Sunday, January 22, 2012

1st Open House of the New Millineum!

Well, that may sound a bit grand, but it was a great start.  The rumor is that Mr Benjamin's first open house was attended by very few or even boycotted all together.  We did not really know what to expect from the announcement in the Shelbina Weekly News, but were very surprised when people started arriving and the groups kept growing.  We quickly abandon the plan to give orderly group tours with explainations of the work in progress.  Plan "B" went quite well as my wife, Marilyn joined forces with Jo Kampschmidt to provide information upstairs.  Kathleen Wilham and I worked downstairs to answer as many questions as possible.  Kathleen had printed a nice folder that included a copy of an 1872 artical published before the home was even completed.  She combined this artical with another from 1899 that described the completed home and furnishings.   We are very fortunate to have so much information about the home from various sources.  We are also very fortunated to have the likes of Kathleen from the Historical Society and noted author Jo to support the mansion with their expertise.  The only drawback to such a large attendance was the inability to speak with each and every person as much as we wanted.  The mansion has so many different points of interest and we could see people who concentrated on the architecture while others liked the color schemes or original furnishings.  The rare faucets, medallions, lighting fixtures, and fireplaces offer so many items to view.  Then, there are all the stories about John Forbes Benjamin himself, which Kathleen can tell so well.  We want to give thanks those who attended for being so orderly and respectful of the rare items in the house.  Some of the people were from the St Louis area while others heard about the openhouse in Mexico, MO.  Since the openhouse, many people have asked when the next opportunity to tour  would be scheduled as they were unable to attend this one.

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