Sunday, April 01, 2012

Just A Little Walking Tour!

I’m lost on the history of this area – meaning, I have some of what was told to me in my head – and the rest of it is kind of a blur. I think this is one of “those” moments where my brain has “Auto shut off after 15 minutes, Unplug to reset!”.

So the story goes like this ---John Deere, the Tractor King, had 2 daughers. One daughter married a man named Butterworth, and as a wedding pressent, John Deere built his daughter this house.

The garage where we are meeting is at the back side of a very very large lot ----and the house now has meeting rooms, offices, things like that. We couldn’t get in to tour, but hoping maybe we can in the few days I have left here --- it’s Sunday today, so I doubt it.

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This daughter’s first name was Katherine, I believe. THe house is now known as the Butterworth center.

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Blue Bells are growing in the garden!

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I absolutely LOVED this carriage portico ---it’s arched shape and the room above it with very Art Deco style stained glass windows ---

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I love gargoyles and faces and figurines – I wonder what the story is about this arch adornment?!

Because we couldn’t get in to see anything, ogled as much as we could peering at the outside, and then we walked to the end of the street, turned right and went to Katherine’s SISTER’s house – which had me gasping for breath:

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I didn’t catch the name of THIS sister –but she married a guy with the last name of Wiman. They built this house in 1909. I believe it was also a wedding gift from her father, John Deere, the Tractor King!

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Holy Moly! I have serious coveting for this house ---all of the round places, and natural light from all those windows….but I do NOT covet being the one who has to wash these windows! No one lives here now, it’s also offices and meeting rooms, etc. One of the windows has a 1909 and a D in the leaded glass panes --- this daddy sure loved his daughters!

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Group Shot! It was great to get out and stretch our legs after being in sewing all day!

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Around the corner of the drive, a little ways off, is the carriage house for THIS residence. Heck, I’ll take this as a studio house any day!

The Mississippi Valley Quilters guild has access to this building for their sit-n-sews several times a month ---inside, the ground floor room was large and bright and several quilters were working on projects as this evening was also a sit n stitch time!

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We walked right in that first door on the left to stop and visit and say hello and see what everyone was working on!

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The grounds were just beautiful --- look at this tree:

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Hello, Allergies, glad to see you are in full bloom here too! LOL!

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YELLOW dogwoods? How come I haven’t seen THESE in North Carolina?! They were butter yellow and so beautiful!

Our walk took us out of the estate area, and back to “normal life” ----I tell you what though, one thing you do not see on fancy schmancy hoidy toidy Tractor Princesses lawns? And maybe it is a good thing?

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NO!! Say it isn’t SO!!

I could hear the “whiiiiiiiirrrrrr” of over-abundant extra large motors on the blow up yard art from a block away!!

We have just entered …*DUHN DUHN DUHN!!!!!!* The ---- TACKY ZONE!

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Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid!

I like bunnies. I do. I like baby ducks – yes I do……but I’m not crazy about them being bigger than I am --- and it’s even funnier when their motors are not blowing them full of air, and they lay like little fabric puddles in the middle of the lawn ----but this? If ever there was a use for the word OVERKILL --- this would be it!

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It’s a wrap-around Easter-Disaster---it goes around the whole house! Motors whirring, giant puffy things standing tall and regal and….very pastel. :c/

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Do you think that maybe, just maybe..putting the blow-up Easter Brigade on sentinel by the door keeps the door-to-door salvation peddlers at bay? LOL!

Seriously, no offence meant to either the blow-up yard art lovers, or any door knockers-- this is all very tongue in cheek and we all had a huge laugh as we made our way back to the Garage where our class was.

((Why is it I feel like I must include a disclaimer when I post my own thoughts anymore!?))

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One redeeming thing --- isn’t this old car a BEAUTY!? I’m thinking I need a sewing machine in THIS color!

Take a walk ---and keep your eyes open! You just never know what you’ll see to inspire, or to make you laugh out loud ---or ---to dream!


  1. Oh...how I wish I lived close to your house! You would be sure to have a yard full of Easter yard art waiting to greet you!

  2. Oh I want a sewing machine in that color too!!! Perfect!!! And so shiny too! Thanks for the lovely tour - I feel as if I was there with you!

  3. No worries, Bonnie. Unless you post pictures of dead animals (like some I could name) it's all good.

  4. Gee that is my house you are poking fun of..........okay I confess....April Fools!!!! :)

  5. I'm with you on the BLOW-up yard decor. one of my kids tried to gift me with a blow-up Nativity. I collect them and want one for my yard, but NOT a Blow-up one. I think I offended them, but it just seemed sacrilegious. It's not nice to tempt me with the thought of a purple machine. Nice homes built for the Daughters of John Deere, sad the family doesn't still occupy them.

  6. Looks like you had a great day! Sewing and walking, including some history. Only thing missing is FOOD! :-)

  7. I have toured both houses and they are fantastic. I love to go and tour old houses these were very nice but I really loved Biltmore.

  8. Oh how I love old houses and those two are gorgeous, thank you for sharing pictures. I am with you on the window cleaning - yikes I'd hate to have that job!!

  9. Oh, how I wish I was sewing and walking with all of you! I HAVE been sewing, though. I'm with you on the blow-up yard decorations. The green part of me hates the waste of energy!

  10. Love the old houses! I would love to tour them and see how the people that inhabited them lived during that time. And I know you put that purple car there just for me, right? LOL!!!

  11. Lilac Joan5:57 PM EDT

    One of Deere's descendents had a house in the Little Rock area and her belongings were sold at several estate sales. She was a fabric buyer (maybe a quilter--there were none for sale). Anyway I was able to buy quite a lot of fabric and related items.

    1. Lilac Joan5:59 PM EDT

      PS from Lilac Joan
      I loved your class here in Little Rock. I have my quilt about 3/4 finished.

  12. Ooooo! If I could find a vintage sewing machine in that color I would buy it in a heart beat!


  13. OH, my goodness, you are SO skinny! You look TERRIFIC! How'd you do that? Just the running and traveling??? As my dd's would say, "Hubba hubba"!

  14. That yard looks very festive. I'd enjoy it for the season but I wouldn't want to store all that stuff....it might cut into my fabric storage, gasp!!! LOVE the car!!!

    Lori in VA

  15. Love the car!... my favorite color!
    I too will pass on the blow-up decorations!

  16. Anonymous9:14 PM EDT

    You think that daddy loved his daughters....maybe he just wanted them out of HIS HOUSE! lol

  17. I went to a retreat and shared a table with a gal who had a Featherweight the same color purple as the car. Everyone was ooo-iing and ahhh-ing over it.

  18. I am so upset with myself that I didn't know about this sewing retreat. Don't know how I missed it. I only live about 1 1/2 to 2 hours away and I would have loved to have joined you all. Maybe next time. Do you have plans to be anywhere else in Illinois anytime soon?

  19. re: tacky : ) One of our favorite children's books is Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester--you'd love it! Often tell the kids that they're "an odd bird, but a nice bird to have around". hugs from gail in cincinnati

  20. I'm not a real fan of the blow up decorations, but if you have one, you might as well have a yard full of them and make a statement.

  21. Bonnie, I loved your walking tour. So funny with the bunnies and friends. But what really made by day was the beautiful purple car. That is MY color. I'm the Countess Purple Passion Lady at one of my groups and that was a very regal purple to say the least. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I can't believe you don't already own a purple sewing machine! : )

  23. The house with all the blow ups looks like a house in my old neighborhood. They decorate like that for every I mean every holiday. Lights too. Crazy but I do love that purple car. And what fun on your little walk.


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