I am so excited to bring you this engagement shoot today because it features a member of The Mount family, Nicole Knapp, our Executive Assistant. We would all be drowning in phone calls and office supplies if not for Nicole. She’s also one of the sweetest people I know. Even on the bleakest of winter days, Nicole is smiling.
Nicole has a history with The Mount, long before she started working here she had a deep connection to the home and the woman who built it. But I’ll let her share the story. Enjoy it and these stunning photos from Kiersten Vallieres.
“The first time I ever stepped onto The Mount’s property was a little before 10:30 p.m. on Halloween of 2010. Hand in hand with my then boyfriend, Matthew Williams, we walked up the dark, winding, forested lane to the Stable to experience a ghost tour – him, excited, and me, terrified. It was that night, immersed in a group of twenty other ghost hunters led by chauffeur Charles Cook and Edith Wharton herself, that I first fell in love with The Mount. We explored the creepy, historic Stable, walked along the grounds through complete darkness to visit the pet cemetery, and wandered the dimly lit halls and rooms of the magnificent mansion.”
“There was so much for me to connect with. I adore historic homes and libraries – and Wharton lived in this mansion and had one of the most beautiful libraries I had ever seen. I’m an aspiring author – and Wharton was one of the finest authors America had ever seen. I love to believe in a world of magic and mystery and wonder – and The Mount, where Wharton lived for ten years, was no disappointment. I left that night with a fired-up imagination and vowed that I would return every Halloween.”
“And Matt and I did return on Halloween, in 2011 and 2012. On a cold January day in 2013, we walked the snowy grounds in daylight to explore and take photographs. And in April of that year, The Mount announced they were hiring and I became administrative assistant at the place I’d adored for three years.”
“I’ve been at The Mount for a year and a half, now an executive assistant, and The Mount and Edith Wharton inspire me every day. I feel very lucky to work at such a beautiful and historic place that aims to keep Wharton’s literary legacy alive. And although The Mount is no longer new to me, the wonder and magic remain.”
“On Christmas Day, 2013, as I was sitting in front of the Christmas tree with Matt, celebrating our seventh Christmas together, he gave me a teddy bear dressed up as a bride and asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes! And this past October, we returned to The Mount together to get our engagement photos done, never forgetting that our journey at The Mount started four years earlier, when a daring young man and his chicken girlfriend braved the darkness and ghost stories to be introduced to Wharton and her lovely home.”