Preamble: I personally don't care for either the term 'man cave' or 'she shed' but when I first learned of Jane Preston's personal retreat (now that's my kind of word) the 'fad' term came to mind. It’s been said that sheds are the answer to men’s ailments. But why should men have all the sheds? Every woman deserves a shed of her own — somewhere to retreat for some solitude, to create or grow, to write or paint, or just to enjoy the view. Jane’s Cabin - a woman ahead of her time. Hacienda: This is a one-room frame cabin approximately 25 feet by 25 feet, built circa 1954 in
plywood in a clearing northeast of the main lab building. The name was
derived from the Preston’s interest in and ownership of land in Arizona.
The view through the trees from the main lab and upstairs apartment.
Two openings are on the west side.
Each opening has a plywood panel that can be raised
and secured to the rafters with an eye hook.
The entrance is a 1950s aluminum storm door
with side windows.
(the door was not in place at this time)
Also referred to as Jane’s Cabin, it served as a retreat for Jane Preston where she could garden and engage in holistic health practices and pursue other natural interests.
It is a gable roof building built on a concrete slab.
The north and south ends have openings where aluminum glass panes and/or screens can be installed. Windows or screens can be installed in whatever openings allow for the best ventilation or the opening can be closed against rain.
It became a place for both Prestons to be away from the telephone and a retreat from the non-air conditioned laboratory building seen in the background.
The rest of the story on our second outing.
I should know when the RG is acting nonchalant that he has a secret.
In this case he had come upon something
he knew I would want a picture of but was waiting for me to discover it.
Hidden over the hillside from Jane's Cabin was . . .
Jane's Spring House
As I said earlier in the week, Preston Park has turned out to be
I have been past this entrance untold times in my life
and only learned its unique history today.
Frank Preston always admired iron gates of the type seen at great estates when he was
growing up in Leicester, England. He drove several times a year to Toledo, Ohio to
consult with Owens glass. Each trip he noticed this gate on a farm in Ohio. He located the gate owner and purchased the gate.
Preston had wanted to build a grand house a few miles away or on the property. In 1956, the year of renovations, the
gates were erected. Columns and sweeping buttresses of concrete are covered with the
Roman brick facing.
Jane Preston was content with a simple life in the small apartment and the grand house
was never built. There was one grand procession through the gates when they were
completed and they were opened only one or two more times.
Preston Laboratories is an 87.5-acre property.
It was the glass science research facility and later
of Dr. Frank W. Preston and wife Jane Hupman Preston.
Rather than building a separate residence the Preston's
These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outdoors at this park.
(or in Dr. Preston's case 'the lip of the moraine'.
There is a large oval arboratum where several of the trees have signs describing what they are.
I like the unique pruning of this row.
This is the back of the lab and upstairs residence.
Now turn slowly from the above spot
and this is your view down the terraced lawn.
As you make your way down the lawn
the serenity of the pond can be felt.
Then the sound of the water streaming over the dam.
Back up the hill and there are a few more buildings
instrumental to the glass research.
At the beginning I used the term 'lip of the moraine'.
That was because as a conservationist, Dr. Preston
donated a large amount of land on the edge of a moraine
from the ice age which is now part of
our local state park in another location of the county.
I am fairly certain this 'pebble'
was brought from the area of the moraine.
Preston Park is an 88-acre English garden donated by Dr. Frank Preston, founder of Preston Laboratories, and Mrs. Jane Preston. Dr. Preston, a glass scientist, ornithologist, and ecologist, created and designed an English garden as a place to live, work and enjoy nature. Dr. Preston apparently walked the entire property daily at dawn, in accordance with his origins in England where a deep interest in nature is a great pastime. Visitors are able to appreciate the natural habitat by bird watching, catch and release fishing, and studying rare plant life which includes prairie grass and hybrid tree species. Throughout the property there are many secluded and scenic areas for picnics and gatherings.