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Posts Tagged ‘Victorian homes’

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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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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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Exciting things are happening here at the Baer House Inn. Fun new stuff. Really cool, really old new stuff. Really expensive new stuff.

Here’s what’s new at the Baer House this past couple of weeks.

Some of you probably saw this post on Facebook, but here it is again.

Original photo by P. Rickrode

Original photo by P. Rickrode. September 2015.

This is our new dining room set for the grand ballroom at the Baer House Inn. A 17th centrury, hand carved table with 8 leaves and 14 chairs.  This lovely work of art was hand crafted in Amsterdam in the late 1690’s and brought to America via merchant ship, where it made it’s way to Meridian, Missippippi at some point about 250 years ago. The family who owned this table and chairs was in the furniture business for many, many years; the estate finally passing to a single man who died of brain cancer with no heirs. The estate was liquidated by a distant relative who had no use (or room) for this emaculate gothic furniture and we ended up the high bidder on a on-line auction. (Yikes!)

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

That’s right, we bought this amazing work of art, sight unseen, at an on-line auction. (Say what?) Scary adventure – really scary adventure – but it seems like that’s what we’re all about these days. Turns out it was lovely and more than we expected from the expericnce, thank God.

Next we purchased this equally exciting sideboard to accent our showpiece dining set in our grand ballroom. This one, we saw first hand at a local antique dealer before writing the check.

Photo by P. Rickrode. September 2015.

Photo by P. Rickrode. September 2015.

This amazing sideboard, or more appropriately named huntboard, was originally commissioned for a ships’s captain in the 1750’s. That’s right, this piece of furniture came off of a ship! A ship, people! A sailing ship on the high seas in the 1700’s. How cool is that?!? I can’t say for sure, but I’m going to call it a pirate ship, because that sounds so much cooler than a merchant ship. (Think Captain Jack Sparrow.) This piece of furniture used to reside in the captain’s quarters of the Black Pearl. How incredibly cool is that?!? (Excuse me while I wipe drool off the keyboard.) Hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. A ship is a ship right?

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the grand ballroom. Our grand ballroom is so amazing right now, with the acquisition of these two fabulous pieces, I wish you could all see it for yourself. It’s a  totally “wow” experience when you walk through our front doors and lay eyes on the dining room furniture. Did I mention our huntboard came from Jack Sparrow’s quarters onboard the Black Pearl? (It didn’t but . . . ) Seriously, it came off of a ship. I am not making this up. It. Came. Off. Of. A. Ship. (I just think that is so cool.)

Black Pearl. Pirates of the Caribbgean. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Black Pearl. Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Anyway, we’re working to upgrade and improve each of our guest rooms as well, as time and money allow. It is our goal to make the Baer House one of Vicksburg’s finest museum homes, offering comfortable rooms at affordable prices with genuine hospitality that will keep you wanting to come back year after year. We want to make you comfortable in lavish surroundings, indicative of hospitality associated with the south.

This adventure here in Vicksburg has been a blessing beyond all measure. I think I was meant to entertain and to entertain in style. I am having so much fun finding truly unique pieces to fill our new home with character, history and pizazz. I had no idea antiques were so interesting.

And, in case you’re thinking it’s all about the house, it’s not. Here’s a little taste of something that cannot be purchased or sold at any cost. It’s a gift from God Almighty and another reason why I am truly humbled and thankful to be living in Vicksburg, Missippippi.

Sunset in Vicksburg, Mississippi. September 19, 2015. Photo by P. Rickrode.

Sunset in Vicksburg, Mississippi. September 19, 2015. Photo by P. Rickrode.

It’s not about the stuff people. That fabulous sunset, is a work of art from our heavenly creator and cannot be bought or sold. It is a gift to be savored. Nope, it’s not about the stuff.

Thanks for visiting today. Please enjoy the simple things dear readers, for they are many and come at no cost to you.

What makes you happy? What simple things take your breath away? What awesome antiques haveyou come across that make you go “wow?” Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

(Please excuse any typographical errors for I was very tired when I composed this.)

