Helen Moorhouse collection  1906, [1915]
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Biography

Helen Isabel Moorhouse (b. 1876) was a cellist, teacher, and artist. The daughter of S. Woodbridge Moorhouse, a wholesale grocer, and S. Isabel Weston, she grew up, attended school, and lived much of her adult life just outside Boston in Melrose, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1906, she played cello alongside Mary L. Durgin (violin) and E. Isabel Foster (piano) in the Middlesex Trio, a group hired by the Hotel Mattaquason on Cape Cod to provide music to its summer guests. Apparently, this summer employment was relatively routine for Helen. She had performed at the Mattaquason in 1905 as well, and ten years later (ca. 1915) she wrote a series of letters from the Nichewaug Inn in the central Massachusetts town of Petersham. Sometime before 1906, she had also traveled to Europe; she modeled the journal she kept at the Mattaquason on the one she had completed of an earlier trip to Britain. A poem that she wrote, A Secret, was published in a couple of early-twentieth-century school textbooks.

Helen never married but by 1915 had become romantically involved with Alice E. Brown, a widow and the recipient of the 32 letters held in the Moorhouse collection. The couple eventually lived in Melrose with Alice’s mother, Effie B. Small, and Alice's two grown children, Effie S. Brown and George A. Brown.