A free-standing structure in the garden that provided shelter from the sun or rain was often called a summerhouse. It was found in both public and private gardens throughout colonial and early republican America. As early as 1696 Governor Francis Nicholson, who laid out the colonial capitals of Annapolis, Maryland, and Williamsburg, Virginia, suggested a summerhouse for the public grounds (view citation). Examples were plentiful in 18th-century publications and pattern books, and they exhibited a broad stylistic range: classical [See Fig. 16], Gothic [Fig. 1], and Chinese [See Fig. 17], to name a few. Historic evidence corroborates that summerhouses were constructed in a rich variety of styles, such as the Gothic example at Sedgeley, near Philadelphia [Fig. 2]; the classical temple style at Charles Willson Peale's Belfield in Germantown, Pennsylvania [See Fig. 10]; and the Georgian summerhouse at the garden of William Paca in Annapolis, Maryland [See Fig. 4].
From New England to South Carolina, “summerhouse” seems to have been used as an umbrella term, which subsumed more specific terms for a variety of garden structures such as “hermitage,” “kiosk,” “temple,” “pavilion,” and “Chinese seat.” The materials and scale ranged widely. At the high end was the summerhouse at the Elias Hasket Derby Farm in Peabody, Massachusetts. This extant building, designed by Samuel McIntire (1795), is a well-documented example of federal-period architecture [See Fig. 7]. Manasseh Cutler in 1778 described a richly decorated summerhouse that had three rooms and contained a large library, works of art, and a piano (view citation). The summerhouse described by Juliana Margaret Connor (1827), which was constructed of eight cedar trees chained together, presented a very different type of structure (view citation). In the Horticulturist, A. J. Downing referred to this variety of types when he explained that structures ranged from light wooden frames covered in painted canvas to highly finished, fanciful structures, such as those illustrated in his journal (view citation). He echoed many earlier writers who concluded that summerhouses served three purposes: first, they provided shelter and resting places; second, they were sited to command the finest points of view [Fig. 3]; and third, they provided the termination of a view or prospect.
Some summerhouses had additional utilitarian functions, such as those which surmounted cellars and vaults. An icehouse under the summerhouse was reported in 1791 at the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House (view citation). Both Pleasant Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and Charles Willson Peale's Belfield had summerhouses that incorporated hothouses. The summerhouse at John Burgwin's Hermitage in Wilmington, North Carolina, served as a tool shed. At Monte Video, according to Benjamin Silliman (1824), the summerhouse was used to shelter a boat (view citation). These and other examples capitalized on a favorable spot and ornamented an otherwise strictly utilitarian feature.
- Nicholson, Gov. Francis, 1696, describing Annapolis, MD (quoted in Sarudy 1989: 120) back up to history
- “requested to have a Certain parcell of land in the publick pasture according to the Demencons thereof mentioned and layd down in the Platt of the Town for planting or makeing a Garden, Vineard, or Somerhouse or other use”
- Thomas, Gabriel, 1698, describing the residence of Edward Shippen, Philadelphia, PA (quoted in Watson 1857: 1:368–69)
- “Edward Shippen, who lives near the capital city, has an orchard and gardens adjoining to his great house that equals any I have ever seen, being a very famous and pleasant summer house, erected in the middle of his garden, and abounding with tulips, carnations, roses, lilies, &c., with many wild plants of the country besides.”
- Beverley, Robert, 1705, describing Westover, seat of William Byrd II, on the James River, VA (quoted in Beverley 1947: 298–99)
- “Have you pleasure in a Garden? . . . Colonel Byrd, in his Garden [at Westover], which is the finest in that Country, has a Summer-House set round with the Indian Honey-Suckle.”
- Anonymous, June 9, 1733, describing a plantation for rent in Charleston, SC (South Carolina Gazette)
- “a very good Dwelling-House, with two Summer Houses, two Cellars under them, a Kitchen, Store-House, large Garden, with other Conveniencies, commonly called the Summer-House.”
- Anonymous, February 6, 1746, describing a bath-garden in Boston, MA (Boston Weekly News Letter)
- “TO BE LETT, (exclusive of the Bath-House)
- “The Bath-Garden, at the Westerly Part of the Town, which has for many Years been improv'd as a publick Garden, and contains a Variety of the best Fruit-Trees, a great Quantity of Currant and Gooseberry Bushes, some of the best Grape Vines, a handsome Summer-House, Glasses for Hot-Beds, &c. Enquire of John Welch, and know further. N.B.
