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Posts Tagged ‘Baer House Inn’

man with suitcase

There’s never a dull moment here at The Baer House Inn. Guests come and guests go, some quietly, some with gusto. On several occasions in the past I’ve posted about odd behavior from guests, but just about the time I think I’ve seen it all, something new comes along that makes me scratch my head and say, “Nope, I guess I haven’t seen it all.” Here are some examples of recent unusual happenings here at the inn. (more…)

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bad form memeI’ve blogged before about oddball things that have happened here at the Baer House Inn. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago you learned of my weird napkin findings. And, I’ll reiterate that most guests are very polite and respectful of my house and my things. But, there are a few things that people do that are just, well in bad form. What are those things, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. (more…)

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As an author, I am anxiously awaiting the day I receive my first book review. I know this may not be a pleasant experience, but I’m anticipating it none-the-less. Book reviews are two-edged swords. Most authors want reviews, especially if they’re good. But, you must take the good with the bad and I know there will undoubtedly be a bad review or two. (more…)

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Welcome to Mississippi

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

So, we’re coming up on two years now since we made the big cross-country move and relocated to Mississippi. Innkeeping has been rewarding and challenging and . . . a real learning experience that will forever change the way I stay at hotels, motels, and/or B & B’s in the future. (more…)

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Dear blog friends and followers, be prepared to be amazed. Today I am going to share with you my many talents in the foreign language department. Perhaps you should have a seat before you read farther. (more…)

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meme-1

January is what the folks of Vicksburg call, “the slow season.” I guess it’s probably pretty slow everywhere what with the holiday craziness settling down, kids back in school, lousy weather for traveling, tax preparation looming, and getting started on all of those awesome new year’s resolutions and all. (more…)

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I know what you’re thinking – bizi what? Biziversary. Yes, that’s a made up word. I thought of it all by myself, but I think it might catch on and some day make it into the urban dictionary.

Biziversary. Let’s break it down: part 1; biz, short for business – part 2; iversary, annual celebration of something important, in our case, the Rickrodes buying The Baer House Inn. That’s right – it’s our biziversary. We’ve owned The Baer House now for a year! (more…)

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Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, I live in an old house. As old houses go, mine’s pretty cool. But, I’ve discovered that if you have an old house, especially in the south, you have to have a ghost. So, naturally, we have a ghost (or 2 or 3 if rumor is to be believed).

According to the “experts,” (http://paranormalistics.blogspot.com/p/types-of-ghosts-and-spirits.html) a ghost is nothing more than: “the energy of a person or animals soul that once lived.” Okay. It makes sense that we’d have a ghost then since people did live in this house.

According to the same site, “There are multiple reasons why ghosts make themselves known to us and how they interact with the living is usually determined by what personality characteristics they had when they where alive.” Cool.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, what does that say about our ghost(s)? Nobody has actually seen a ghost in his house, but many have captured shadowy figures in their photographs, or so they say. I’ve taken lots of pictures and I got zilch, nadda, zip. But, I’ve learned that there’s many different ways to be “haunted.” This was news to me. Apparently ghosts make their presence known in several ways.

http://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/types-of-ghosts.php explains it like this: “Many of us have weird sensations about seeing shadows or shapes out of the corner of our eye, only for it to disappear when we turn to look. And while you may be one of those people who are not afraid of such a paranormal experience, did you ever stop and wonder just what kind of ghostly apparition you encountered? Maybe, like most folks, you didn’t even consider that there could be different kinds of ghosts out there.” (Me, me – raising hand.) “But the fact is, experts in the field have put together a list and definitions of the types of supernatural phenomena that exist and it may come in handy, especially if you’re headed out on a Ghosts & Gravestones Tour.” (Or perhaps the Haunted Vicksburg Tour.)

1. The Interactive Personality – The most common of all ghosts spotted are usually those of a deceased person, someone you know, a family member or perhaps even a historical figure. These ghosts can be friendly or not . . . ” (I vote for friendly) “- but often show themselves to others in a variety of ways. They can become visible; they can speak or make noises, touch you or even emit an odor like perfume or cigar smoke, etc, to let you know they are there. Experts say that this type of ghost retains its former personality of when they were alive and can feel emotions. And often, they are visiting you to comfort you or let you know something important.”

