Friday, May 25, 2012

Remembering a Union Soldier

Let us return to Columbus, Mississippi, in the spring of 1866. The Civil War has been over for a year, yet Union soldiers still occupy the town. The fires of passion and prejudice that had consumed over 500,000 American lives between 1861 and 1865 still smolder in bitterness behind closed doors.
Just outside of Columbus is a cemetery where both Confederate and Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Shiloh are buried. On April 25, 1866 four young women pay a visit to the cemetery to tend the graves of lost loved ones and decorate them with memorial garlands of flowers.
After decorating the Confederate graves, the women walk over to a small plot where forty Union soldiers are buried. Gently they scatter Southern magnolia blossoms on the Northern graves. The news of this unselfish, compassionate gesture spreads quickly and touches everyone. Newspaper editorials praise this act of reconciliation and urge the nation to come together to mourn both "the Blue and the Gray".

Soon in many small towns all over the country people were gathering at Civil War cemeteries and holding commemorative or "memorial day" services. Afterwards, there would be parades led by a brass band, the volunteer fire brigade and a review to honor America's veterans. Following the parade and patriotic orations, there would be a community picnic on the town common.
During the late nineteenth century, Decoration Day was a major American holiday and was celebrated with even more fanfare than Independence Day. This was because the Civil War had touched or altered nearly everyone's life.
Ironically, however, even though the country came together in spirit to honor America's war dead, the North and South still managed to commemorate independently. In 1868, General John A. Logan commander in chief of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic, a union veterans' organization), designated May 30 as "Memorial Day", while the daughters of the Confederacy held firm with the term "Decoration Day" and the date of April 26. Today, Memorial Day  is recognized as a day honoring all of those who have fought America's wars and is legally observed on the last Monday of May.

(The above information was copied from the book "Victorian Family Celebrations" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The postcards are from my collection.)

Below is a calling card that I have of the above mentioned General John Alexander Logan.


The Civil War did touch or alter nearly everyone's life back then, including my ancestors.
About 10 years ago I took ownership of a box of old photos/postcards, family Bible and letters that had been passed down and had belonged to my paternal great, great, great Grandmother, Ellen Boardman Davis. So because of the contents in that box I decided to research them and find out all I could. In the box was a letter, and it took several months for me to finally figure out who the author of the letter was and the importance of it, why it was kept for all of these years. You see, it was dated January the 10th 1862. It turns out that the letter was written by this 3rd great Grandma's brother, Hiram Boardman, and it was to be the last letter that they would ever receive from him.
Hiram had joined the 47th Illinois infantry on Sept. 6, 1861 in Peoria, IL. for a period of 3 years and a little over one year later, Sept. 19, 1862, at the young age of 23 was killed in battle.
I can't place a flag or flowers on his grave because he has none. We were told he most likely was buried in a trench or shallow grave where he fell.
Here is a photo of his letter.

And then, you wouldn't believe what I found while searching the internet one day?!
Okay, I know you will never guess, so here is what I found!!!! A link to a poem written by the man below to my GGG Grandmother and her sisters telling them how and when Hiram was killed!
(The photo is of Sgt. Dixon, not of Hiram. Unfortunately I do not have any of Hiram, that I know of.)



Come Sisters of a Soldier Boy                          
Hear What I'm going to tell                              
About a seen that did occur                              
Whare Hiram Boardman fell
The evening of the 19th day
Of September '62
He marched with furmness to the fite                              
That raged within our view
He doublequicked for one half mile
Formed quickly in the place
To take an active part with those
That fought with face to face
The cannons roared the smoke curled up
The dead lay scattered round
The wounded was conveyed away
From off this bloody ground
Then with the darkness of night
The firing died away
But all our lines of battle strong
We held till the next day
With guns in hand we prostrate lay
Till twelve o'clock at night
A line of Rebels then appeared
In frunt full in our sight
We halted them and ordered them
To come in one by one
One did obey and is this day
A prisoner of war
But all the others did disperse
And fired into our lines
A volly to we gave them quick
Which sooted to our minds
This was the final fatal hour for us
Now Sisters, all we tell
That when the Rebels fired at us
Young Hiram Boardman fell
We feel our loss a braver boy
Was not within our ranks
But on the field strong men must yeild
And brave all things with thanks
Cheer up now Sisters do not mourn
For Hiram is at rest
He fought his fight his victorys won
He now lies with the blest
Sgt. Elisha Dixon

Courtesy of

Isn't that so neat that I found that? Just think, I would have never discovered it if it weren't for the internet.
Below is a photo of the sisters. My 3rd great grandma is the young lady on the right in the back row. Circa 1868?

Not only were my ancestors lives altered but the lives of my husbands ancestors were to be altered as well. Hiram would lose his life so that my husband's ancestors (African American) could experience life, a life of freedom.  

