Sarah Orne Jewett House


The salt and pepper shakers in the dining room are a reminder of Sarah’s nickname, “owl,” among her good friends. Celia Thaxter gave Jewett the nickname “owl,” and “owlet.” Annie Fields was “flower.”

The owl salt and pepper shakers in the dining room seem to have been present before Sarah’s friend gave her the nickname, however, as evidenced by a story Jewett published at the age of seventeen:

“The Pepper-owl expected attention, and began to feel cross because the children were hungry, and were so busy with their soup that they did not look beyond their own plates until they were empty, and did not stop eating for even one glance at him. “They are so impolite to strangers, these people!” said he to himself; but for all that, he kept his yellow eyes wide open, and his silver feathers glistened bravely. There was a tumbler near him, in which he could see himself, and that was a great pleasure.” Sarah Orne Jewett (“The Pepper Owl and the Fluffy Owl,” St. Nicholas Magazine, 1876)