A trip to 1900


Today was the Victorian lawn party at the Betsy-Tacy society and they asked if the girls could dress up in period clothes and volunteer as costumed actors to help set the mood and show the kids how to play with the period toys.





The kids played, made friends, had ice cream and lemonade…



Alex made a friend so I had to get a picture… just as his new friend kicked him in the leg!  So much for new friends!  The singing cowboy was neat though.



There was even a horse drawn carriage!



And we took a ride!

The girls sat on the back…



…While the boys rode with me.

Alex LOVED the ride, and went “clop clop” for the rest of the day talking about the horses, even though he looks miserable here!  🙂



Then the kids and I went on a historic home tour.  It was so fun and interesting!


Here’s a mini tour.


House #1 had enormous burgandy velvet drapes and a “pass through” in the dining room for the cook to put the food so the company would never have to see the help!



House #2 was owned by the head of the university theater department and his wife.

They were such neat people!  They were totally kid people and they gave us lots of information about the house and where they got the stones for the floor and so on.

The man told us that his grandson calls their shower the dagger shower because it’s a European walk-in shower and if you turn it on full force it pushes you against the wall!



House #3 was the most beautiful outside and so huge and spacious.

A friend of the owner’s showed us around and apparently he rents the top floor but he is too messy to let people see that floor.  My kind of guy!

The house was once a sorority house, frat house and group home and the owner went to masses of work to restore it.  It’s huge and beautiful!  There are reading rooms and an enormous dining room and a porch you’d never get me off of.  🙂



House #4 was a B&B on sale for only a little more than a half million dollars!

This is the only house I took pictures inside (with permission) since it felt intrusive in people’s homes.


The owner gave the girls a lot of background information about the house.



She explained that the fresco on the wall was done by a traveling painter who would have gone door to door painting scenes for a living.  Frescoes were painted on either wet or dry plaster.  This one is “winter” and “autumn” is in the dining room.



Sorry for the blurry pics, I had the flash off!  Here’s where breakfast is served!



The girls on their way up the stairs…



The suites…




This one is the Betsy-Tacy room!



House #5 was the most whimsical to tour!



The owner is a retired shop teacher who has traveled around the world and does welding and woodworking as a hobby.  He built on many rooms and built a garage with dormer and an amazing all-season porch that said “Live Like You’re in Heaven on Earth” on a plaque.


It felt like it inside!


He showed the girls some of his carvings and they were so intricate.




He got the kids interested in learning to wood carve and then when he saw how delighted we were with his work he gave us a tour of his yard.  It was so delightful!



It was FULL of whimsical statues he’d made like these.



The gardens were amazing and I wish I’d taken a billion more pictures but I was trying to chat and be discreet and not be too much of a tourist in the man’s yard.  🙂


He even brought the girls inside his garage and was showing them how to use a lathe to carve these wonderful spindles he was making for a cabinet for a friend.



After the tour we headed down the street to Great Grandma Leuck’s house for a visit.

Doesn’t she look fabulous for 94?!



Daryl’s mom hung out with us too, but the only picture of her had her hand in front of her face.  You just have to imagine her there.  😉  She wanted to take us out to dinner but had to go, so she slipped Daryl some cash to take ourselves.  We ended up at a Chinese buffet.


Sushi!  Victoria was in heaven.


Anna put on her kerchief and decided she was a gypsy fortune teller.  🙂



All in all, it was a whimsical, magical, interesting, hot, foot blistering, friend making, historical kinda day.






6 thoughts on “A trip to 1900

  1. You got to go IN those houses?!! Well, if I’d have known I could do THAT I think I would’ve stuffed Kleenexes up my nose, gagged down some cough syrup, ignored anyone who chuckled about my raspy, intermittent voice (and the kleenexes) and made my way down there. Dang! We love the character and charm of those old houses so much. Sometimes we look on realty sites online JUST to get glimpses of the interiors of beautiful old houses.


  2. Also…
    My kids think Victoria is very brave for eating sushi. LOL!
    We love Annas kerchief! Did she wear it in the restaurant? If not, she really should have. ;o)
    And I hope I’m still here at age 94, lookin’ that good, and still in my own house. That is awesome. How lucky are your kids, to have a great grandma to claim as their own?! :o)


  3. Oh yes, that was the most interesting part. Most of the owners were SO friendly and talkative too and they’d explain all the work they did and where they got their sources and the history of the home in some cases. We even got to see their bedrooms!

    The most surreal bedroom was a super luxurious bedroom with a massive high four poster bed covered with layers of velvet bedding. The colors were all deep and opulent and everything was immaculate and grand. And there on the very top of one of those super high posts on the bed was a wig! A furry, medium brown wig, like a hairy little hat that had been forgotten way up there. I didn’t think anybody else even noticed but I got such a kick out of it!

    Another interesting note– every single house had cats. They often had photos of their cats around too! The one exception was the last house, whose owner had a sweet memorial to his dog in the back yard (flowers, art and a cement plaque and everything). But inside his house he had all these little ceramic cats that waved and nodded! They were enchanting and the kids loved them. He said the first one was from a shop in Nepal or something and I asked where the waving cats were from and he said “Oh, I picked those up in Philadelphia’s chinatown last week.” As if it were just a trip to the market!

    It was also interesting seeing what was stuck to their fridges. 🙂


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