Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Design for Victorian living

A proper frontier Victorian house. How else to describe the John Fremont house on the Sharlot Hall Museum grounds? Built in 1875, 10 years after the town was founded, the Gurley Street cottage was the home of the fifth territorial governor of Arizona (1878-1881) -- on those few occasions he stayed in Prescott.

I had not realized that the building did not make it to the museum grounds until the early 1970s. The Sharlot Hall website tells us that the removal and restoration cost almost $30,000 and the caved-in roof (from a recent fire) did not appeal to the aesthetic senses of the community. Many questioned the whole process and one architect suggested the best way to deal with the old house, even after it was moved, was to burn it down. Eventually, the "Fremont House" was restored and was dedicated January 19, 1974.

These days it is one of the features in the monthly living history presentations by the museum staff and volunteers (above); the next such event is scheduled for Saturday Sept. 12, BTW. Note: all the furniture in the restored house is from the same historic era, though it came from many sources. I can't believe that the original was this uncluttered and suspect that folks with modern sensibilities did the decorating!

Now for a tour of the house, beginning with the dining room.

The dining room stove (above): what gorgeous iron work! Of course, there was a stove in every room for heating, most likely with local pine or juniper wood.

The kitchen (partitioned off by glass which made flash impossible to use).

The bedroom: above, bed; below, the vanity and night stand.

Finally, the bedroom stove. Thinking about all those stoves and all those logs to lug in and all those ashes to dispose of reminds me of how glad I am to live in the time of central heat!


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

My compliments to those who brought the preservation about


Granny J said...

bro -- mine, too! Both the Fremont House and the Glessner House were rescued in the 19-aught70s. The Fremont was situated where today's Jack-in-the-Box serves up fast food.

quilteddogs said...

Very cool. Looks like some nice antiques if they are the real thing. My eye was immediately drawn to the quilt on the bed.

James Haskell said...

I will have to vist there on my next trip with the wife and kids

Kathleen said...

Such a lovely house! I haven't been inside in years - nice to have a tour =)

Granny J said...

qd -- the sharlot.org website declares that all the furniture is from the same period as the Fremont occupancy.

haskell -- by all means, take a long afternoon and visit all the old buildings at the museum. You won't regret it.

frame -- it's obviously time for you to walk down the block and visit the old house again...

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