Friday, June 13, 2014

A Weekend of Delicate Company - Part 1

For all that it was supposed to be an immersion event (as in, no modern conveniences), I took a lot of pictures.

But first, let me set the scene: the weekend was held at the Shapley Ross House, which was built around 1820 and lived in continuously until some time in the 20th century, the exact date of which I have forgotten.

(Side note: the Shapley Ross House is named after the original owner/builder, who was  "the wealthiest man in Lincoln County and was recorded in the tax records owning two mills, over 1000 acres of land and 25 slaves"(Delicate Company).  His name was Shapley Ross.  I thought "Shapley Ross" was the names of two different families that owned the house over the years, but nope.  End side note.)

The house is not actually that big.  It has two floors, with two and a half rooms on each floor.  The two sides of the house are mirrors of each other.  The half room on each floor is the entrance hall (on the first floor) and a strange staircase landing / bedroom hallway (on the second floor).  That is all.  It is not a stereotypical plantation mansion or anything like that.  But my goodness it was gorgeous and perfectly decorated to give it a period feel.

The house has museum quality reproduction and antique furniture, but feels like a home.  No chairs were roped off to keep people from sitting on them and we could explore anything, dig through any drawer we felt like.  I would randomly open a cupboard to find extra linens or open a drawer in a vanity to find period hair clips, combs, and pomade.  Karen Duffy, the docent of the Shapley Ross House and the hostess of the Weekend of Delicate Company, did an excellent job to make the house feel like a home for the weekend.



This post has tons of pictures of a house, which may not interest everyone, so I'm putting it under the cut... 


Above, the entrance hall as seen from the staircase.  Mrs. Hamilton (the 1860s persona of Karen Duffy) stands in the doorway to direct her butler in moving the ladies' trunks into the house. 


This view is from the entrance hall, looking towards the dining room.  1820s interior decorators liked color, but weren't concerned with color schemes.  The yellow of the staircase and doorways does not really match the wallpaper (which is handprinted on with stencil/stamp blocks).



View from the dining room towards the entrance hall. 







View from the front door - the back door is open, so the back yard is visible.  This is possible because the house is symmetrical on both axes.


The backyard, as seen from the back door step.


Parlor pictures!  The middle armchair - a lady's armchair, actually, as it has dropped arms - in the picture above was the most comfortable chair in the house.





The picture above and the one below are from the half room where the staircase is upstairs in between the bedrooms.  It's a very small area, not really a living space, but more of a place to store things or do some minor clothes mending.


The pictures below are of the bedroom I stayed in.  Interestingly, I didn't take any pictures of the entire room, just pictures of more detail-y things.  This would have been the master bedroom.  We had five ladies sleeping in there, so obviously it would have been set up differently than you see below.

 






That's it for now.  The next post will have pictures of the actual event itself (and people! instead of stationary objects).  Please let me know if there is anything more I can explain.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes even a thousand words need a summary.

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