Sunday, October 22, 2006

Catch up

By Mary
Custom Smiley I just have a few comments to add to the previous post regarding the Bingham-Waggoner House we saw on Saturday. The original house was added on to in 1899 bringing it to it's current 7,000 square foot size. Like the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chein, the ceilings are very tall, just a shade under 14 feet. Modern day basketball players would love it there!!
In the 1800's it seems they had a different room for every activity, the ladies parlor, the men's parlor, the informal family sitting room, the music room, the dining room, etc. In the music room of the Bringham-Waggoner House they had a beautiful Swiss Music Box. Our tour guide, and I do mean OUR tour guide,(we were the only two taking the tour) took the key, flicked the flywheel, and played it for us. The music was very pretty and the animation was truly beautiful. OK I need to more fully explain this music box...first the size of is about 5 feet tall, 4 feel wide, and 3 feet deep...needless to say not the type of music box to sit on one's desk!! This music box was constructed in Switzerland and the animation I talked about were three little swiss guys that moved when it played. They reminded me of the kind of guys you see move on a coo coo clock. It was a very cool music box!

This tour was very usual in many ways and one of the most unusual things was the fact that none of the rooms had velvet ropes blocking them off. You could walk right up to every thing and really take a good fact they rent out this house for weddings and other occasions. We were really amazed by that.

This home was beautifully furnished and three stories and I was real impressed by the access we had to all of the antiques in it. Rex and I agreed....these were VERY wealthy people!!

Today we went to the Vaile House. This house is not nearly as impressive as the other one but still worth seeing. This house was constructed in 1881 and deeded to the city of Independence in 1983. For the 40 or so years before the city got it, it was used as a nursing home. There is 10 fireplaces in the house all of marble and very beautiful. The original house sat on 9 acres and had a huge pond which no longer exists, but there is a fountain in the yard now.

All in all we really enjoyed these two house tours and a glimpse back in time to see how the other half lived in the last part of the 19th century.