Thankyou so much for visiting.  Let us remember a war veteran today, if they are still living amongst us let us be sure to thank them. See you next week!


I am joining the following parties...
Sandi at her HOME party over at ROSE CHINTZ COTTAGE

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We're Going to an Auction!

We are going to an auction today so grab your sun hats/straw hats, hop in the car and let's head out to the country! I'm so excited you decided to join me. The auction is in Glasgow, Missouri. About 40 miles away. So off we go...

Our travels take us through the very scenic Howard County. So many beautiful things to catch your eye. Here is one of the many barn quilts of Mid Missouri. It is the Electric Fan Pattern. The barn quilts are large, colorful blocks that are designed, painted, and then hung on the front of the barn.  The mission of the Barn Quilts of the Boonslick Region is to promote and celebrate the unique agricultural experience of the region through the visual combination of barns...vital to the economic well being of the rural community...and the comfort of homemade quilts that provided warmth, beauty and an outlet for individual artistic expression.
Visit for more photos.

Here is a neat brick farm silo.

We are entering the historic town of Glasgow, population 1,263. Not the prettiest scene. But...

As we head out of town to the auction site here is a charming little Victorian. I liked the fancy trim and front porch. Check out the underground garage. That would make a great storm shelter, huh?

3 more miles to go from here. Isn't the country side pretty? So hilly.

We're here! We're here! Are you excited? I am!

Hurry, let's see what we can find!

There were a few things I was interested in if the price was right. I had my eye on a  silver plated pickle caster is was so neat and so detailed, it had an owl and Japanese fan on the top and a butterfly on the jar lid. It went for $225...too much for me!
A small silver plated epergne with a small chip on the rim of the glass vase went for $50...too much for me!
There were an adorable pair of Tufts cherub napkin rings and they went for $80 each...too much for me! Especially when I already have several figural napkin rings.
And then there was a box of antique Victorian metal mini dollhouse furniture, it was SO neat but it went for $250! Way too much for me!
The porcelain dolls to go with the furniture went for $50, and most of their heads were broken off, so I didn't get those EITHER!! I didn't get anything! Oh well, let's leave and check out some more countryside.
Here we are back in Glasgow again!

This little town sits on a hill overlooking the Missouri River.

Sitting on the corner in this beautiful historic building is the town's bank.

Going up the street we see more beautiful buildings!
Look at that half turret!

Here is an interior view of one of the buildings. Look at that chandelier!

Okay, saving the best for last!!! As we head out of Glasgow I want to show you the grandest house in town!  And it's even for sale! They are asking $399,000. was built in 1875, it is 10,000 sq. feet, has 29 rooms and was built by James S. Thompson, a descendant of Pocahontas. Cool, huh? I don't think my hubby would go for moving to such a small town though! :-(
This is just one of the MANY antebellum and Victorian houses that are in Glasgow.

On our way back we go through another small town called Fayette, population almost 3,000 and it too has many antebellum and Victorian homes. This town is where my husband's ancestor's were brought over from Virginia and Kentucky with their slave masters in the early to mid 1800's. They resided here in Fayette for the rest of their lives and many descendants are still living here.
Below is the Howard County Courthouse. Isn't it gorgeous?! I've spent many an hour here looking over records on these ancestors. I put together two surname books for him and his siblings and our children so that they would know and could be proud of their heritage and know that these ancestors of theirs were survivors, survivors in every way.

This is the old Howard County Jail. Several years ago it went up for sale and sold on Ebay for $42,000, a Los Angeles lawyer bought it and renovated it into a country getaway. Until 1989, the jail doubled as a home to the county sheriff and his family, with a separate living quarters including a full kitchen and fireplace. The sheriff's wife even cooked meals for prisoners. The new jail is just off to the right side of the house!

Here is my favorite antique shop in Fayette. It is called Rosewood Antiques. The owners are sisters and I just love going in there to visit with them, they are so nice!
So let's go in.

This is the front of the shop...

 and this is the back of the shop.

After leaving town, several miles down the road is this country Church...

and this old cemetery is just across the road. I like the stairs going up to the cemetery and that beautiful iron fence. They usually keep it mowed, but I guess they haven't gotten around to it yet.

Well our trip is now over, time for us to part. Thankyou again for coming along, I hope you enjoyed your day in the country!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In My Lady's Chamber

Hello my blogger friends! So glad you came back to take a tour of the upstairs rooms. We will start out with the master bedroom, I am calling it my "chamber" and I guess I am the "my lady". He! He! Trying to sound a little fancy. BUT... my hubby does not have his own chamber, we share this one. Aren't I nice? So I guess I should just call it our bedchamber and forget the lady part. ;-)

So, with that said...let's head on up!

