Kendall and Plimpton family roots and residences were primarily but not exclusively in Massachusetts towns originally part of colonial Dedham, including Walpole, Sharon, and Norwood. However, they could be more broadly viewed as a New England family. Henry P. Kendall’s paternal ancestors were from Connecticut and Rhode Island, and his father graduated from Providence High School and Brown University. The family had several New England residences, and their interest in whaling history led to strong ties to the New Bedford area. As the Kendall Company expanded out of New England and into the South, Harry and Evelyn Kendall developed increasing interest in the Carolinas. Henry P. Kendall was well known and respected throughout both New England and the South.
Boston was the first residence of Henry P. and Evelyn Kendall, on Embankment Road along the Charles River. Early in his career, Harry Kendall also purchased an old house in Marion, Massachusetts, which became affectionately known as the White Elephant, and Marion became a center of family activity for several generations. On the shore of Buzzard’s Bay, it was an ideal location for the favored family avocation of sailing. Quartet Camp in Grand Lake Stream, Maine was a rustic fishing and hunting retreat for Henry P. Kendall and a number of other distinguished professional and government leaders. The Kendall Company operated mills in several Massachusetts and Rhode Island towns, and several of these towns clearly reflected Henry P. Kendall’s influence and support. For instance, he was responsible for major restoration and improvement of the historic mill village of Slatersville, Rhode Island, now part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Kendall influence and activity also extended into the South, where the Kendall Company had several plants. Henry P. and Evelyn Kendall spent a part of most years at the Sycamores, their historic house in Camden, South Carolina. In the villages surrounding several company plants, like Wateree in South Carolina, Mr. Kendall made extensive improvements in street design, landscaping, housing, public buildings and community services. The Kendalls were also collectors of the history of South Carolina, in the form of early maps, art prints and documents. They donated the bulk of this collection to the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina, where it is housed in the Kendall Memorial Room, named in their honor.
Materials from New England and the Carolinas include:
- Plans and photographs of the Kendall home in Boston, and early 20th-century photographs of the Embankment Road neighborhood along the Charles River
- Records of the Charles Street Garage in Boston
- Photograph albums and individual photographs of Marion, Massachusetts, the White Elephant and its furnishings
- Documentation related to changes and improvements of Marion property
- Photographs and documentation of the impact on Marion of the hurricanes of 1938, 1954, and 1991
- Photographs and memorabilia of Kendall yachts and yachting in New England
- Albums of Massachusetts picture postal cards, primarily late 19th and early 20th century , of Marion, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Boston, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
- Photographs and records of Quartet Camp, Grand Lake Stream, Maine
- Photographs and information on the Kendall mill and mill village in Slatersville, RI
- Plans, drawings and artistic depictions of “The Sycamores,” the Kendall home in Camden, South Carolina, its furnishings and gardens
- Photograph albums of Camden, SC
- A history of the Sycamores property and correspondence related to it
- Information on the Wateree Mill and Kendall mill village in Camden, SC
- Information on the Kendall collection of South Caroliniana