- “The Cold Bath is in good Order for Use and has been found beneficial to several that have used it, even this Winter-Season: Price 40 Shillings a Year or 5 Shillings each single Time, old Tenor.”
- Anonymous, March 19, 1753, describing in the South Carolina Gazette a property for rent in Charleston, SC (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
- “TO BE LET. . . . To the said house there is a good kitchen, stable and chair-house, a large garden and handsome summer house & etc.”
- Sansom, Hannah Callender, June 30, 1762, diary entry describing Belmont, estate of William Peters, near Philadelphia, PA (quoted in Callender 2010: 183)
- “we left the garden for a wood cut into Visto's, in the midst a chinese temple, for a summer house. . . .”
- Drowne, Samuel, June 7, 1767, describing Malbone Hall, country seat of Godfrey Malbone, Newport, RI (Rhode Island Landscape Survey)
- “There was a fine Garden and a summer house there. . . . In his garden was a fish pond and a duck pond. The water was drawn out of the fish pond when his house burned.”
- Drowne, Samuel, June 23, 1767, describing Redwood Farm, seat of Abraham Redwood Jr., Newport, RI (Brown University, John Hay Library, Drowne Family Papers, typescript)
- “We saw Mr. Redwoods garden one of the finest gardens I ever Saw in my Life in it grows all Sorts of West India fruit. Viz. Oranges Lemmons Limes Pineapples Tamirinds and other Sorts it has also West-India flowers very pritty ones and a Fine Summer House it was Told my Father by a Credible person that the garden was worth 40.000 pounds and that the man that Takes Care of the garden Has above 100 Dolars per annum it Has Hot Houses were [sic] things that are Tender are put in the Winter and Hot Beds for the West India fruit & I Saw one or Two of these gardens.”
- Anonymous, January 28, 1771, describing Vauxhall Garden, New York, NY (New York Gazette)
- “To be sold at private Sale, the commodious house and large gardens, in the out ward of this city, known by the name of VAUXHALL; the situation extremely pleasant, having a very extensive view both up and down the North River. . . . there are 36 lots and a half of ground laid out to great advantage in a pleasure, and kitchen garden, well stock'd with fruit and other trees, vegetables, &c. and several summer houses which occasionally may be removed; the whole in extreme good order and repair, well fenced in, very fit for a large family, or to entertain the gentry, &c. as a public garden, &c. The premises are on lease from Trinity Church, sixty one years of which are yet to come.”
- Peale, Charles Willson, February 15, 1772, describing a portrait of William Paca, including his garden in Annapolis, MD (Miller et al., 1983: 1:113)
- “I have spent some time about Mr. Paca's whole lenght [sic] . . . if you remember the action he is resting on a pedestal on which I have introduced the Bust of Tully but believe [I] will be obliged to put some other in its [ ] place in the distance is a View of his Summer house.” [Fig. 4]
- Bucktrout, Benjamin, September 1, 1774, advertisement in the Virginia Gazette (quoted in Martin 1991: 206, fn. 24)
- “[will build] all sorts of Chinese and Gothick PALING for gardens and summer houses.”
- Cutler, Manasseh, August 16, 1778, describing a garden in Rhode Island (1987: 1:68–69) back up to history
- “At the lower end of the aisle is a large summerhouse, a long square containing three rooms—the middle paved with marble and hung with landscapes and other pictures. On the right is a very large private library adorned with very curious carvings. The collection of French and English authors, maps, etc., is valuable. The room is furnished with a table, chairs, etc. . . . The room on the left in the summer-house, beautifully prepared and designed for music, contains a spinnet.”