Aww, I feel so comforted. Or maybe I’m just missing something. Something . . . important. Hmmmm.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, to recap, there are the filmy white apparitions seen by the naked eye. There are “vortex” ghosts who freeze people out of a sound sleep. There are the “smelly” ghosts, who like to scare people away by filling a space with fragrance of some kind. And then there’s our ghost – the kind that most often “materializes,” in an auditory form.

Here’s how http://www.ghoststudy.com/types.html explains our most common type of “haunting”: “CLAIRAUDIENCE: the ability of hearing the paranormal as opposed to seeing it.”

Ah. Now, I have heard things. Unexplainable things. And others have, too. So . . . perhaps we are “haunted?”

Again, quoting from the paranormalistics blog, “Ghosts were once human, just like you and I. It is believed that you keep your personality characteristics when you die. For example, if you where an evil person in life, you will be the same as a ghost. Mean spirited ghosts usually torment the living at haunted locations, feeding off the victims fear energy. The same goes for good people. If you were a loving person in life, you will be a loving ghost. Good spirited ghosts are usually very protective of families that live in haunted locations. Remember not all ghosts are bad.”

So, if I’ve done my deducting correctly, we have a friendly, even loving, and protective ghost. Probably a family member who once lived in the home. Here’s why I think it was a family member:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

http://www.angelsghosts.com/family_ghosts says this about family ghosts: “Family ghosts may best be defined as spirits of deceased humans, as well as animals,” (more on this below) “that remain around certain families for a particular function . . . who still care for the family in his or her own way, in a sense, acting as an angel or guardian over the family. And the ways they might find to interact with the living is fascinating . . . Family ghosts are commonly believed to also make themselves knows through use of strange sounds (the hoot of an owl, the sound of a dog, a bird against a window, etc.). Some ghosts of families are said to make everyone aware of them by the cracking of pottery or dishes!” (Or an expensive chandelier, like the sound I heard? Hmmmm.)

So, there you go. We have a friendly family music-loving ghost. Lots of guests report hearing music. Happy music like perhaps from a party. Perhaps a ball? Some have heard the jingling of a dog’s collar. Some hear dripping water (not that that’s particularly happy).

That’s right, it’s not just people sounds. Remember above I mentioned the jingling of a dog’s collar?

Here’s what I unearthed about animal spirits: According to http://listverse.com/2013/03/27/10-little-known-mysterious-ghost-types/, “Animal ghosts make their presence felt not just in manifestations, but also sound and smell. It is not unusual for a person experiencing a haunting which includes animal ghosts to hear the pitter patter of the invisible animal, or whimpering, panting and scratching on the walls and doors.” Add to that list, the shaking of the head so that a collar and metal tags jingle merrily. Could we also have an animal spirit hanging around?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, why are we experiencing paranormal activity but the neighbors aren’t? Here’s what the paranormalistics think: “An area can become haunted for many reasons, not just untimely deaths or tragic accidents. Sometimes an area can become haunted because it was the favorite place of a person who has passed. People do not have to die at a location for it to become haunted and it can technically happen anywhere. The architecture of a structure, the minerals in the land, underground springs and other water sources can have a major factor as well. For example, you should never build structures on top of limestone or water tables, because limestone retains energy and water is a conductor of energy. This belief dates back over 5000 years in ancient China and other areas in the region.”

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Okay. There you go. We have at least 2 cisterns below the house previously used for water collection. Hmmmm. Are we a conducting ground for paranormal activity? Could be.

Stay tuned for Part Two next week. Maybe after hearing a little more about the history of the Baer House, we can discover the whos and the whys. Until then dear readers, have you ever experienced a “haunting?” Did you know there are different types of ghosts? Is your house built on a limestone foundation? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Panoply

Fun fact about me: I’m glad we’re out of pumpkin season.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015.

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Most of you know about outhouses. Some of you have probably even used one at one point in your life. I’m not talking about the port-a-potty johns at the county fair either, I’m talking about the real life wooden structures with a bench seat inside.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

I’m sure you’re familiar with how these contraptions work; you dig a hole and place your little house over the hole. When said hole is full, you dig another one someplace else, move the house and throw dirt over the almost full former sewage hole. That is why outhouses were portable.

Well folks, the lady who designed my house (Leona Baer), had a different idea for her privvies. You see, she did not want her elite socialite friends and distinguished guests to have to trapise out into the elements to use the outhouse. Oh no, that would be a disgrace. She insisted that her privvies be attached to the house and under a covered walkway (aka porch). And, of course, there had to be a mens and a ladies facility. No co-ed for Ms. Leona Baer. No sirree.

Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Women's side of outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Women’s side of outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Men's side of outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Men’s side of outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Notice that the ladies side is much bigger than the mens? That’s because ladies wore hoop skirts and needed more room to negotiate around and get everything settled into place. Imagine trying to use the facilities shown above wearing this:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Now, having your outhouse attached to your house is certainly convenient, but it created a huge problem: what to do when the holes got full. Well, obviously, you clean them out. Say what? Shovel s$%@? I know. Right? Who is God’s name wants that job? But, shovel s$%@ someone did. You see, Leona had workers dig a pit, a cistern if you will, and covered it with a permanent structure that sat very close to the house (not completely attached) but connected by an extension of the porch. She really created a very primative septic system, minus the leach lines.

Here’s a picture of the downstairs portion of this structure. This shot is taken from the farthest end of the porch where the men’s privy was (the door on the left) looking back toward the back door of the house on the first floor.

Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

But, wait, there’s more.

If you will remember, the title of this blog mentioned a 2-story, 4-hole outhouse. Two stories? Yes, my friends – two stories. One hole on the ground level and one hole above it on the second story. Here’s how my second story porch looks. The privvies are through that little doorway at the end of the porch.

Upstairs porch and walkway to privy. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Upstairs porch and walkway to privy. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Notice the white lattice work at the end of the porch? Well, that would be the enclosure. You can see the 2 doorways at the very end of the hallway.

2nd story outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

2nd story outhouse at Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Here’s what it looks like from afar. The privvies are enclosed by that white lattice on both floors.

Baer House Inn 2-story outhouse. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Baer House Inn 2-story outhouse. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

How do these things work you ask? Well, on level one of the house, a person walks in about 2 feet and encounters the hole. On the second level, a person walks in about 4 feet before encountering the hole. Now, mind you, there is a wall directly behind the hole on the ground level so nothing falls down upon you from above, but you can hear everything directly behind your head that falls from above. I know . . . how pleasant.

Why two stories? Well, thank you for asking. You see, Ms. Baer felt that her family should not mix and mingle with her esteemed guests, so much so that the children and servants were relegated to the second floor. But not just during parties or social events. Oh no. No, no, no. Children had to remain upstairs ALL THE TIME. They were never allowed downstairs. They even have their own set of outside stairs in the event they needed to leave the house. They were not allowed to enter or exit the home through the first floor. There had to have been a lot of this going on:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Not being allowed downstairs created a problem when little Sarah, or little Samuel had to use the facilities. So, Leona fixed the problem by creating their very own privvies on the second floor. The added bonus? If Leona needed to use the bathroom during the middle of the night, she did not have to go all the way downstairs and outside, she simply walked along the upstairs porch to her own private penthouse privy.

Now this structure, that is original to the home, is still standing and part of our house. Of course we don’t use it, but it’s here for everyone to see and admire. The downstairs portion has been repurposed into a very nice, very modern bathroom as part of room number 8, but the original outside doors are still in place. The privy doors are on the left in this picture and the door into room number 8 is on the right.

Room 8, Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Room 8, Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

 

Room 8 bathroom (former 1st floor outhouse). Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

Room 8 bathroom (former 1st floor outhouse). Photo by P. Rickrode. November 2015.

So tell me dear readers, have you ever seen a 2-story outhouse? Would you have wanted to have the job of cleaning out the poop cistern? Somebody had to do it. Yuck.

Word of the Day: Odurate

Fun fact about me: My uncle had a cabin in upstate Minnesota with no indoor plumbing and we had to use the outhouse whenever we visited. Good times.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode. Stock photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

So here in Vicksburg we’re finally getting some cooler temperatures and rain. It feels like fall. Still not a lot of colored foliage (except green) because it hasn’t been cold enough, but it’s getting there.

I’ve been a busy little beaver installing the flavor of Autumn inside the Baer House. Here’s a photo journey of some of my handiwork:

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

And there you have it. A photographic journey of the Baer House in its autumn colors.

How about your readers, do you decorate for the seasons? What’s your favorite season? Do you like to see your town, house, grandma’s house decorated?

Thanks for touring today. Until next week, take care of yourseves and be kind to others.

Word of the Day: Mangelwurzel

Fun fact about me: I think fall is my favorite time to decoarate the house. The fall colors are so warm and inviting.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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