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Posts Tagged ‘history’

So here it is July already. 2019 is just zipping right along isn’t it? We’re already past the longest day of the year and diving head first into those REALLY hot summer days leading up to Fall. (more…)

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sweat on forehead

Yes, it’s HOT!! The long hot, sweaty days of summer have arrived. I know, I know, it’s still officially spring, but tell that to the weather. There is no mercy here in Vicksburg after about 11:00. June has come in with a vengeance. (more…)

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American flagI believe I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, I am very patriotic. I love patriotic songs. The patriotic holidays are some of my favorites. I have the utmost respect for our country, our flag, and the incredible people willing to sacrifice their lives to protect the freedoms of everyone living in this country. And I don’t mean just the Americans either. I mean EVERYONE living in his country.

I believe patriotism is in my blood. Why? Well, because “Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland.”(en.widipedia.org) That’s how I feel. Despite the flaws, I love this country. I feel a sense of devotion to the homeland that I have grown very attached to. I consider myself lucky to be living in this great nation. (more…)

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As most of you know, I live in an old house. Almost 150 years old to be exact. I live in the historic “downtown” area of Vicksburg, most famous for the 47-day siege of 1863. If you’re not familiar with this epic historical event, shame on you, but here’s what you need to know: Ulysses S. Grant and his northern armies converged on Vicksburg, entrapping a Confederate army, lead by Lt. General John Pemberton, and hundreds of citizens for 47 days. (more…)

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fireworks courthouseSo here we are on the cusp of another Independence Day holiday. For most folks this simply means a day off with pay. For some it means a full day of work at time and a half wages. For others it means a trip to the lake, the mountains, or the backyard swimming pool. It often includes BBQ, iced cold beer, ice cream and other yummy backyard cuisine. (more…)

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I live in Vicksburg, Mississippi, a river town with a colorful and violent history. For 47 days Vicksburg was under siege by the Federal Army, completely surrounded and cut off from the outside world. Many people lost their lives fighting for a cause they believed in. (more…)

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abandoned-houseHouses have souls. I’m sure of it. Have you ever noticed that a house starts to deteriorate when it is no longer occupied? Why is that? I believe it’s because when humans move out, the house loses it soul. Without a soul, it dies. (more…)

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Today I’m taking you on a tour of a piece of truly amazing history – the USS LST 325, the last WWII, fully operational landing ship tank. This awesome amphibious vessel docked for five days on the Vicksburg waterfront and I got to go aboard. (more…)

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As you all know by now, about a year ago my husband and I moved to beautiful Vicksburg, Mississippi. This little hamlet is steeped in history. One of the most defining battles near the end of the War Between the States, occurred on the very ground I walk every single day.

Vicksburg waterfront

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Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Here it is – my new abode! Come on in, take a look around. While you explore, I’ll share some of the history of the home. Let’s start in the ballroom:

Baer House parlor

The Baer House was constructed in 1870 by Leona and Lazarus Baer from an existing site with a brick structure dating prior to 1850. Most of the original house was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Leona Baer (formerly Bloom) began reconstruction with the goal of building a Victorian home guaranteed to impress with elaborate woodwork in the Eastlake architectural style, made popular by Charles L. Eastlake in the 1870’s and common among the elite in New York.

If you’ll turn around, you can see the other end of this large room, which is where guests enjoy a hearty breakfast, complete with a variety of hot dishes, juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads, hot black coffee, and made-to-order specialty dishes.

Baer House dining room

Back to the home’s construction. Leona Baer, was quite the revolutionary woman, insisting on overseeing every aspect of the home’s design and monitoring it’s construction. She was very forward-thinking for her generation, insisting that the kitchen be inside the home (an unheard of idea at that time) and that there be privies on the first and second floors. That’s right, this home sports a two-story outhouse. Don’t believe me? You’ll have to make a reservation and check this out yourself. The structure is still standing and still attached to the house. Makes for interesting conversation among tour guests.

Let’s step into the hallway for this next portion.

Baer House hallway

The head-turner here is, obviously, the grand staircase, complete with solid walnut balustrade. Notice the floors? They were painstakingly constructed of black walnut and American chestnut, highly sought after for it’s durability and rot resistance. Yes, the chandelier is quite impressive as well, as are the crown moldings and ceiling medallions. However, what is spectacular about this floor is that it is irreplaceable since the entire American chestnut population in Mississippi was wiped out by the blight around the turn of the 20th century.

Up those stairs are 6 guest rooms, 4 with private baths, 2 with a shared bath. Most have either a King or Queen bed, 2 are mini suites. The upstairs, while still quite grand, does not boast the fancy trimmings of the downstairs. You see, Leona believed that the family, children in particular, should not socialize with guests until they reached a proper age, thus the need for upstairs privies. Until such time, children were to remain upstairs and out of sight. There are still 14-foot doors with glass transomes up there, but they are plain, not decorated with the fancy Eastlake trimmings. After all, family does not need to dwell among such lavishness; luxury is visible only to esteemed guests.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Perhaps next week, I’ll treat you to some photos of the guest rooms and share some more of the fascinating history, including mysterious activity that happens in certain areas of the home. For now, this was a smattering of the fanciness of my new digs. I might also tell you about some of the goings-ons (that sounds weird) here in Vicksburg. Yes, stuff happens even in the heat. I know, I was shocked, too.

How have you been managing the summer heat? Have you traveled anywhere fun this month? What cool old houses have you visited? Curious people want to know.

 

Word of the Day: Xerostomia

Fun fact about me: I’ve yet to find a dishwasher that removes egg from anything.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy TripAdvisor.com and Google Images.

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