As I stated in a previous post, I had yet to post any photos of the 1890’s Davis Victorian Mansion from my trip to the George Ranch Historical Park – so, here they are!
Still not sure this would qualify as a “mansion” by today’s standards, but for time period and the location, this certainly was one fancy structure. Many of the buildings on this ranch were originally located several miles away in Richmond, TX where I live, but were moved as the town started to develop and grow in the 1970’s. I can’t recall for certain if this was one of the ones that got moved, but I’m pretty sure it was. It took three days to move the buildings, because they had to wait until late at night when they could shut down the traffic on the farm roads to get it moving.
Th city of Richmond has a historical area where our city hall is, so buildings like this are a pretty familiar site out here. But this one has been restored to it’s original floor plans and decor, which makes it unique. Some of the houses in Richmond like this are residential, but many of them have been converted into businesses like law offices or tea rooms and museums.
As some of the international tourists who were on the first tour I followed pointed out, the US doesn’t have the sort of ancient history you’re going to see elsewhere around the globe – and Texas has even less history preserved than most states. Texas doesn’t seem to have much tolerance for old buildings, for some reason, and tends to tear them down in order to replace them with a ton of concrete and glass. Perhaps that’s why we get so excited over any building that’s over 80 years old around these parts.
The interior of the mansion was tricky to photograph, since I couldn’t get full shots of the fairly small rooms, but I did my best. There were a lot of lovely floral arrangements and place settings around, as you can see – even if all the flowers were fake. Easier to maintain I guess when all you have to do is dust them off!
All the rooms were roped off as well, so I could only get a few decent angles to shoot from in each room. And since I was so focused on taking pictures, I didn’t pay much attention to what the guide was saying about the house, but it was mostly the usual stuff about how people were expected to behave and how a mansion like this functioned at the time.
While the Polly Ryon home had no air conditioning and had all the windows open to keep the place cool (which didn’t work very well), this place fortunately had been updated with AC. Otherwise it would have been sweltering – and the Ryon home made me terribly nervous to wander around in due to all the wasps that had gotten inside and were flying around everywhere. Sadly, I am terrified of insects – unfortunate, since Texas is known for having some real doozies when it comes to critters.
There was also a family cemetery outside; the first time I visited it was closed off, and we couldn’t get in to look at the stones. But on my second visit, there were some employees in there cleaning things up, so I got to wander in and snap some pictures. I haven’t processed any of them yet, and I may not ever do so since in the end they were kind of boring, but I did a decent shot of the entire plot that would have been perfect if there hadn’t been that one woman in the shot who was not in costume. Oh well. From this distance, you probably can’t tell that the other guy was in costume anyway.
And lastly, here’s a lovely shot of a very old tree; I just liked how it was framed by the front porch pillars. You’re welcome.
I know this wasn’t a very informative post, but I’ve said so much about my visits to this park already that I’m out of ideas. Hopefully the pretty pictures will be enough!
I really enjoyed the exterior and interior shots of the mansion that you took. I love old buildings. It is a shame so many are just torn down 😦
** Also, I wanted to tell you how glad I am that you are out of your past employer’s grip. I meant to send a reply on that previous post but I never got around to it…sorry. What an awful experience! But obviously you have grown
from it . : ) Keep on keeping on sistah!
Thanks so much! I know a lot of times I read comments when I don’t have time to respond, then forget to do it later. 😉 The joys of internet communication!
What a beautiful house; I’m glad that it’s still there to enjoy. What I wouldn’t give for a porch like that! Thank you for sharing these. (Too bad the rooms are roped off…I’d sneak in and move just one checker on that board.)
LOL that does sound tempting!
I love the attention to detail here. Why does that bed have an enormous tome on it? My favorite part of this house is that incredible wraparound porch. Is that a porch on the upstairs as well, like a giant wraparound balcony? Or is it fake?
I’m pretty sure that huge book was a Bible, which would make sense LOL. And if I remember correctly, there was a large wraparound porch on the second floor but it was enclosed and used by servants only for one reason or another I don’t recall.
Haha, that does make sense. But it is still way too big to be lying on a bed. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way it was kept or read from back in the day!
Beautiful home. Some of the shots you took it made some of the things look like doll house furniture which I thought was cool.
It looks like the house in the Forrest Gump film. It’s good they preserved it. I enjoyed seeing the photos they’re very different from old buildings here.