- Hunnewell, Mr., 1790–91, describing the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, Cambridge, MA (quoted in Hammond 1982: 160) back up to history
- “the Vault under the Summerhouse is equal to any spot for the Construction of an icehouse & the distance (from the mansion house) is no obstacle in the least—as on occasion you may keep ice in the Cellar three days.” [Fig. 5]
- Constantia [Judith Sargent Murray], June 24, 1790, “Description of Gray’s Gardens, Pennsylvania” (Massachusetts Magazine 3: 414–15)
- “We ascend the [ ], five easy steps in the first, and ten in the second, produces us in the area exactly before the door, and we then command a full view of a romantick summer house, in the front of which is a whole length transparent picture of Columbia's illustrious Chief—Fame, is crowning him with the laurel—the picture is as large as the life, and the likeness, it is said, is happily preserved. Underneath this summer house, is an ice house, convenient and well planned, and upon the right of this building, is an oblong section of the garden, prettily enclosed, which is chiefly devoted to exotics. . . .
- “At every turn shaded seats are artfully contrived, and the ground abounds with arbours, alcoves, and summer houses, which are handsomely adorned with odoriferous flowers. Among the little federal temple claims the principal regard. It is the very edifice, that upon the celebration of the ratification of the constitution, was carried in triumphant procession through the streets of this metropolis; and, upon a gentle acclivity, upon the summit of a green mound infixed, it hath now obtained a basis. It is a Rotunda, its cupola is supported by thirteen pillars handsomely finished; their base, is to receive the cypher of the several slates, which they represent, with a star upon every capital, and its top is crowned with the figure of Plenty grasping the cornucopia and other insignia. The ascent to this Temple is easy, and we gain it by the semicircular steps neatly turned, and the view therefrom is truly interesting.”
- Bentley, William, June 12, 1791, describing Pleasant Hill, seat of Joseph Barrell, Charlestown, MA (1962: 1:264)
- “Was politely received at dinner by Mr Barrell, & family, who shewed me his large & elegant arrangements for amusement, & philosophic experiments. . . .His Garden is beyond any example I have seen. . . . The Chinese manner is mixed with the European in the Summer house which fronts the House, below the Flower Garden. Below is the Hot House. In the apartment above are his flowers admitted more freely to the air, & above a Summer House with every convenience. . . . No expense is spared to render the whole amusing, instructive, & friendly.” [Fig. 6]
- McIntire, Samuel, June 8, 1795, describing a statement of account with Elias Hasket Derby (quoted in Kimball 1940: 74)
"1793 Dec 4th to Sundrie Drawings for
Summer Houses @ 24/
£1: 4: 1794 Apl 25 to Carving 4 Vases for the Summer House
at 18/s each
3: 18: July to Building the Summer
House at the Farm @
to Extra work on the Same,
Viz., finishing four Closets
100:00 4: 0:0" [Fig. 7]
- Brown, Charles Brockden, 1798, describing the fictional estate of Wieland, near Philadelphia, PA (1798: 9)
- “At the distance of three hundred yards from his house, on the top of a rock whose sides were steep, rugged, and encumbered with dwarf cedars and stony asperities, he built what to a common eye would have seemed a summer-house. . . . It was no more than a circular area, twelve feet in diameter, whose flooring was the rock, cleared of moss and shrubs, and exactly levelled, edged by twelve Tuscan columns, and covered by an undulating dome. My father furnished the dimensions and outlines, but allowed the artist whom he employed to complete the structure on his own plan. It was without seat, table, or ornament of any kind.”
- Anonymous, July 6, 1799, describing in The Spectator Vauxhall Garden, New York, NY (quoted in Eberlein and Hubbard 1944: 171)
- “His beautiful garden was opened at 6 o'clock in the morning, and the colours were hoisted under a discharge of 16 guns. The 16 summer houses being the names of the Sixteen United States, each were decorated with the Emblematical Colours belonging to each State, and ornamented with Flowers and Garlands. At 5 o'clock in the evening, the sixteen colours of each Summer-house were carried, at the sound of the music, to the Grand Temple of Independence, which is 20 feet diameter, and 20 feet high . . . in the middle of which was presented, the Bust of the great Washington as large as life, and near him a Grand Gold Column, representing the Constitution, and below the said Column the Figure of Fame, 6 feet high, presenting to him with one hand a Crown of Laurel, and with the other holding a Trumpet, announcing to the public that she crowns Real Merit. Round the Pedestal were seen Military Trophies. The sixteen colours above-mentioned were placed round the Pedestal, at the sound of Martial Music—and at each colour being placed round the Bust it was announced by the firing of cannon.“
- Ogden, John Cosens, 1800, describing the garden of the recitation room and inspector's study in Nazareth, PA (1800: 46)
- “The strait and circular walks, the windings up the hill, the falling gardens ascended by steps, the banks, summer-houses, seats, trees, herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers are seen in great variety.
