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Posts Tagged ‘Lazarus Baer’

Last week I gave you a smattering of the kinds of paranormal activity we currently experience here at The Baer House Inn. Never anything sinister or malevolent, just little noises to let us know that “we are not alone.”

This week, I’ll delve a little deeper into some lesser know types of ghosts or ways that ghosts manifest themselves.

First, let’s talk about the trickster, the kokopelli if you will.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

According to http://listverse.com/2013/03/27/10-little-known-mysterious-ghost-types/ – “Unless one is German, then the “Kobold” is not exactly a household term when it comes to the paranormal. Like a poltergeist, the kobold is a mischievous little spirit, playing tricks on humans and doing things to unsettle whoever is occupying its space. Kobolds can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on circumstances.”

Well, I for one only want to experience the benevolent type.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Former innkeeper, Doug, had a first-hand experience with a Kobold while he was doing some remodeling work in the basement. You see, the basement (the inside one, we also have an outside one), used to be the Baer House kitchen. I know, I know – weird that a home built in the late 1860’s, early 1870’s had a kitchen inside the house. Unheard of at that time. You see, kitchens had a tendency to burn down and burn down fairly frequently. That’s because people still cooked over open fires or with open flames in cook stoves. Fire, my friends, can be very destructive if one is not careful.

Well, Ms. Leona Baer insisted that her kitchen be built right inside her home. After her original kitchen house “mysteriously” burned down (that’s a whole different blog post), her construction workers began building the basement kitchen. At that time, people thought Leona was a little off her rocker. Why risk burning down your big beautiful mansion just to have the convenience of an indoor kitchen?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Fast forward to 2005 when Doug bought the home and decided to turn that unused old kitchen space into a work-out room. During the initial remodel phase, quite frequently his tools went missing. On more than one occasion, he remembered putting a tool in a specific place only to have it disappear the next morning when he went to resume his work. Several days, or weeks, later, said tool would reappear in a very bizarre and out-of-the way place.

I’m thinking that’s a Kobold at work suggesting to Doug that perhaps a work-out room was not such a good idea. In fact, he never finished that room.

That basement was not completed until 2015, when we turned it into a downstairs family room (aka a place to store our stuff). We go down there just about every night to watch t.v. and I have a very small craft/sewing room down there. There’s also a very nice, very modern half bath.

Oh sure, the shenanigans continue, but mostly in the form of electronic equipment going wonky (ie, the television turning itself off or the dehumidifier suddenly stopping for no reason). Occasionally we’ll come home and the lights will be on. Nothing dangerous or scary, just the little trickster letting us know he’s/she’s around.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Now, it makes perfect sense that a Kobold would choose to inhabit this house. You see, this house was built by a very devout Jewish family, the patriarch of which immigrated from Germany. Remember the opening quote? Well, Lazarus Baer was a Jew from Germany, so . . . there you go.

Have you ever heard of Kobolds? I know a lot of you paranormal fans probably use that term every day as part of your regular vocabulary, but I had never heard of it. Until now. So tell me readers, would the presence of a friendly Kobold frighten you? Ever been on the receiving end of a paranormal trickster’s prank? I’d love to hear your experiences.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by and for your continued support. I love to read your comments, so keep them coming.

Word of the Day: Quadriga

Fun fact about me: I’m an avid fan of Dancing With the Stars.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Photos and images courtesy Google Images.

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So here’s part two of the virtual tour of the house that Leona built.

If you’ll recall, we left off in the awesome entry hallway downstairs that separates the front door from the back door. Let’s all go upstairs and take a peek into a few of the guest rooms.

Our first stop will be the Tara Room. I should let you know that currently all of the rooms are named after Gone With the Wind characters or houses, which are characters in their own right. However, we will probably be changing the names at some point in the future. We’re shooting for a more Mississippi themed house and Gone With the Wind was not set in Vicksburg or anywhere in Mississippi, although it is an epic Southern based media phenomenon.

So, back to the Tara Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

 

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a lovely queen-sized 4-poster bed, a sparkling Austrian crystal chandelier, and a non-working fireplace. It has it’s own private bath and sits toward the back of the home.

Next we’ll visit the Rhett Room:

Rhett 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Rhett 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a queen-sized canopy bed as well as a day bed, however, in just a couple of weeks, a 4-poster twin bed will replace the daybed. It also has a non-working fireplace. It shares a bathroom with the Pineapple Room. The bathroom is across the hall because both the Rhett and the Pineapple rooms are in the oldest part of the home, the side that has no plumbing on either the first or the second floors. These are the largest guest rooms in the house.

Next, we’ll visit the Pineapple Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 4

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room is also on the older side of the home and has floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls. It has a king-size bed and, for now, the 4-poster twin bed that will be moved into the Rhett room, when we pick up the full-sized 4-poster bed we just purchased for this room. Like the other three rooms we’ve visited, it has a non-working fireplace. This room is usually allocated to brides for their use before wedding ceremonies conducted at the home, since it is so spacious and has lots of light from the four windows.

Take a peek back down the upstairs hallway as we go back across to the newer side of the home to the Bonnie Blue Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Those cabinets on the left are built in and original to the home.

Let’s step into the Bonnie Blue Room, my favorite guest room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room, situated in the front of the house, has an impressive king-size bed and a small sitting area in the sunny bay window. This room was Lazarus and Leona’s bedroom when they occupied the home in the late 1870’s. It has a private bathroom, obviously added at some point after the home was originally constructed, and a lovely Austrian crystal chandelier. This is the only guest room upstairs that does not have an original fireplace. We believe it is covered up by built-in cabinets and shelving, added in the 1970’s when the entire home housed law offices and a law library in the current ballroom.

There are two more guest rooms, but it was difficult to photograph them since the lighting is not very good in those rooms at this point. We are upgrading our website and have a local photographer coming to take some professional shots so I’ll post those at some point in the future.

There is an upstairs porch on the back side, shown below, and a balcony in the front of the house, but you’ll have to experience that for yourself when you visit.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

So that’s the end of our tour today. I hope you enjoyed this second glimpse of my new home. But, I hope even more that you’ll book a reservation to come experience the ambiance and grandeur for yourself. The front porch swing is a lovely place to sit and sip a glass of wine in the evenings.

So, what did you think? Which room do you want to stay in when you visit? Have a favorite? Any suggestions for re-naming the rooms? We’re trying to go with names and themes associated with Mississippi and it’s history. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’ll even award a $10 Amazon gift card for any suggestions we decide to use.

As, always, thanks for visiting and your continued support.

Word of the Day:  Azimuth

Fun Fact About Me: I’ve never been fond of cats. (Sorry CJ.)

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

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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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