Friday, December 18, 2009
Touring An Old Mansion
A few weeks ago one of Daughter's friends told me that the Brown Mansion in Coffeyville, KS was open for self-guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings until Christmas. I could hardly believe the cost of entry was the very small amount of $2 per person! As I understand it, the normal admission is $6 for adults, but maybe the admission was lowered because the special Christmas tours are self-guided.
Ever since I was a little girl I have been very curious about the 3 story mansion. We used to drive past it whenever we were in Coffeyville to visit one of my aunts. For one reason or the other I had never toured the grand old home until last night.
A bit about the mansion and the Brown family -
Plans for the 16-room home were began in 1898 but the mansion wasn't completed until 1906 at a total cost of $125,000.
W.P. was 6'3" and his lovely wife, Nancy, was but 4'11". Mr. Brown had the stunningly gorgeous staircase built with shorter than normal risers to accommodate his wife's petite size.
The Browns had a daughter, Violet, and 4 sons. Two of the sons died at birth, William died at the age of 4 and Donald died just a month before his 12th birthday. Violet lived to the age of 88.
President Taft visited in the Brown home during his 1912 campaign for his second term as President and rested in one of the 2nd story bedrooms. That bedroom is now known as the Taft Room.
The story of W.P., Nancy and Violet Brown is a very interesting and sometimes sad one.
You can read more about the mansion and the Brown's story as well as see many photos of the family and the mansion's rooms here.
Various groups in the area decorated the home's rooms for Christmas and they are lovely. You'll just have to take my word for it because unfortunately cameras were not allowed*. I can only imagine what it must have been like to spend Christmas in the mansion during the early 1900's.
Although restoration is ongoing the mansion is one grand home! If you ever plan to be in the Coffeyville area and enjoy touring old homes you might want to call ahead and see if the mansion is open. And if you do - give me a holler and I'll meet you there.
* The pictures in this post are of our home.