House tour (not our house)

Yesterday we had a little excursion to a nearby estate. It was built by an eccentric millionaire in the 1890s, handed to family in 1946, and acquired by a public institution in the 1960s. It has 1500 acres of land that was mostly turned into woods (from prairie farmland) but there are a lot of nice formal gardens. Sparks and I had been there twice before, including last year to see the peonies, but getting into the house isn’t usually allowed unless you’ve paid several thousand dollars to reserve it for a function. Yesterday, happily, they were giving guided tours for $5 a person.

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The Countess in me thinks it’s a nice little place; five good bedrooms upstairs and eight servants’ rooms, a couple of libraries and a couple of dining rooms off of a large hall, a conservatory and a nice staircase. Yes, I could live there.

And we walked through the gardens, too. After a few years of neglect they are being taken care of again. When we were first here in 2010 there weren’t nearly as many flowers.

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Espaliered fruit trees, squee.

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These fish statues are in several places on the grounds and Mimi always approached them from the rear. It’s an anthropological conundrum.

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There she goes again.

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The sunken garden. This one is an especial favorite for weddings. This is the first time we’ve been able to get into it.

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The peony gardens are walled, and all of the walls are covered in grape vines. They must make wine with it.

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And no visit here is complete without a picnic. This is Mimi’s first can of soda ever. She was intrigued, but only drank about a quarter of the can.

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4 thoughts on “House tour (not our house)

  1. Thanks for sharing the house tour… it’s lovely and the gardens are fabulous! I bet you would love the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. If you are ever in the area you should check it out.

    Mimi is such a doll and always smiling!

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