Remarks by H. Russell Perry
While there are numerous motivations which energize conservationists, I like to think that many are motivated strongly by a love for the object of their conservation effort, whether it be antiquities, barbershop quartets, wilderness, or whatever. Priscilla Ordway was so motivated and her conservation causes were many.
Perhaps some of you are not aware that Priscilla was born in this house on October 20, 1888, passed her entire life of 83 years here, and left the mortal world from her bedroom in this house, on her birthday in 1971. She loved the house and its grounds passionately, as perhaps only one could who was endowed with the sensitivity of an artist and enjoyed the freedom of the unmarried. Only begrudgingly would she allow changes which would alter her home from the way she had known it in her early years.
Her gardens and grounds were a particular gratification to her and were the object of much of her creative energy. Each tree, plant, bird bath, twist in a path was infused with her love, and all reflected this unique relationship back to the visitor as Priscilla conducted him on a tour of her grounds.
Her wish that the grounds be preserved after her death was often expressed to us who had the good fortune of being close to her. She was hopeful that they might bring to others some of the joy for which they had brought to her.
And so it is with much pleasure that we, Priscilla’s relatives and friends, attend this dedication of her beloved property, knowing that much of what it had always been for her will be thoughtfully preserved by the Newton Conservators. A heartfelt thank you from us for your assumption of this responsibility.