- “Most of the American forest trees and many exotic plants are here. It is an elegent garden in miniature.”
- Clitherall, Eliza Caroline Burgwin (Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin), active 1801, describing the Hermitage, seat of John Burgwin, Wilmington, NC (quoted in Flowers 1983: 125–26)
- “The Gardens were large, and laid out in the English style—a Creek wound thro' the largest, upon its banks grew native shrubbery; in this Garden were several Alcoves, Summer Houses, a hothouse—an Octagon summer house high and a Gardener's tool house beneath—a fishpond, communicating with the Creek, both producing abundance of fish—The Second Garden was ornamental, and in front—The 'Cook's Garden,' was on the opposite side to the large. . . . These [gardens] were extensive and beautifully laid out. There was [sic] alcoves and summer houses at the termination of each walk, seats under trees in the more shady recesses of the Big Garden, as it was called, in distinction from the flower garden in front of the house.”
- Southgate, Eliza, July 6, 1802, describing Elias Hasket Derby Farm, Peabody, MA (quoted in Kimball 1940: 75–76)
- “There are 3 divisions in the gardens, and you pass from the lower one to the upper thro' several arches rising one above the other. From the lower gate you have a fine perspective view of the whole range, rising gradually until the sight is terminated by a hermitage. The summer house in the center has an arch thro' it, with 3 doors on each side which open into little apartments and one of them opens to a staircase by which you ascend into a square room, the whole size of the building; it has a fine airy appearance and commands a view of the whole garden; two large chestnut trees on each side almost shade it from my view when seen from the sides.” [Fig. 8]
- Peale, Charles Willson, June 12, 1804, describing the Carroll Garden, Annapolis, MD (Miller et al., 1988: 2:704)
- “at each end of the wall is an octagon Building projecting beyond it, one is a Summer House & probably the other is a Temple, it is locked up, & at first sight they might be thought to be intended for such purposes but on finding that one has no holes, People are naturally led to believe that the internal structure is similar, since the outsides are perfectly so.”
- Cuming, Fortesque, 1810, describing a home in Pittsburgh, PA (1810: 227)
- “Still continuing to turn to the right, the next prominent object is the house of Mr. James Ross, an emanent [sic] lawyer, which he purchased from a Mons. Marc, a Frenchman, who had taken great pains to cultivate a good garden, which Mr. Ross does not neglect, and in which, on the top of an ancient Indian tumulus or barrow, is a handsome octangular summer house of lattice work, painted white, which forms a conspicuous and pleasing object.”
- Gerry, Elbridge, Jr., July 1813, describing Mount Vernon, plantation of George Washington, Fairfax County, VA (1927: 174)
- “Back of the mansion is a summer house, which commands an elegant view of the Potomac.” [Fig. 9]
- Peale, Charles Willson, August 2, 1813, in a letter to his daughter, Angelica Peale Robinson, describing Belfield, estate of Charles Willson Peale, Germantown, PA (Miller et al., 1991: 3:202)
- “We are now beginning to ornament about the House Our Garden is much admired, Franklin is shewing his taste in neat workmanship. He has built an Elligant Summer House on that commanding spot which you may remember being pointed out to you. It is a hexicon base with 6 well turned Pillars supporting a circular Top & dome on which is placed a bust of Genl. Washington, it would have been more appopriate [sic] to have had 13 pillars, but I did not want so large a building, and it was work enough for Franklin to turn those 6 pillars which he was able to execute will [with] the layth in the mill.” [Fig. 10]
- Peale, Charles Willson, November 22, 1815, in a letter to his daughter, Angelica Peale Robinson, describing Belfield, estate of Charles Willson Peale, Germantown, PA (quoted in Rudnytzky 1986: 43)
- “The objects in sight, are the road ascending to the Dwelling, Stone wall & Thorn hedge on it inclosing the Garden, The Garden Gate at the Fountain, Green House, Summer house a doom supported by 6 Pillars, and bust of Washington crowning it—beyond that an Obelisk; the Hay barracks; Barn with the wind-mill on top of it to pump water for the stock, stables; Mantion-House, Wash-House and connecting Piaza; Carriage House; Spring House, Bath-House and cover of the Ice-house.” [Fig. 11]