Okay, let's stop here so I can point out my little sweeties! The lighting in my daughter's photo isn't very bright though. They are now 12 and 15. I don't know about you mom's out there but for me those early years were just so very precious. If I could go back to any age, I think it would have to be ages 4 and 1. But don't get me wrong, I have, and always will, love them at every age.

As we enter the bedchamber the "bedstead" is the first thing you see. I bought this bed at a country antique estate auction back when my son was only 3. So I have had it for a while. It came out of a two story white farmhouse, my Dad used to farm for that family a long time ago.  This bed is full size and is actually a wee bit too small for my hubby, but he NEVER complains, so I try not to complain every morning when I have to tuck the sheets back in at the footboard. He is so patient with me and my Victorian desires!

Here is a close up of the comforter. I got it from a friend's garage sale, my friend who taught me how to needlepoint. I really like the pattern on it and the colors. It is a Ralph Lauren comforter.

Below is Livy Dog's favorite corner in the house. She loves that chair. I got the chair at an auction and I know the green looks a little horrid BUT it matches the green in the comforter. And, remember, I'm NOT getting any more chairs reupholstered! (If you don't know the story check out my Step Into the Parlor post to find out.) The little oval picture is my husband's mother, Grace, taken back in the 50's. It is one of the few photos we have of her. She passed away when he was only 9 years old. 

Awww...isn't she sweet?

Here is a close up of my framed antique fan. Ignore the strange reflection. It is much prettier in person, it has some pretty sparkly stuff on the flower centers that doesn't show in the photo.

Let's move over to the other side of the bed. The parlor table is another auction find, when I bought it only had the wood top. So several years later at another auction I found the antique piece of marble that luckily fit it! The dressing screen came from another auction in Boonville. After stripping off three layers of paint I finally found the oak! The lamp is a reproduction but the handpainted pansies milk glass shade is an antique. 
The framed picture above the table is a hand drawn picture of the Garth Woodside Mansion in Hannibal, Missouri. We stayed there for a mini honeymoon 17 years ago. It is so beautiful!

Here is a real photo of the mansion... 
Here is their website if you want to see some interior photos. Sameul Clemens (Mark Twain) actually slept here.

Here I am as a new bride in our gorgeous "bedchamber". Is that bed to die for or what?! At that time I did not have any antique furniture so it was such a treat for me to be able to stay at a Victorian B and B. 

Okay, back to my bedroom. Next to the lamp is an etched  ruby bohemian glass carafe. I'm not sure of the age of it though.

Moving on around is my antique dresser. Another auction find. I bought it out of an old house in historic Boonville, Mo. and after the dresser photos I will show you a photo of the house. Ignore the little white spot in the photo, I really don't have any ghosts or anything like that. lol

Here are the dresser vignettes...
I will do a separate post on those items later on.

This is the detail of the pulls on the dresser. I had never seen any like them before. Usually it's the fruit and nut pulls that you see on dressers. It looks like some sort of bluebell but it has more of a twiggy vine look to it. So I don't know. What do you guys think?

Okay, here is the house the dresser came out of.  It was built in 1910 and is on the National Historic Register. There were many beautiful Victorian pieces at this auction. I wish I could have bought more. 

And here is my wardrobe that I got a great deal on at an auction here in town. So, lucky for hubby, he didn't even have to leave town to pick up this piece! And lucky for me because he is never happy with me when he gets that phone call saying I bought something else and come pick it up! Especially when it is out of town!
The lovely TV is there to make hubby happy, so just pretend it isn't even there. Even though I am watching Little House on the Prairie.

Another view of the wardrobe and my antique dress form with antique Victorian clothing on it. I made the hat myself for hat day at school.

 And here I am wearing it. I believe it was for a Halloween party. I was a Victorian lady in mourning (even though I am smiling). You can't really tell by the photo but there is a blackbird on the right side and then some black roses and black lace ruffle. If I would have had a wart on my nose and a tooth sticking out I could have been Nannie McPhee! Have you seen that movie? It's really good!

Well we are to the end now. Thankyou so much for visiting and I do hope you get a good night's sleep and may your dreams be ever so sweet tonight. Goodnight my friends.

I am joining Cindy at SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Visit to the Water Closet

I know, you are asking what in the world is a water closet?! Well, I'm trying to sound Victorian here, so pretend with me. This is the smallest of our 3 bathrooms and the only one not to have a tub. So, I guess you could call it a powder room or something like that but today we will call it a water closet. ;-)

Since it is right off the hallway and  so small  I couldn't get a good angle to show very much at one time. But here is an angle from the kitchen. I want you to notice the color , it really isn't pink it is more of a peachy pink color and it matches the peachy color in the roses on the dining room wallpaper but sometimes it APPEARS to be really pink. But I just ignore that!
The theme of the room is roses and seashells.

And this rose bouquet was my inspiration piece.

