In a previous post I introduced you to Shadowlawn and told the story of Isaac, Charlotte, and Jere Witter who once lived there.
Today for Sunday in My City, I want to take you on a tour through the lower level of this majestic home.
Today Shadowlawn is a private residence no longer. It now serves as the South Wood County Historical Museum.
However, my interest in this series of posts is in Shadowlawn, the home. So I ask you to use your imagination - - - try to look past the museum exhibits and occasional clutter to "see" the house as it once must have been.
To help us with this mental imaging, I'm including a floor plan of the first floor.
The room which once served as Isaac Witter's library is now the museum office and I didn't photograph it as it was occupied by gals going about their daily office tasks.
Now, please come with me through the front door - - -
And into the grand hall which runs from front to back of the house.
One of the first things to capture our attention is this magnificent chandelier framed by - - -
The grand stairway.
On either side of the stairway are halls, one leading to the main floor bathroom as well as the side entrance to the kitchen and the other to the entrance from the Porte Cochere, which those of us who are less classy would call the car port.
Across the hall from the grand stairway is the entry to the formal living room. Gorgeous pocket doors are usually hidden in the walls.
The living room is now serving as one of the museum galleries. You can still catch glimpses of what it once was - - - the hard wood floors, the radiator under the window, and the ceiling.
A living room window. I don't believe these window treatments are original, though I do think they give us a hint of what might once have hung there.
I am not including here photos of the kitchen area, as there is nothing the least bit "kitcheny" left there.
This however, is an elevator which Isaac had installed just off the kitchen. Though it is no longer in operation, it used to run all the way up to the third floor.
It was installed at the base of - - -
The back, or servant's, stairway. This portion of that stairway leads only to the second floor.
Coming out of the kitchen, into the grand hallway, one finds themselves on the edge of the dining room - - - now a display of a turn of the century sitting area.
The fireplace is original to Shadowlawn and was on the interior side wall of the dining room.
At the narrow end of the dining room opposite the grand hall end, on the exterior wall, is this lovely bow window.
And now, one of my favorite spots in the house - - a view into the side of the solarium.
This piano stands today in what was once the breakfast room, just outside the solarium. You will notice that the flooring here is the same as in the solarium.
This is a view into the solarium from the dining room.
Though now a board room, the solarium once served as Miss Charlotte's sitting room.
We think this is the flooring she chose because there is an old black and white photo of this room as her sitting room, and this flooring is clearly visible in that photo.
There is a story that goes like this: when the servants had finished their labors for the day, Miss Charlotte would sometimes invite the "girls" to change into their BEST clothes and come to sit with her in her sitting room. I hope she served them tea.
One of those servant girls had a young daughter who lived with her mom in one of the third floor servant rooms. That young girl, now a grandmother, has memories of dressing up and sitting with Miss Charlotte in this very room.