This is an area that is represented by three pieces in Dickens Village: Gad’s Hill Place, the Chalet and the Sir John Falstaff Inn.

Gad’s Hill Place was originally built in 1780 as a home for the former Mayor of Rochester, Thomas Stephens. In his childhood, Dickens would pass by the house during walks with his father, and became fascinated with the place. In “The Uncommercial Traveller” Dickens wrote: " I can recollect, my father, seeing me so fond of it, often said to me, if you were to be very persevering, and were to work hard, you may someday come to live in it. Though that's impossible!” In 1856, as a successful novelist, Dickens purchased Gad’s Hill Place, together with 26 acres of land, for the sum of £1,770. This is the only home that Charles Dickens ever owned.

Initially he wrote in a study on the main floor of the house. The study contained a number of books, some of which were only the spine of books that Dickens had made. To illustrate his humorous side, one of the sets was “Cat Lives” in nine volumes.

In 1864, an actor friend, Charles Fechter, sent him a

Minutes of September 15, 2007 meeting

Dickens Village: Gad’s Hill Place

Eight Village Nuts met for lunch at La Chatelaine in Worthington prior to our meeting.

Meeting opened at 1:45 pm and the following items were discussed.

President Deborah Albertson gave updates on some of our members. Beth Evans is recovering (nicely) from knee surgery; Betty Strapp had a heart procedure several weeks ago and is doing nicely (by observing her today); Jim Strapp had a shoulder dislocation a few weeks ago and is on the mend; and Carol Cason is a first-time grandma (9lb. baby boy).

Old Business

Deborah discussed the format of

our upcoming Raffle. Items have been donated by Nancy’s Hallmark and it was decided that the tickets would be 3/$25.00 with the winners being announced at the December Home Tour.

Information on the electrical sockets and wire was given by Deborah. Anyone interested should contact her.

Our next get together will be a Crafting Day at Deborah’s on Saturday October 20, 007 at 1:00 p.m. This is to be a potluck, so bring something to share.

New Business

The North Pole display will be set up at Ronald McDonald House on Saturday November 17, 2007. We

will begin at 9:00 am. Last year this “labor of love” fell on the shoulders of just a few so please plan to save some time that day.

The dates for the Home Tours are Saturday December 8, 2007 and Saturday January 12, 2008. Anyone interested in sharing their display, please let Deborah know.

Carol Cason will bring the NCC news items to Deborah’s on October 20. She also has items to raffle.

Penney Adams volunteered to send our newsletter to our Associate Dealers.

 

Respectfully,

 

Leigh Wolf, Secretary

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The Towne Crier

present of 58 large boxes. Inside was a Swiss Chalet that Dickens had erected on his property, across the Gravesend Road from the main house and called it “The Wilderness”. He later built a tunnel under the road to provide easy access. Dickens used the Chalet as a place to do his writing.

Dickens was a great admirer of the works of William Shakespeare, and this was also a factor in his decision to buy Gad’s Hill Place. He often mentioned to his guests, that the spot where he erected the Chalet was the very spot on which the scene of Falstaff's Highway robbery in Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The nearby Inn on the same side has the name of the Sir John Falstaff.

Dickens loved to entertain. Dickens wrote much of A Tale of Two Cities; Great Expectations; Our Mutual Friend and the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood while living at Gad’s Hill. On June 9th, 1870, Dickens died in the dining room of Gad’s Hill Place.

Since 1925 the house has been a private school. It was heavily damaged during World War II, but has since been restored.