Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Sunday Afternoon House Tour!

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.
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).
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.

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.

Dedication side.

But this HOUSE!  Oh, this HOUSE!
Dining room
Flash photography wasn’t allowed and the light through the beautiful windows made clear photos difficult. 
Original Furnishings
Dining room ceiling!
Gorgeous Fireplaces
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!
Beautiful stitching!
Fan motifs appiqued on!
Beautiful initials!
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!))
Any guesses?
Soon!  Very Soon!
Happy Thursday, everyone!

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  1. Bonnie ... you are SUCH a tease ... thank you for all you do and especially sharing the places you travel to. We get to go right along with you ;-)

  2. You certainly found a treasure Bonnie, thanks for sharing the gorgeous antiques with us.

  3. Bonnie - I believe that is a "Fancy Leg" Florence sewing machine.

  4. The Meeker Mansion is wonderful, thank you for sharing.
    But, Bonnie, I must say..you are a terrible tease! This is worse than Christmas morning when we were kids. At least we could count the days, hours, minutes to Christmas! On the other hand, the anticipation has certainly been fun. The wondering...the dreaming! eeck!!

    Have a wonderful time in Peru!

  5. Oh the emerald green parlor is my favorite!! Love it when you travel and take us along on your side trips.

    I guess it must be mystery quilt color paint chip shopping time. Can't wait!!!

  6. Good morning.
    What a wonderful treat to see that mansion and in such a grand state!! I love Victorian type homes. The inside is amazing. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I feel like I was there.

  7. I love all your posts of historical America. Living in Scotland I will never see these lovely and interesting places.
    Thankyou. Like everyone else I am eagerly awaiting the mystery quilt reveal. This will be my third.
    You are very much appreciated.

  8. I love all your posts of historical America. Living in Scotland I will never see these lovely and interesting places.
    Thankyou. Like everyone else I am eagerly awaiting the mystery quilt reveal. This will be my third.
    You are very much appreciated.

  9. I so enjoy our side trips! Thanks for taking the time to write it all and share with us Bonnie.

  10. Loved the house and crazy quilts, keep on teasing us, we love it!!

  11. I've been to Puyallup but never to that Mansion. Thanks for showing me part of my State I've not seen. Oh YEA! Mystery Colors coming very Soon! October Ghosts of Mysteries past are calling you to Share, share Share- not scare this Halloween. I agree on the price of handmade, it's so sad to see the vintage goods sold so cheaply.

  12. Love visiting the Meeker mansion, and we so need the rain that's been falling here in western WA. I have a lovely back clamping 1914 Red Eye that's looking for a new home. I've pieced several quilt tops on her, but I'm trying to reduce the number of machines living here!

  13. I loved the tour of the mansion. Thanks for taking us places that our only sight will be through your eyes and the eyes of your camera!

  14. Anonymous12:58 PM EDT

    Bonnie, you're killing me. Last year you announced the mystery quilt on my birthday 10/9 and this year waiting until 10/31 has been the longest 22 days ever! Looking forward to the color reveal and announcement of the mystery quilt name.

  15. Nikki M.1:07 PM EDT

    Thanks so much for sharing. Such interesting sites you visit!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing, especially the old machines! The Florence is a pre 1870 fancy leg model and the pretty floral Singer would be a 1880's VS2 model. I love the crazy quilt! I have my great grandmother's and would love to display it like they have done. Happy sewing!

  17. What fun! You were so lucky to get to take pictures - often they restrict photography. THANKS FOR SHARING!!!!

    sao in Midlothian, VA

  18. Thank you so much for sharing. I love the machines :D I'll have to keep this museum in mind if I'm ever up that way.

  19. Houses and old stories of real American people who lived in them are SO wonderful.

    Now Bonnie, that said and mean, you do know my home address. Please be sure to ship the dining Room Sideboard to me asap! What gorgeous wood!!!! The entire home is interesting but the sideboard? Only word is WOW!


  20. The silk crazy quilt is... magnificent.

  21. My girls and I drove the Oregon Trail the year of it's Sesquicentennial. Funny thing is the trail did not follow any road or highway.... all over the place. Ruts were the byword of the trip.... kept looking for those ruts.... beautiful country.

  22. Loved the photos of the Meeker mansion. Fascinating and my kind of fun.

  23. Anonymous8:53 PM EDT

    I woke up early this morning and checked your blog to see if you had posted the mystery colors like I had dreamt. Maybe tomorrow? ? ? ?

  24. Thank you for letting us see the mansion. I love history and really enjoy learning about the places you visit. Of course I especially love seeing the quilts and sewing machines

  25. What a great tour ! I would have wanted to see that too!
    The paint display tease? I just groan every time I think we might get that first bit of mystery info but we don't….

  26. Thank you for showing us the Meeker home!

    I bet you went shopping for color samples for the Mystery Quilt that is coming up!

  27. It's so wonderful that this house and belongings was lovenly cared for all these years. It's so beautiful inside and out.

  28. What a beautiful mansion! Thank you for allowing us to tour as you toured! When I wonder through these old houses it makes one wonder about the real families that lived day to day. I never was much on history in school but this kind of history I could take in daily! And those sewing machines, and the Crazy Quilt and the Crocheted Coverlet! WOW!

  29. Hi,Bonnie

    When you come to Victoria next year - you need to visit Craigdarroch Castle. You'll love it.
    I can even come and pick you up and take you, if you like.

  30. Thanks for posting the pictures of the mansion and esp. the quilts! Love them!

  31. That was amazing thanks for sharing.

  32. Thanks foe the tour. The quilt & the information about it!

  33. Is the slightly pulled out blue color card a hint? With your photo of the lime green binding, could the mystery quilt be in a lime green and blue combo? Oh, the suspense! Thank you so much for sharing the photos of this beautiful home. What a treasure!

  34. Thank you for sharing your historical visits to places I will never be able to travel to. I am also interesting in the history of our country.
    Lowe's. What a tease! I am assuming a new mystery quilt. Can hardly wait!

  35. Loved the house tour. So much is intact. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing. I wish I could read the Visionary of the West plaque but I need to enlarge it to do so. Could you post that on QOS so I can save and enlarge? I might want to read his book.
    Wendy, mzdetail at gmail.com

  36. Thanks for the tour and history lesson. Love those old homes that have been saved. Lovely pictures of everything! Suzanne answered your questions on the sewing machines. They were wonderful. I'll have to look closer at the Florence that makes an appearance in the color version of Little Women with June Allyson. I thought the legs were wooden on their Florence, but your pic they appear to be wrought iron. Always something new to learn about these vintage beauties!! Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas USA

  37. I am a history buff too and love "following" you through the country. Thanks, Bonnie for the history lesson but also for your enthusiasm for life....... And quilting and your pen chance for sharing it all. can't wait to meet you someday. You're on my Bucket List.

  38. Jennifer Grist3:31 PM EDT

    Just read your post on the Meeker mansion visit. I was lucky enough to buy a singer fiddle base treadle like the one in the Mansion earlier this year. she is so pretty decorated with flowers so is called Daisy Rose. She's from 1890, still sews very well and lives in a corner of the dining room where I can use her when i've a few spare minutes.



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