- Silliman, Benjamin, 1824, describing Monte Video, property of Daniel Wadsworth, Avon, CT (1824: 12) back up to history
- “It [the path] then gradually passes down the north extremity of the lake, where it unites with other paths, at a white picturesque building, overshadowed with trees, standing on the edge of the water, commanding a view of the whole of it, and open on every side during the warm weather, forming at that season, a delightful summerhouse, and in the winter being closed, it serves as a shelter for the boat.” [Fig. 12]
- Sheldon, John P., December 10, 1825, describing Fairmount Waterworks, Philadelphia, PA (quoted in Gibson 1988: 5)
- “Delightful seats, surrounded by various kinds of trees and shrubbery, with gardens containing summer houses, vistas, embowered walks, &c meet your view in almost every direction.” [Fig. 13]
- Connor, Juliana Margaret, 1827, describing the garden at the pottery (Lot 48) on Main Street in Salem, NC (quoted in Bynum 1979: 28) back up to history
- “Afterwards walked into the garden belonging to the establishment where we saw what I conceived to be a curiosity and in itself extremely beautiful. It was a large summer house formed of eight cedar trees planted in a circle, the tops whilst young were chained together in the center forming a cone. The immense branches were all cut, so that there was not a leaf, the outside is beautifully trimmed perfectly even and very thick within, were seats placed around and doors or openings were cut, through the branches, it had been planted 40 years.”
- “All the rest [of the villas] were an entertainment to the eye as they stood, white and cool, amid their flowering magnolias, and their blossoming alleys, hedges, and thickets of roses. In returning, we alighted at one of these delicious retreats, and wandered about, losing each other among the thorns, the ceringas, and the wilderness of shrubs. We met in a grotto, under the summer-house, cool with a greenish light, and veiled at its entrance with a tracery of creepers. There we lingered, amid singing or silent dreaming. There seemed to be too little that was real about the place for ordinary voices to be heard speaking about ordinary things.”
- Lester, N., November 30, 1837, describing Hermitage, estate of Andrew Jackson, Nashville, TN (Ladies Hermitage Association Research #231)
- “The General has a very fine garden; I culled some choice seeds which I will divide with you the first opportunity. The garden is tastefully laid off in plats, ornamented with various kinds of flowers and shrubbery. The tomb of his lamented lady is in one corner of the garden, but a short distant from his dwelling. It is surrounded by rose bushes, and the weeping willow, and covered by a plain summer-house.”
- Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1840, describing Mount Vernon, plantation of George Washington, Fairfax County, VA (1840: 2:261)
- “About two hundred yards from the house, in a southerly direction, stands a summer-house, on the edge of the river-bank, which is here lofty and sloping, and clothed with wood to the water's edge. The summer-house commands a fine prospect of the river and the Maryland shore; also of the White House, at a distance of five or six miles down the river, where an engagement took place with the British vessels which ascended the river during the last war.” [Fig. 14]
- Committee of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, September 1846, describing its annual exhibition in Philadelphia, PA (quoted in Boyd 1929: 102)
- “Archibald Henderson, gardener to Wharton Chancellor, displayed, ‘a gothic temple or cottage summer-house of handsome form with evergreen envelope, embellished appropriately with flowers, rising to the height of sixteen feet.’”
- Kirkbride, Thomas S., April 1848, describing the pleasure grounds and farm of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, Philadelphia (American Journal of Insanity 4: 349)
- “The summer-houses, rustic-seats, exercising-swings &c., in this division are all in particularly pleasant positions. The cottage fronts the woods, and in every part this portion of the grounds is completely protected from intrusion and observation.” [Fig. 15]
- Downing, A. J., June 13, 1848, in a letter to Cora L. Barton, describing Highland Place, estate of A. J. Downing, Newburgh, NY (quoted in Haley 1988: 33–34)
- “I have also been making some little improvements in my own garden—and especially building a rustic summer house which we call the 'hermitage,' and which I think is so much in your own taste that I should be heartily glad to show it to you.”