Word of the day: Euchre

Fun fact about me: I don’t know a thing about antiques. But I’m learning.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode and Google Images.

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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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Welcome sign at the Victoria port. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Welcome sign at the Victoria port. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The final port stop on our Alaskan cruise was Victoria, B.C., known for it’s amazing federal building, the Empress Hotel and thousands and thousdands of flowers and plants at Buchart Gardens.

Our exploration of Victoria began with a bus tour of the city on our way to Craigdarroch Castle, a masterpiece of Victorian architecture built in the 1800’s as home to coal baron Robert Dunsmuir.

Here is a photo of the front of the castle, but I believe it might actually have been the back of the castle. You’ll see why in the second photo.

Modern-day entrance to Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Modern-day entrance to Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

This photo looks more like the front of a home than the back to me.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Here we took a self-guided walking tour of the four-story mansion complete with: an abundance of intricate woodwork believed to be western and red cedar (can you see the faint orb hovering on the right side of the arch over the door?,

Porte-cochere entrance, original main entrance of Craigdarroch Castle, which was actually on the side of the house. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Porte-cochere entrance, original main entrance of Craigdarroch Castle, which was actually on the side of the house. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

this intercom system (speaking tubes as they called them),

The "speaking tube" intercom system in Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The “speaking tube” intercom system in Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

massive stone fireplaces like this one in the main hall (notice the orb on the paneling near the mountain goat’s right horn,

The main hall fireplace inspribed with this phrase from Shakespear's Troilus and Cressida, "Welcome ever smiles and farewell goes out sighing." Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The main hall fireplace inspribed with this phrase from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, “Welcome ever smiles and farewell goes out sighing.” Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

amazing staircases with an oh-so-obvious orb sliding down the banister,

Me and my sweetie on the staircase from first floor to the second. Yes, that is an orb floating just above my hand. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC. September 2014.

Me and my sweetie on the staircase from the first floor to the second. Yes, that is an orb floating just above my hand. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC. September 2014.

mosaic tile floors,

Amazing tile work floor. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Amazing tile work floor. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

painted ceilings,

Lovely original painted ceiling in the first floor main hall. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Lovely original painted ceiling in the first floor main hall. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

exquisite stained glass (this picture does not do this lovely nook justice),

Beautiful stained glass windows. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Beautiful stained glass windows. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

lavish Victorian-era furnishings,

A guest room at Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

A guest room at Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and — did I mention — orbs.

It should be noted that not once on our journey to, or throughout the tour, did anyone ever mention the presence of these floating balls. It was not until I returned home and downloaded my pictures on to my laptop that I noticed an extreme concentration of the milky spheres.

While there are some orbs in these pictures, to see more pictures of Craigdarroch Castle’s orbs, visit my FB page, photo album Craigdarroch Castle.

After touring the castle, we headed into town where we opted to spend the final leg of the journey walking along the water’s edge. We enjoyed a lovely lunch of fish and chips and an amazing glass of stout beer at an authentic Scottish pub,

Baird & Banker, a Scottish Pub in Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Bard & Banker, a Scottish Pub in Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

wandered through the Empress Hotel

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode Setpember 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

 

A courtyard at the Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

A courtyard at the Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and strolled along the water’s edge, past the Parliament building

Federal Building, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Federal Building, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and several beautiful bed and breakfast inns,

Huntingdon Manon, Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Huntingdon Manor, Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

back to our ship, admiring wooden boats moored in the quiet wharf

Wooden boar. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Wooden boat. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and watching sea planes land and take off along the way.

The sea plane taxi. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The sea plane taxi. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

All-in-all, a very relaxing and enjoyable day in Victoria.

So, what say you lovely readers: ever discover any orbs in your photos? Which picture do you think most looks like the front of Craigdarroch Castle? Ever been to Victoria BC? Ever traveled by float plane? Inquiring minds want to know so please take a moment to post a comment below. I love to know your thoughts.

Fun fact about me: I love egg salad sandwiches for breakfast.

Word of the day: Kunzite.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt November 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

 

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