When we bought the house the wall was painted a brown color, similar to the brown towel (pictured below). At the time I knew I wanted a seashell bathroom and since I did like the brown color I decided to go with it but add some color by adding white towels with embroidered light blue, brown and beige seashells (hanging from the white cabinet and just for looks) and light blue hand towels for using. Well, my kids really don't understand the concept of washing the dirt down the drain, so the dirt ended up all over my light blue towels which did not come out very well at all in the wash! I got tired of that and decided to change it up a bit and have brown towels instead of brown walls. So that's when my inspiration piece came into play, I then painted the walls this peachy pinkish color so it matched the roses and the seashells.
All's well that ends well, huh?
(The white linen towel is there ONLY for this photo, if you know what I mean?!)

The picture below is a hand painted watercolor and signed by a Nannie Phipps. I bought it at an antique shop in historic Boonville, MO. many years ago, I thought it was so pretty and liked the detail on the faces. Well a couple of years later I was at an auction and you wouldn't believe what I saw! The SAME picture but as a 16x20 print! It was titled "Anxious". I guess when you think about it the guy does look a little anxious as he is probably awaiting an answer to a marriage proposal. And if she says no, he'll hop back in his boat and row away into the sunset all by himself, just kidding. That really isn't the sunset, it is the reflection of the camera flash - isn't that funny that it ended up right there in the right spot to look like the sunset?!

This is the towel rack portion of the white cabinet that was here when we bought the house and I liked it there so we left it there. It has room to hold more "stuff"! Yay! And on the back of the commode is a basket of seashells.

These shells I personally collected on our family's first ever ocean trip! We went to Dauphin Island, Alabama back in 2003 and rented a little house right on the beach! It was so beautiful being there! I just love the ocean and I really got into this shell collecting business! I collected shells as a young girl but we always had to buy them somewhere, so to find them myself and for free was very exciting. But I got a little too carried away...I found that by the time we all got out to the beach all of the good shells were already collected by other people. So that forced me to get up really EARLY in the morning to have first pick. And it worked pretty well but by the end of the week I was so tired (from getting up every morning at 5 a.m.) and my neck hurt SO bad from always looking down that I was miserable! BUT! I had some shells! I know, call me crazy. My hubby did!
The little bottles are handpainted and have teeny tiny shells in them. So cute.

And here is the stuff I put in the cabinet...
I like wash set or chamber set pieces and housed in here are a few of those oddball pieces. A couple of shaving mugs, an old powder advertising tin, some little bottles, a silver plated soap holder with the name "Lucinda" engraved on the front, and the lady in back with the pink dress is a powder dish.

I keep this washbowl and pitcher on top of the cabinet because it is seashell themed and I don't have anywhere else for it. I thought it was so beautiful and got it for a good deal but it had a crack at the mouth of the pitcher that I had it repaired - paid more to have it repaired then I did for the set itself, but oh well. I really liked it. And the nice gentleman that repaired it has since passed so I feel lucky to have some of his handiwork to remember him by. Such a sweet man.

Okay, I have another "can you believe it" story! (To show you the two pieces side by side I took them out of the "water closet" to photograph them, sorry it's a little bright!) After having the washbowl and pitcher for probably 4 yrs. or so, and thinking I would NEVER find any matching pieces, I finally did!!!!!!!!!!!
I found the toothbrush holder in historic Hannibal, Missouri! In the picture it is hard to see the blue on the pitcher but it is there and they match in color exactly! So that was a very exciting find indeed!

Here is the border I put up (which was a pain) and I painted the ceiling  this cream color to match the color in my rose bouquet. I thought it softened it up a little and made it look not quite so pink.

This is the same wall color but it looks different because of the lighting. The true color isn't quite as peachy as the photos show it as. I thought it looked pretty with the seashell colors. This is a frame that I bought and hotglued the shells on that I had collected from my childhood. And put an antique trade card inside, with an ocean theme. There's that reflection again! But this time in the wrong place!

AND...guess what?! More postcards! These are my favorite seashell or water themed cards. Notice the postcard on the bottom, there are 3 Koi fish pulling the little girl in her seashell boat. Isn't that sweet?

And last, here is the slop jar that I use as a trash can. It matches the toothbrush holder that I have my rose bouquet in and the cup in the cabinet. I have a slop jar in each bathroom for the trash can. I like the old time look it gives.

Well that is all for today. Thankyou for visiting and coming along on our visit to the smallest room in the house. Let us be thankful for indoor plumbing and be glad we don't have to use a chamber pot or worse yet, go outside in the middle of the night to use an outhouse!!
Have a great Thursday and I'll see you next time when we move on upstairs.

I am joining SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY with Cindy at My Romantic Home, you just have to check out her beautiful blue and white bathroom "water closet"!