This 1910 home of Albert and Elizabeth Beardsley is decorated with SILK wall coverings, there are hand carved woodwork, wall murals painted on fabric and ornate Victorian style decor is everywhere. There are original Rodin statues, fine art, Tiffany lamps, paintings and vintage autos. When we got to the garage, there were three antique autos, and one of them was a Milburn electric car built from 1912 to 1920. There were thousands of them made back in the early 1900's. Sparky didn't know that! It didn't have a steering wheel, but a "tiller/rudder" like you see on a boat! They were made in Toledo, OH. Hmmm! What goes around comes around, they say.....Isn't that the truth!
|from the internet|
|from the internet|
What else was cool about this house? The stories behind it...The second set of Beardsleys who lived in the house, raised a lot of boys...they set up bowling pins downstairs in a narrow hallway leading to the greenhouse. The sides of the walls have murals painted depicting scenes from Italy all over them. Bet the mother had fits about that! One of the statues on the staircase leading from the lower level has a broken arm as one of the boys was throwing a football and hit the statue...These are no ordinary statues, they had to cost an arm and a leg! HA! Couldn't resist that one! :-)
The kitchen had a set of china that Abraham Lincoln dined from...the family room had a viewing scope stand that was the precursor to the Viewmaster slide shows, you know the little handheld viewers that you would insert a disc into and pull the lever and the disc rotated around showing you scenes of various themes? This was a full size stand viewing scope. They would view their slides of their trips on it. It was very interesting! They had a piano/player/organ called a Choralcelo. In the foyer, the piano plays as a piano. In the library, there are 17 pipes installed under the floor that reverberates the music as organ music when the piano is played. Almost like surround sound, only it was the early 19th century.
They had a shower in the master's bedroom that had a cage of pipes inside the shower, shooting water--probably the first "walk in shower" with multiple water jets, we think! The house even has a central vac system, unheard of in those times. There was a sprinkler system in case of fire. The walk in closets have automatic lighting that comes on when you open the door. This house had everything and more back then.....
It is an amazing place....We HIGHLY recommend this tour when you visit Elkhart. It's just 15 minutes from the Elkhart Campground. And, a second historical home, the Havilah Beardsley House, is nearby, on the northwest corner of Main Street and Beardsley Ave. Dr. Havilah Beardsley was the founder of Elkhart. Two beautiful mansions within a block of each other...Nice!
Lots to do in Elkhart and the surrounding area, we are really enjoying our stay....See you later!