- “Plate LXXIX. Four Summer-houses in form of Temples, Design'd for several persons.” [Fig. 16]
- “PAVILLION*, in architecture, signifies a kind of turret, or building usually insulated, and contained under a single roof; sometimes square, and sometimes in form of a dome: thus called from the resemblance of its roof to a tent.
- “*The word comes from the Italian padiglione, tent, and that from the Latin papilio.
- “Pavillions are sometimes also projecting pieces, in the front of a building, marking the middle thereof. . . .
- “There are pavillions built in gardens, popularly called summer-houses, pleasure-houses, &c.—Some castles or forts consist only of a single pavillion.”
- Halfpenny, William and John, 1755, Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste (1755; repr., 1968: 7)
- “PLATE X. Represents the Plan and Elevation of an Octagon Summer-house, 14 Feet Diameter, and 14 Feet high from the Floor to the Cieling [sic], elevated on an artificial Rock, in which a Cellar, or Grotto, may be made. The Walls may be Brick, Stone, or Timber, and the Ornaments cut in Stone or Wood, and the Rails of the Steps Lattice Work. This Building, not including the Rock, may be executed, in a good Manner, for about 230 l.” [Fig. 17]
- Sheridan, Thomas, 1789, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language (1789: n.p.)
- “SUMMERHOUSE, sum'-mer-hous. s. An appartment in a garden used in the summer.”
- “GARDENING. . . .
- “Near some pieces of water, as a cool retreat, it is desirable that there should be something of the summer-house kind; and why not the simple rustic arbour, embowered with the woodbine, the sweetbriar, the jessamine, and the rose? Pole arbours are tied well together with burk or ozier twigs.”
- “SUM’MER-HOUSE, n. 1. A house or apartment in a garden to be used in summer. Pope, Watts.
- “2. A house for summer's residence.”
- “In many flower gardens, trellises, arbors, and summer houses, may be introduced to a very good purpose for concealing offices and unseemly appendages.”
- Anonymous, February 1848, “Hints and Designs for Rustic Buildings” (Horticulturist 2: 363)
- “It must be a very highly finished scene, and a garden where all the details are in a very decided and ornate style of art, in which marble temples, statues, or even highly finished pavilions and summer-houses, may be introduced with harmony and propriety.”
- Downing, A. J., 1849, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1849; repr., 1991: 458)
- “There is no limit to the variety of forms and patterns in which these rustic seats, arbors, summerhouses, etc., can be constructed by an artist of some fancy and ingenuity. After the frame-work of the structure is formed of posts and rough boards, if small straight rods about an inch in diameter, of hazel, white birch, maple, etc., are selected in sufficient quantity, they may be nailed on in squares, diamonds, medallions, or other patterns, and have the effect of a mosaic of wood.”
- “Design V.—Elevations, plans, details, ground plot and scenic view of a cottage in the Tudor style, designed for a country residence on the bank of the Bronx river, in Weschester County, N. Y. The tenement comprises ten acres of ground, lying on both sides of the river, and mostly covered by forest trees. The premises will contain a gardener's lodge, summer-house, stone bridge, coach-house, bath-house, and outbuildings, screened by ornamental shrubbery.”
- Jaques, George, January 1852, “Landscape Gardening in New-England” (Horticulturist 7: 36)
- “A man of refinement would in these days, scarcely tolerate a geometrical arrangement of grounds of this extent. Such places admit of a winding carriage-way, leading through a fine lawn studded with groups of trees, irregularly circuitous walks, bordered with various shrubbery; here and there a massive forest tree, standing in its full development singly upon the lawn; a summerhouse embowered in the midst of a little retired grove; arabesque forms of flower beds occasionally inserted in the midst of the smooth green of a grass-plot; a vase, pretty even when empty, but better over-flowing with water, which it costs not much to bring in a leaden pipe from some neighboring hill:—such are among the charms which almost seem to make a little paradise of home.”
