This exhibit traces the story of three misfits living in early 1921 and their experiences within an abandoned Victorian estate. Runaways Atticus Belvedere, Leigh Paulson and Lucas Farwell go on to describe, explore and experience this estate, as well as its inexplicable and ominous origins. Throughout your experience, you will be taken back through time, learning about the past through logs and artifacts and stepping into the shoes of these brave explorers, who traversed the property over a hundred years ago
History of the Lemaitre Estate
An unnamed painting, done by Michel Lemaitre.
In the 1820s, the Lemaitre family, residing in Yonkers, New York, were once highly revered figures in the art world. Members of the family were very well known for collecting all different forms of art, including writing, paintings, pottery and more. Michel Lemaitre, the father of the family, was a well-known artist who produced some of today's most famous oil paintings, including the one pictured here.
His wife, Marie Lemaitre, was an esteemed poet in her lifetime, however, no poems under her name have ever been found. It is thought that she often wrote about depictions of life and nature at the family's time at the estate.
No surviving children of the couple have been documented, although close relatives of the two have been found and have helped donate to this exhibit.
Unfortunately, the Lemaitre family quickly fled Yonkers after the start of the civil war, leaving the estate and all of its contents dormant for many, many years until its rediscovery in 1921.
Timeline of Events
1820s: Lemaitre family residing in the estate. ⇨ 1861: Family is evacuated due to the Civil War, leaving the house dormant for over sixty years. ⇨ 1865: Michel Lemaitre passes from cholera. ⇨ 1868: Marie Lemaitre passes from malaria. ⇨ 1921: The estate is rediscovered by the explorers of this exhibit, and is shortly burned down after a gas fire of unknown origin. ⇨ 1942: Atticus is killed via six gunshot wounds. ⇨ 1946: Lucas Farwell and Leigh Paulson go on to found the HEA(pg7). ⇨ 1972: Lucas Farwell succumbs to influenza; Leigh Paulson passes on the organisation to Javani Belvedere and Mary Farwell, Lucas' and Atticus' adoptive children. ⇨ 1979: Leigh Paulson writes and publishes stories about the forgotten Lemaitre family, inspiring this exhibit. ⇨ 1998 ⇨ Leigh Paulson passes away peacefully in her home, her daughter Madison beginning the creation of this exhibit. ⇨ 2001: The Exhibit and all of its artifacts were put together with the help of Madison, Javani and Mary, three descendants of the original explorers. ⇨ 2021: The Exhibit is opened to the public.
Age: 21 Age of Death: 42 1900-1942
A runaway from his home, Atticus Belvedere earned the infamous title of the "Slick Shank" by the age of sixteen, just two years after abandoning his family due to currently unknown disagreements. Travelling around New England, he spent his days rummaging through foreclosed and old properties, often stealing wares and selling them. After meeting Lucas Farwell at a speakeasy, the two went on to continue their days together accompanied by Leigh Paulson, a runaway Atticus took on as a sister until his death in 1942 due to resisting arrest.
Atticus was notoriously known for carrying around a multitude of stolen leather notebooks, each detailing heists, daily encounters and even intimate love letters written to a close friend. This particular journal contained a great spectrum of his thoughts and emotions ranging from anger, sadness, fear and even love.