Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion, Complete with Presents

This week I had the delight of touring our state’s Governor’s Mansion, which was all decked out for Christmas. The State Trooper who greeted us had us turn off our cellphones and warned us that absolutely no pictures were allowed inside the mansion. But when I explained to the docents that I write historical fiction, they graciously granted me the right to photograph a few of the wonders inside this beautiful brick mansion.

The Washington State Governor’s Mansion was built in 1908. However, because it was built in the Georgian Revival style, it closely resembles homes our beloved nineteenth century characters would have inhabited. The grand entry hall has a sweeping stair with a grandfather clock dating from the late 18th century. To the right is the withdrawing room. Behind it is a room that was once the breakfast room but is now a library. (I caught myself wondering whether they’d accept one of my Seattle stories for the collection. 😊) On the left of the entry hall is the dining room, with a polished wood table that seats twelve easily. Next to it is the ballroom. That was the other room where I was allowed to photograph.

Interesting thing about the ballroom. It has never hosted a ball, because it is too small! However, it has a wonderful alcove above for a trio to play, and musicians have used it for other events. Also interesting is the color scheme throughout the house: green for the forests of Western Washington and gold for the wheat fields of Eastern Washington. Lighting throughout is by gorgeous crystal chandeliers. This one and its sisters in the ballroom are original to the house.

The other treat for me besides being able to photograph things was a chance to sit on a real horsehair sofa dating from the nineteenth century. Surprisingly firm! All in all, the visit ended up being a wonderful Christmas present.

And speaking of presents….

Here are a few for you to enjoy:

Dressing a Regency Cavalry Officer. Such a dashing fellow!

Love this Regency ball. I have a hunch more looked like this than the well-practiced ones we see in the movies. 😊

Wonderful photoshoot at a Regency-era home.

Marissa and I will be taking off most of the next two weeks to spend time with family and friends but look for a post from me on January 3 to kickoff the New Year. Until then, Happy Christmas and a very joyous New Year!

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