- Downing, A. J., July 1852, "Domestic Notices: Kiosques or Summer Houses" (Horticulturist 7: 339) back up to history
- “In the warm climates of the East, the delight of gardens seems to be enjoyed more by looking at them from summer houses, than rambling about in them, and examining them in detail. Accordingly there is a great deal of fancy and considerable taste exercised in the East in these buildings—usually of wood, built in light and pleasing forms. The roof may be covered with canvass [sic], stretched over a wooden frame; when well painted, this forms the most durable covering. Its surface being smoother than one of wood, it may be made ornamental by being prettily tinted in subdued and delicate shades. Summer houses, in a somewhat finished and elaborate style, like these [shown in the accompanying frontispiece], are better suited for the more ornate grounds of a country residence, where there is a considerable degree of finish and keeping, than rustic arbors and summer houses. In long walks, structures of this kind afford more agreeable resting places, and, when erected in any fine points of view, they serve the double purpose of calling the attention to the best position for seeing it, and affording shade and rest while enjoying the outstretched landscape. In all buildings of this kind, the design should be rather simple than complex, and the roof-outline is one which should receive most attention—particularly if the building is seen from any distance.” [Fig. 18]
James Gibbs, “Four Summer-houses in form of Temples,” in A Book of Architecture (1728), pl. 79.
Samuel Vaughan, Plan of Mount Vernon, 1787. “u. Summer House.”
Charles Willson Peale, Letter to Angelica Peale describing his garden at Belfield, November 22, 1815.
Thomas S. Sinclair, “Plan of the Pleasure Grounds and Farm of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane at Philadelphia,” in Thomas S. Kirkbride, American Journal of Insanity 4, no. 4 (April 1848): pl. opp. p. 280. The dotted circular and square shapes throughout the grounds represent the Summer Houses.
Anonymous, “Kiosques or Summer Houses,” in A. J. Downing, ed., Horticulturist 7, no. 7 (July 1852): pl. opp. 296.
Anna Peale Sellers, after Charles Willson Peale, Belfield Farm, Germantown, PA, Late 19th century.
Charles Willson Peale, William Paca, 1772.
Charles Willson Peale, View of the garden at Belfield, 1816.
Alexander Jackson Davis, Three figures going up a hill to a gazebo at Blithewood, n.d. (c. 1849).
Alexander Jackson Davis, “Bank-Side Walk,” Blithewood, 1849.
Alexander Jackson Davis, “View in the Grounds at Blithewood,” in A. J. Downing, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1849), frontispiece.
Thomas Jefferson, Design for a decorative outchamber at Monticello, c. 1778.
William Russell Birch, “Fountain Green Pennsylv.a the Seat of M.r S. Meeker,” in The Country Seats of the United States (1808), pl. 8.
Robert Mills, Alternative plan for the grounds of the National Institution, 1841.
Alexander Jackson Davis, Octagonal Garden Structure for Montgomery Place, c. 1850.
- Barbara Wells Sarudy, “Eighteenth-Century Gardens of the Chesapeake,” Journal of Garden History 9, no. 3 (July–September 1989): 104–59, view on Zotero.
- John Fanning Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Time; Being a Collection of Memoirs, Anecdotes, and Incidents of the City and Its Inhabitants, and of the Earliest Settlements of the Inland Part of Pennsylvania, from the Days of the Founders, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: E. Thomas, 1857), view on Zotero.
- Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia, ed. Louis B. Wright (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1947), view on Zotero.
- Hannah Callender Sansom, The Diary of Hannah Callender Sansom: Sense and Sensibility in the Age of the American Revolution, eds. Susan E. Klepp and Karin Wulf (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2010), view on Zotero.
- Lillian B. Miller et al., eds., The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family: Charles Willson Peale, vol. 1, Artist in Revolutionary America, 1735–1791 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983), view on Zotero.
- Peter Martin, The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia: From Jamestown to Jefferson (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), view on Zotero.
- William Parker Cutler, Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL.D. (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1987), view on Zotero.
- Charles Arthur Hammond, “‘Where the Arts and the Virtues Unite’: Country Life Near Boston, 1637–1864” (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1982), view on Zotero.
- Constantia [Judith Sargent Murray], “Description of Gray’s Gardens, Pennsylvania,” The Massachusetts Magazine, or, Monthly Museum of Knowledge and Rational Entertainment 7, no. 3 (July 1791): 413–17, view on Zotero.
- William Bentley, The Diary of William Bentley, D.D., Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1962), view on Zotero.
- Fiske Kimball, Mr. Samuel McIntire, Carver, the Architect of Salem (Portland, ME: Southworth-Anthoensen, 1940), view on Zotero.
