In the town of Bevier, Missouri, where my grandparents lived, there stands a big historic “mansion” on Bloomington Street. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see inside this house, but never had the opportunity.
It’s been standing empty for years, owned by an auction company, decaying from neglect and the harsh effects of weather and any number of wild critters who found their way inside.
Until now . . .
The house has an amazing history, built around the mid 1800’s by a doctor. Three layers of brick in the walls – built to withstand a blast from a cannon. Lived in by a coal tycoon, who was murdered (but not IN the house, although there are bullet marks in the front of the house from some of the death threats prior to his final demise).
I’ll take you on a tour . . . it’s amazing.
Standing in the sitting room — haha — looking into another room . . . the living room, maybe? There are so many rooms, I don’t know what to call each of them. That far door hides a powder room. Look at the woodwork in the doorway. And yes, those are double pocket doors! I’m swooning . . .
Another pocket door with fancy woodwork. The doorway you can see on the right goes into the dining room. I didn’t get a picture of the dining room, for some reason, but it has a HUGE bay window, and a built-in massive china cabinet with glass doors. There’s also a servant’s entrance in the corner of this room, so they didn’t have to go out and around from the kitchen. So maybe this is the dining room? I can’t tell.
When the house was vacated, everything was left just as it was. Clothes, books, furniture, dishes, personal papers, all the sundries of daily life — just left. It’s like they walked out one day, and didn’t come back.
The auction company that bought the house removed all the furniture and sold it, but nothing else was removed from the house. And as you can see, from this picture of the kitchen, it’s just been left that way all these years. (Personally, I think Krista might want to hang on to those copper jello molds, don’t you?)
The doorway you can see at the very right-hand edge leads to a sunroom/porch that is completely falling apart and falling away from the house. They plan to remove it and rebuild it. It leads outdoors to a wonderful patio area that has a firepit and a stone fountain and all sorts of wonderful things. Love!
To the right of that doorway, is the butler’s kitchen — so very awesome — and a back staircase that leads upstairs so that the servants didn’t have to come around and use the main staircase.
There are some built-in pantry shelves in the kitchen. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out when they’re finished!
Looking straight across while standing at the top of the main staircase. More fancy woodwork and a porthole window. Look at the ceiling falling down . . . yucky. And I can’t say I’m in love with that paneling, either. Fortunately, the stairs are covered with some sort of old linoleum, so the woodwork should be kept safe from damage until they’re ready to refinish it.
Here’s the bedroom directly across from the top of the staircase. See how they just left everything behind? Clothes, books, everything . . . and now it’s all filthy, musty, and disgusting from having been left to sit and rot.
The main upstairs bedroom. This one sits directly above the dining room, so it, too, has the huge bay window. Every bedroom also has a nice closet — unexpected, but wonderful. Another astonishing thing about the house is that none of the original woodwork was ever painted over — what a blessing that will be for their restoration efforts.
The upstairs bathroom. I see they left a towel for guests to use! I love that corner sink, and the old clawfoot tub. You can’t see it, but there’s striped wallpaper above the towel bar — it’s actually sorta neat.
This room is the main reason my sister and I were here on this day. This room was obviously used as a sewing and craft room for the residents, and Krista wanted us to come go through it all to see if any of it was salvageable. Below are the after pictures . . .
We left behind the things we thought Krista needed to see and make up her own mind about keeping. We filled FIVE massive garbage bags with trash, and we got one garbage bag and one box full of things we thought might be useable.
My sister and I divided up the haul we kept, and here’s some of my part. Fabric, some stamped quilt blocks (intended for use with Artex paints, but I’ll embroider them), lots of trims, a partial pieced quilt block, some vintage aprons, and a pile of old handkerchiefs . . .
I’m so excited to see how this place turns out when they’re done working on it. I thought My Cowboy and I had taken on a project with our old 2-story house, but it’s nothing compared to the project these kids have just taken on. Good thing they’re a lot younger than we are!
Someday, when they’re done, and I’m about to enter the nursing home, maybe I can take you on another tour to see it restored to its former glory.