After Quilter’s Dream Retreat, Fall 2015 had come to an end, Mary and I had some choices to make.
What did we want to do with our afternoon?
It was a Sunday, some places are closed, others are open – and then there was that issue of RAIN which Mary kept assuring me was “only liquid sunshine!”
Oh yes, the Pacific North West, where most everything is “rain forest” and rain it does, often!
I was happy to say though, that the weather was beautiful all the way up to the time we left camp –as if the universe knew not to rain on our parade!
Antique Mall hopping? Oh yes, I’m game!
And as we pulled into the parking lot, I looked over and saw this huge mansion peeking through the trees….and we made a detour!
This looked really interesting, rain or not!
A walk around the side of the house into the portico showed that they were indeed open, and you could tour the house for the low low price of $4.00 per person.
We were in!
I love history, and this was a great way to spend some time. I love learning about people and the amazing things they did with their lives and the story of Ezra Meeker and his wife Eliza is quite extraordinary.
Washington state is known for it’s hops production. It’s a huge industry here, and I had stumbled right into the house of the Hop King!
In 1865, Mr. Meeker, with his father and brother, planted a few rows of hops and started an industry that was soon to affect the entire commercial world, bringing millions of dollars into the Puyallup Valley and the Northwest. Realizing that the best market was in England, Meeker spent several months each year 1884-1887 in London in the interest of the hop growers of the Northwest.Ezra had come across the country with his family on the Oregon Trail as a small boy, and in his later years he went back across it again to the East numerous times, in the efforts of bringing attention back to the importance of the Oregon trail to the nation.
When the failure of the hop industry (due to an infestation of hop lice) and the hard times and financial panics of the 1890s brought him financial ruin, Mr. Meeker turned his attention to supplying vegetables to miners in the Yukon and Klondike gold fields. This story has been told in Dennis Larsen’s book, Slick as a Mitten (WSU press, 2009).
Four sided Marker in the yard
Meeker became convinced that the Oregon Trail was being forgotten, and he determined to bring it publicity so it could be marked and monuments erected. In 1906–1908, although in his late 70s, he retraced his steps along the Oregon Trail by wagon, seeking to build monuments in communities along the way.
His trek reached New York, and in Washington, D.C. he met President Theodore Roosevelt. He traveled the Trail again several times in the final two decades of this life, including by oxcart in 1910–1912 and by airplane in 1924. Meeker wrote several books, and continued to promote the Trail until his death in 1928 at age 97.
But this HOUSE! Oh, this HOUSE!
Dining room ceiling!
Down the hall toward the front parlors and up the stairs!
There are many photos and I’ll put them in a slide show, but the things that intrigued us most, of course included quilts and sewing machines!
Crazy Quilt under glass!
Fan motifs appiqued on!
I’m glad they had it stored under glass so we could get up close and personal without helping the fabric to continue to shred as silks do as they age!
In the attic “Sewing room!”
In the closed cabin lives a Singer Red Eye model 66! The one open by the window I think is a VS1, but I’m not positive. Maybe our Vintage Machine gurus will chime in here and let us know in the comments section what it is. Allison? are you reading this?
Fiddle base, decals very worn – Shuttle in place!
I really wanted to sit and stitch at her in the worst way!
In the corner…an even older treadle – the kind that sews side-ways!
I’ve seen a “Florence” like this, but no idea what brand this one is.
Again, sorry for the lighting, there was no flash allowed and what we got was what we got.
Other needlework of note. Crocheted bedspread!
These delicate crocheted bedspreads always take my breath away. How many balls of thread go into something so fine? I see them discarded and priced low at antique malls and I think of the hours of skill that went into them. This one belonged to the family, and I’m happy to see it on display in the mansion!
More photos below in the slide show. Click the image if you aren’t able to view the photos on your mobile device, you’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.
|Meeker Mansion, Puyallup, WA 2015|
If you have a chance to visit the Meeker Mansion in Puyallup, it’s the best $4.00 you can spend!
And there is an antique mall right next door. More on that later!
Guess what THIS is?!
I ran errands most of yesterday afternoon, in the pounding rain. I’m nearly ready for Peru! And I stopped by Lowes to…….((FILL IN THE BLANK!))
Soon! Very Soon!
Happy Thursday, everyone!