My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Victoria Mansion and Christmas Through a Child's Eyes

109 Danforth Street
Portland, Maine 04101 (Very interesting short video.)

Grand staircase.
(About my visit is at the end of this post.)

Information from their website (above and below), permission was granted to use it on this blog.
Morse hired Gustav Herter, a German-trained cabinetmaker and interior designer to decorate his summer retreat. Herter was one of the most influential designers in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century. Today, Victoria Mansion is the only Herter commission that survives intact. Richly gilded surfaces, intricate plaster work, enormous mirrors, and sumptuous fabrics combined to create lavish spaces of a palatial scale.
Morse died in 1893 and the following year his widow, Olive Ring Merrill Morse, sold the house with most of its furnishings to J. R. Libby, a prominent dry goods merchant. The Libby family preserved the original d├ęcor and made few changes to the property. The Libbys occupied the Mansion until about 1929.
In 1940 the house was rescued from an uncertain fate and has been open to the public as a museum since in 1941.
Today Victoria Mansion contains over 90% of the original interiors including almost all of the original wall paintings by the Italian-born artist Giuseppe Guidicini, a master of the trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) style; many surfaces in the house appear to be three-dimensional and warrant a second look.

Looking out the front door.

The first room on the right after you enter the house is the Reception Room. This is an extremely beautiful room, but hidden by Christmas decorations.

The dining room, 5 photos.

(Husband checking out the ceiling, below.)

The Library filled with toys. Check out the ceiling below.

The elegant parlor. Two photos are large, just so you can see it all.


Looking up at the 25 foot-long stained glass skylight.

Views of the hallway from the 2nd floor.

Turkish Smoking Room.
"This may be the earliest smoking room that survives in an American residence."

The Red Bedroom, below.

I love the double washstand in the bedroom!

Sitting Room for the ladies on the 2nd floor.

The Green Bedroom.

 My husband and I visited the Victorian Mansion on December 10, 2018. We were there about 11 and there were very few visitors. I understand the weekends and nearer to Christmas get quite crowded. We loved the self-guided tour, and chatting with guides nearby. There is a nice gift shop. On street parking is very limited, so go early or park in a garage nearby. I was told that every year, the theme changes, so you never see the same thing twice.