Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friday Fun: Minnesota Style, Folsom House

One of the things I love most about Minnesota is its diverse history. Last weekend Dave and I took our two girls to Taylors Falls, Minnesota. It's a little town on the Southeast border of Minnesota on the St. Croix River. This part of Minnesota is especially beautiful with the rocky bluffs, dipping river valleys and historic buildings.

We went to Taylors Falls to see the Folsom House, a historic home built in 1855 and owned today by the Minnesota Historical Society. My current story, Forgiveness Falls, is set in 1857 in Central Minnesota and I wanted to make sure that my historic details were accurate. We toured the home and I was able to ask lots of questions.

It was fun watching my girls be enthralled by the old home. They aren't strangers to historic sites (how could they be as my children?), but it was fun to watch them discover chamber pots, spittoons and coffin pianos.

It was a lot of fun spending the day in Taylors Falls (and St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, across the river) with the girls. My time with them, and the memories we made, were priceless. I'll share some incredible pictures of Taylors Falls next Friday, but today I want to share some from the Folsom House.

I'm amazed at the beauty and craftsmanship of a house
built in Minnesota Territory in 1855. There was very little
in Minnesota at that time and everything they used for
the house had to be sent from a great distance.

The main staircase was very wide. The tour guide couldn't
really explain why...

Mr. Folsom's Office. While we were there, they were
having a quilt show, so that's why you see quilts in
all the pictures.

Spittoon in Mr. Folsom's Office
Dining Room and my oldest daughter
The paint on this hutch was tinted blue with blueberries
and these are Mrs. Folsom's original dishes from 1855.
Mrs. Folsom's coffin piano - it was huge!
The "Men's" Parlor is in the front and the "Women's"
Parlor is in the back. I wish there weren't so many quilts
lying around! The furniture underneath was gorgeous.

Me in the Men's Parlor

Two connecting bedrooms, separated by a pocket door

Mrs. Folsom's Bed

Chamber Pot

My daughter thought we should take this potty chair
home for the twins :)

The back of the Folsom House
What about you? Have you been to a historic home lately? What is your favorite architectural period for homes?


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  2. How fun! Looks like a cool place to visit--and a fun and educational experience for your kiddos. :) Loved your daughter and the tiny potty chair. Haha!

  3. Wow, looks like you had a blast! I love historic homes, and as a child, I was blessed to visit Mt Vernon and dozens of other historical places overseas. It's too bad that when I was a kid I wasn't interested in history. I would love to visit Mt Vernon with my handy-dandy camera and writer's notebook today. :-)

  4. Wow, what a GREAT house! I just love touring old homes and hearing the history. A few years ago, I drove to New Orleans for a friend's wedding (just a 5 hour drive). On the way home, I stopped at two old Louisiana rice and cotton plantations: (1) the Destrehan plantation and (2) Oak Alley plantation. STUNNING! Oak Alley has 28, 300-year-old live oak trees symmetrically lining the front drive. It looks like a page from Gone With the Wind. Thanks for sharing your old home tour, Gabe! Can't wait to see your Taylor Falls pics!

  5. How neat, Gabe!!

    I must admit...I didn't expect a chamber pot to be so pretty. Hehe.

  6. So cool! I didn't realize they had separate parlors for the women and men. And I'm like Lindsay...thought the same thing about the chamber pot. It seems too pretty to, you know, mess it up. :0)

  7. Oh, wonderful stuff, Gabrielle:) Love your pics and commentary! Historic houses are such a huge interest of mine and I try to visit them whenever I can. Only trouble is, being in the woods makes that hard. So it's doubly nice I can live through you vicariously here! Bless you bunches!

  8. Gabrielle,

    What a great outing! We love doing stuff like this. Thank you for sharing your special day with us.


  9. OOOOOOOOoooooooooOOOOh! SO gorgeous! I love old, old homes.
    Maybe the stairs were so wide so two women, in big dresses, could go up and down together?

  10. really amazing and kind of classic home ever in Minnesota, I love these wall styles.
    mls online mn


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