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland, or The Transformation, An American Tale (New York: T. & J. Swords, 1798), view on Zotero.
- Harold Donaldson Eberlein and Cortlandt Van Dyke Hubbard, “The American ‘Vauxhall’ of the Federal Era Article Stable,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 68, no. 2 (April 1944): 150–74, view on Zotero.
- John C. Ogden, An Excursion into Bethlehem & Nazareth, in Pennsylvania, in the Year 1799 (Philadelphia: Charles Cist, 1800), view on Zotero.
- John Flowers, “People and Plants: North Carolina's Garden History Revisited,” Eighteenth Century Life 8 (1983): 117–29, view on Zotero.
- Lillian B. Miller et al., The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family: Charles Willson Peale, vol. 2, Charles Willson Peale: The Artist as Museum Keeper 1791–1810 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988), view on Zotero.
- Fortescue Cuming, Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country (Pittsburgh: Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum, 1810), view on Zotero.
- Elbridge Gerry Jr., The Diary of Elbridge Gerry, Jr. (New York: Brentano's, 1927), view on Zotero.
- Lillian B. Miller et al., eds., The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family: Charles Willson Peale, vol. 3, The Belfield Farm Years, 1810–1820 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), view on Zotero.
- Kateryna A. Rudnytzky, "The Union of Landscape and Art: Peale's Garden at Belfield" (honors thesis, LaSalle University, 1986), view on Zotero.
- Benjamin Silliman, Remarks Made on a Short Tour between Hartford and Quebec, in the Autumn of 1819 (New Haven, CT: S. Converse, 1824), view on Zotero.
- Jane Mork Gibson, “The Fairmount Waterworks,” Bulletin, Philadelphia Museum of Art 84 (1988): 5–40, view on Zotero.
- Flora Ann L. Bynum, Old Salem Garden Guide (Winston-Salem, NC: Old Salem, 1979), view on Zotero.
- Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel, 2 vols. (London: Saunders and Otley, 1838), view on Zotero.
- Nathaniel Parker Willis, American Scenery, or Land, Lake and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature, 2 vols. (Barre, MA: Imprint Society, 1971), view on Zotero.
- James Boyd, A History of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 1827–1927 (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 1929), view on Zotero.
- Thomas S. Kirkbride, “Description of the Pleasure Grounds and Farm of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, with Remarks,” The American Journal of Insanity 4, no. 4 (April 1848): 347–54, view on Zotero.
- Jacquetta M. Haley, ed., Pleasure Grounds: Andrew Jackson Downing and Montgomery Place (Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Press, 1988), view on Zotero.
- James Gibbs, A Book of Architecture, Containing Designs of Buildings and Ornaments (London: Printed for W. Innys et al., 1728), view on Zotero.
- Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia, or An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. . . ., 5th ed., vol. 2 (London: D. Midwinter et al., 1743), vol. 2, view on Zotero.
- William and John Halfpenny, Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste (1755; repr., Bronx, NY and London: Benjamin Blom, 1968), view on Zotero.
- Thomas A. Sheridan, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language, Carefully Revised and Corrected by John Andrews. . . ., 5th ed. (Philadelphia: William Young, 1789), view on Zotero.
- George Gregory, A New and Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, First American, from the second London edition, considerably improved and augmented, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Isaac Peirce, 1816), vol. 2, view on Zotero.
- Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language, 2 vols. (New York: S. Converse, 1828), vol. 2 view on Zotero.
- Edward Sayers, The American Flower Garden Companion, Adapted to the Northern States (Boston: Joseph Breck, 1838), view on Zotero.
- Anonymous, “Hints and Designs for Rustic Buildings,” The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste 2, no. 8 (February 1848): 363–65, view on Zotero.
- A. J. [Andrew Jackson] Downing, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America, 4th ed. (1849; repr., Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1991), view on Zotero.
- William H. Ranlett, The Architect, vol. 1 (1849: repr., New York: Da Capo, 1976), view on Zotero.
- George Jaques, “Landscape Gardening in New-England,” The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste 7, no. 1 (January 1852): 33–36, view on Zotero.
- Andrew Jackson Downing, “Domestic Notices: Kiosques or Summer Houses,” The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste 7, no. 7 (July 1852): 339, view on Zotero.