Collection contains correspondence, poetry, and newspaper articles.
Blanche Nevin (1841-1925), artist and poet, was born in Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of John Williamson Nevin, a theologian, teacher, and minister, and Martha Jenkins, daughter of the politician and iron master at Windsor Forges, Robert Jenkins. When Dr. Nevin became the president of Franklin & Marshall College in 1855, he moved the family to Lancaster. They moved to Windsor Forges (or Windsor Place) from 1856 to 1858, while Dr. Nevin acted as executor of his mother-in-law's estate, and then moved permanently to Caernarvon Place on Columbia Avenue (the present site of Degel Israel Synagogue). The Nevin children were well-educated and cultivated for society, as their parents had been.
Blanche was the nation's first noteworthy sculptress. In 1889, she sculpted the statue of Revolutionary War General Peter Muhlenberg, which stands in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. She also sculpted the bust of President Woodrow Wilson. Lancastrians are most familiar with her Lion in the Park (1905) at Reservoir Park and her horse drinking fountain (1898) at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and West Orange Street. Blanche composed a number of poems and set several to music; many were inspired by Lancaster County, her travels, and family and friends. Her poems include: "Great-Grandma's Looking-Glass" (1895), "One Usual Day" (1916), and "To My Door" (1921).
She bought Windsor Place in Caernarvon Twp. in 1897, restored the mansion house and the name Windsor Forges, and added a studio. Furniture and other influences from her travels adorned the house and grounds. She also owned a house in Manasquan, New Jersey; spent time with friends in New York and Philadelphia; and traveled a great deal, especially during the winter.
Her obituary in a Lancaster County newspaper states, "The simple, unpretentious neighbors of Miss Nevin never questioned her foreign ideas and eccentricities, but accepted her for the true, human qualities which she so abundantly possessed."