Unidentified porch, Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire, ca. late 19th c., photographer unknown, via Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views, The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
The Isle of Shoals are a group of small islands off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire. They may be best known as the home of writer and gardenerCelia Thaxter. She hosted an informal artists colony at her father’s hotel on Appledore Island during the summers of the 1870s. Her guests included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and artist Childe Hassam, who illustrated her book, An Island Garden.
. . . . I but crave
The sad, caressing murmur of the wave
That breaks in tender music on the shore.
“Ladies playing croquet,” probably Cheshire County, New Hampshire, ca. 1900, by Bion Whitehouse, via Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County Commons on flickr.
Technically, they are playing roque, an American variant* of croquet, which is played on a hard sand or clay surface. Introduced in the late 1880s, it was extremely popular in the first few decades of the 20th century — and an Olympic sport in 1904 — and then almost entirely disappeared after the 1950s.