Public Library and the First Baptist Church of Malden. Thought the church is kept locked we were able to contact the church clerk and she let us inside. When the pastor heard who we were and why we were there she joined us. They were so kind to let us see the staircase and climb it and take lots of pictures! I am in a hurry today since Mom and I are off to Maine to visit more family but I hope you will enjoy these photos of the staircase in the first Baptist Church. There is more to this story and there will be more photos and stories to follow.

3. stairway-kab Mom gets her first view of the staircase.


4. Mom-kab Mom is overcome with awe standing on the staircase her grandfather built.


5. us-kab Three descendents of Robert Paine Palmer on his staircase.


6. post-kab 

7. railing-kab 

8. mom talking-kab Mom telling details to the pastor and church clerk.


9. railing-kab 

10. curve-kab 

11. curve-kab 

12. view from above-kab 

13. upper railing-kab 

14. upper landing-kab 

15. decending-kab 

16. rose window-kab Stained glass window in Sanctuary


17. cuppola-kab Cupola above Sanctuary


18. skylight-kab


  1. Wow, what beautiful stairs! A great family legacy for sure.

  2. Replies
    1. Mama Zen, yes it is and we were so pleased to get to see it! The pastor and her clerk were so good to us! it was a real treat!

  3. Your Mum looks well Kathie.

    1. Roy, she is doing very well and she was thrilled to get to see these staircases!

  4. Love the stairs! Looks vintage.

    family tree

  5. My goodness this is wonderfully beautiful work and obviously time-enduring. I love the photos of you all on the staircase. The wood looks like it has been well taken care of. And, your Mom looks like she's feeling pretty good. The light in there was wonderful.

    1. Quiet paths, everything you said is true, and Mom is doing very well, thank you.

  6. Beautiful. But surely another lost art/craft from long ago....

    1. troutbiurder, so true!!!! I wonder if there is such a thing as a mater Stairbuilder nowadays!

  7. Hi Kathie

    What beautiful craftsmanship and it is lovely you were able to share it with your family.

    You are a good kid and it is great to see your mom looking so well.


  8. That is a beautiful staircase and the craftsman ship is wicked. You took great photos to show the beauty of it. The stained glass window is beautiful. http://fiverr.com/tn5rr2012


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.