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Daniel T.V. Huntoon, Jr. Papers, 1881-1943


Held at: Woodford Mansion [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Woodford Mansion. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Daniel Thomas Vose Huntoon, Jr. (November 10, 1870 – January 15, 1943) was raised in Canton, MA and moved to Philadelphia around 1900. Shortly after arriving, he met Naomi Wood. Both were collectors of 18th century decorative arts. They quickly developed a close friendship that lasted the remainder of Wood's life. At some point early in their relationship they decided to set the goal of locating a suitable 18th century home to use as a house museum to display their collections. A year after Wood’s death in 1926, Huntoon reached agreement with the City of Philadelphia for the Naomi Wood Trust to operate the Woodford Mansion in Philadelphia, PA's East Fairmount Park to display their collection of 18th-century colonial fine and decorative arts.

Woodford opened as a public house museum in 1930 and Huntoon served as its first director and as the Naomi Wood Trust's first individual trustee until 1943. He spent Woodford's formative years meticulously arranging his and Wood's combined collections in the house and continued to pursue new acquisitions to further fill the mansion. Huntoon was succeeded as trustee by John P.B. Sinkler.

Records in this collection span Huntoon's entire tenure as Woodford Trustee as well as his years collecting with Naomi Wood. The collection is arranged into 8 series: Correspondence, Financial Records, Acquisitions, Appraisals/Inventories, Court Records, Facilities/Grounds, Clippings/Publications, and General . Files are arranged chronologically. Collection mediums include paper and photographic records.

Series: Correspondence This series includes correspondence from the time of Naomi Wood’s death in 1926 through 1941. 1920s correspondence relates to Wood’s death, her estate, and the purchase of Woodford Mansion to display Huntoon and Wood’s combined collection of decorative arts. The remaining correspondence relates to the maintenance of Woodford grounds and the decorative arts within. Series: Financial Records: The bulk of this series contains financial records from Huntoon’s time as the trustee of the Naomi Wood Trust and Woodford mansion. Records of note include the Woodford financial ledger from 1928-1942 and Woodford admission files, as both records show the visitation and cost of admission in Woodford’s earliest years as a house museum. Records in this collection span 1923-1942. Series: Acquisitions This series contains receipts and purchase lists of decorative arts by Daniel Huntoon, Jr. This includes objects purchased during the time Huntoon and Naomi Wood collected together (1904-1926) as well as objects he purchased as the first trustee of Woodford (1929-1941). Copies were made of a number of these records and placed in the corresponding object files of individual objects in Woodford’s collections.

Series: Appraisals/Inventories: This series holds appraisals and inventories of various collections of Daniel Huntoon, Jr., Naomi Wood, and the Naomi Wood Trust/Woodford Mansion. The records of Naomi Wood objects were created shortly after her death. They are inventories of objects held at her Washington D.C. apartment and in storage in Gloucester, MA. and Philadelphia, PA. Records related to Woodford are both general and specific in scope. Specific inventories include furniture, dining room silver, and books. The general appraisals/inventories of Woodford’s collections offer insight into how the exhibit spaces were curated in the house museum’s formative years. Records range from 1924-1939. Series: Court Records This series contains court records related to the deaths of Naomi Wood and Daniel T.V. Huntoon, Jr. Included are the last will and testament of Wood and Huntoon as well as Naomi Wood estate records. The Huntoon will was obtained from the Philadelphia City Archives Department of Records in January, 2023. It is a printed copy of the original. Records in this series range from 1926-1946.

Series: Facilities/Grounds This series holds records related to the historic restoration of Woodford Mansion in 1927-1928 by Bissell and Sinkler (second Woodford Trustee, John P.B. Sinkler) as well as records related to the Naomi Wood Trust/Woodford Mansion lease of the house with the Fairmount Park Commission. The mansion lease records range from 1927-1935. There are related records in the Woodford Oversized Collection, namely the Bissell & Sinkler blueprints for the 1927-28 restoration. Series: Clippings/Publications Content in this series includes a Huntoon family genealogy written by Daniel T.V. Huntoon, Jr.’s father, Daniel T. V. Huntoon. Also included are newspaper clippings from 1926-1927 related to the death of Naomi Wood and the acquisition of Woodford as well as an article from “The Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin” about Naomi Wood’s collection. Finally, there is a small card from 1930 that features a picture of the mansion and a short history. This card was likely made for Woodford’s opening year as a house museum. Series: General This series contains a hand drawn/written document related to the painting over the mantel in Woodford’s parlor. There is no date on the record, but evidence suggests it was created sometime between 1927-1943.

Records in this collection left to the Naomi Wood Trust by Daniel T.V. Huntoon, Jr. (1870-1943) after his death. It is unknown whether the records are in original order. The records were refoldered through previous processing attempts through the house museum's history. Previous file names were maintained in an attempt to keeep original order. Some records were discovered in loose piles of unprocessed materials and integrated into the collection.

Woodford Mansion
Finding Aid Author
Tom Kuipers
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