Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Historic Hannibal Group

Hannibal has a group that seeks to promote old architecture in the Hannibal area.  By meeting in the old homes and business of the area, they share ideas for restoration.  This support has helped new people appreciate the value of older buildings and provide some experienced help with projects.  Though located in Hannibal, they  also enjoy and encourage members from Quincy, Palmyra, and yes, now Shelbina.  The meeting in Shelbina was the largest attendance of the year even though it meant an eighty mile round trip drive.  The Benjamin House has a reputation and all enjoyed their tour.  Ideas were shared with possible ways to finish some of the projects.  President Jack Klotz offered to help locate old foundations and buried artifacts.  His offer was successful as noted in another post.  It is our hope to draw people to Shelbina and appreciate points of interest in the town.  Everyone also had curiosity about the Jewett house located just north of the Benjamin House.  It has a special draw.

Why do you like Chocolate?

Some of the best people in your life are like chocolate.  You just "like them" and it does not take science to tell you that you want them around.  When times get difficult or tedious, you appreciate them even more.  This July is winding down with great weather and a visit from daughter Monika.  Together we make our trip to see Betty Lou and Robert Crist at their kitchen table.  Their 35 years in the Benjamin House gives them great insight into the issues that we now face with the restoration and needed support of the house.  Laughter and stories flow around the table as we relate our adventures.  Bats, bills, and love are common topics.

Molly Brown and so much more....

We had a great time with Molly Brown at the Benjamin House.  Portrayed by historian and author Lisa Marks, we were able to learn so much more about this lady from the same era that created John Forbes Benjamin.  It was interesting to meet parents and grandparents who brought young people to "Tea with Molly Brown".  The setting was excellent for those who wanted to learn of life and the possibilities in the 1870's.  In attendance were two of Shelbina's historians, Kathleen Wilham and Jo Kampschmidt.

Of course a "Maid" helped create the proper setting

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who dropped the SPITTOON?

It is hard to imagine finding so much evidence of the lives that inhabited the Benjamin House in the 1800's. A wonderful friend, Jack Klotz, offered to explore our back yard for artifacts and he was successful!  If only these items could tell us how they served the family that owned them.  Jack is holding my favorite, a whiskey bottle with a crooked spout!  Judge Crist assured me that the bottle was not his!  There was also a fancy spittoon that caught my eye.  
We will always be indebted to Jack for all the hard, dirty work that he did in the heat of 2014.  His tools and experience helped him locate the cache.  From there, it was work, work, work.  He has a great collection of bottles in his Queen Ann house and donated his find to the mansion.   A side note is that the three Moellering boys started an excavation in their back yard after seeing Jack's success.  The Benjamin House may have spawned an archaeologist!  Nope, there was no Gold found.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mimosa problems

Our trip to Starks Nursery went well and we were excited about our pair of Mimosa trees for the front yard.  We looked forward to them gracing the south side of the yard, but they did not survive.  Our good friend, Roy Ratliff, had two more young mimosa trees in his yard and donated them to the Benjamin House.  He even planted them, but they too expired.  Guess it was not meant to be.

From the Bees and all who came before 2014

  Sometimes we think that they will always return, but maybe like "Snowflakes" they are all just a little different.  So, we enjoy each July with the colors that our bees help create.   Knowing all the while, they will melt.

Cherish the flowers and the bees that help them become unique each year.