Over the weekend the Rowayton Historical Society got visitors in the mood for Valentine's Day by offering a Valentine Tea featuring Susan Borgen and her delicious homemade scones on Saturday at the Pinkney House. Borgen also had antiques, teapots, loose leaf tea and tea accessories for sale... perfect Valentine presents. The Pinkney House was also be open with a display of vintage Valentines of Sunday.
At the exhibit visitors learned that the high priestess of American Valentines was an unlikely candidate. Esther Howland, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke Seminary and a contemporary of Emily Dickinson had received her first English-made Valentine when she was 19. Enthralled she began making her own paper and lace concoctions displaying them in her father's bookstore in Worcester, Mass. Within weeks orders amounting to $5,000 were rolling in. A stunned Howland was in business.