Open House on Dec. 9th
to Feature Special Entertainment and Holiday Ambiance
are in store for those visiting the Dean House on Sunday, Dec. 9t',
between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. In addition to the traditional Victorian
holiday trimmings, music and refreshments, the Open House will feature
a "living history" presentation depicting the work of a
Civil War era woman who made a difference in history.
a Memorial High School student, will portray Cordelia Harvey, a little-known
Wisconsin first lady whose persistent advocacy during and after the
Civil War resulted in the establishment of a hospital for soldiers
and later a home for their orphans. Her 10-minute monologue - to be
presented at about 2:30 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. - is based on
her own research for a National History Day competition in which she
was one of 50 finalists representing Wisconsin in June, 2000. She
will be wearing the Civil War era dress that she and her mother made
from an authentic historical pattern.
War Angel" that Ms Dahlgren portrays made it a priority to help
Civil War soldiers after her husband drowned, not only visiting with
them, but persuading President Lincoln to establish veterans' hospitals
in the north, the first of them in Madison. After the war she extended
the care to the soldiers' orphans in the home created at the hospital,
to which two wings were added.
The hospital was
in the octagon house built as the former home of Governor Leonard
at the foot of Brearly Street on the shore of Lake Monona. A short
nearby street and a small stone marker at the corner are memorials
of the site. The cemetery became Orton Park.
The Dean House will be polished, the greenery will be hung, the candles
lighted, and the antique ornaments hung in the large country home
that was built in the Victorian era (1856). To the tunes of seasonal
music a typical old-fashioned dessert (home made rich cake with warm
sauce) and beverage will be served and docents will guide visitors
through the 10 rooms of the house and its changing mini-museum, from
2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Jean Dent will display her collection of authentic
antique Christmas ornaments. The Victorian Doll House - on display
in the living room - is appropriately decked out, as it keeps its
Christmas trees the year around. There will be no admission charge,
but donations are welcomed.
The Historic Blooming
Grove Historical Society welcomes visitors to the Second Sunday Open
House from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each month throughout the year. Bring
your friends and neighbors - many guests remark that they didn't know
the house was open to visitors.
Founded in 1971, the Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society
preserves and advances the culture and history of the Blooming
Grove, Monona and Southeast Madison, Wisconsin area. To fulfill
this purpose the Dean House is used as a center for cultural events
and local history study. It is hoped that the Dean House is a
living testimony to the pioneer spirit fostering our American
heritage and a representation of that spirit in the historic Township
of Blooming Grove.
Early Area House Paintings
And Artists Gather for Showing
Society has on display an unusual collection of original paintings
depicting some of the early buildings in the original Blooming Grove
area. These were created by a group of students attending an MATC
class that met at the Monona Community Center in the early 1970s under
the tutelage of Carol Burns. Over the past few months, one of the
artists, Ruth Finn Wanek, supervised completing the framing and labeling.
Most of them are hung in the upstairs museum and thus not obvious
to the downstairs visitors.
For the Second
Sunday Open House in November, the paintings were displayed on the
main floor and the living artists were invited to gather for the occasion.
They enjoyed seeing their beginning painting attempts and telling
about the experience. For the class, Jeanette Mundstock, one of the
staunch supporters of the Dean House restoration effort, provided
a photo of an early local house, church or school for each student
and the students created the full color painting. To publicize them
and the work of the HBGHS, the paintings were displayed in local banks
and other exhibit locations at the time of their completion.
Many of the structures
have been razed and some of the artists are now deceased, but the
paintings provide memories and a glimpse of the architecture of the
early settlement of an area that is now largely a part of the Cities
of Madison and Monona.
the paintings and the artists:
Homestead, painted by Trudi Theisen
Grove Town Hall, painted by Marva Fillner
First Nichols School, painted by Carol Morrison
Frank Allis School, painted by Darlene Ward
First Hiestand School, painted by Ines Sharp
Witte Farm House on Brandt Road near Hope, painted by Joan
J. Sachs Home at 2838 Milwaukee St., painted by Alta Brockman
Estes Farm Home at 5800 Cottage Grove Road, painted by Hazel
Wyldhagen Farm House, painted by Jeanette Mundstock
Alex Smith Home at 5301 Milwaukee St.
First Lake Edge Congregational Church, painted by Jeanette
Hope Lutheran Church, painted by Pat Edmundson
Alex Kleine Home, painted by Carol Burns
Main Home, painted by Jackie Hill
Spaanem Homestead, painted by Ruth Finn Wanek
United Methodist Church of Hope, painted by Violet Thysse Riley.
Antique Clothes to be
Modeled for Open House on Jan 13th
Stylish clothes of another era will be the subject of the Open House
on January 13, 2002. Some of them will come to life as they are modeled
for the afternoon by LaFollette High School Key Club students. It
should be an interesting show, as some items will be brought out of
their trunks and boxes for the occasion. A turn-of-the-century bathing
costume, contributed last year, will be shown for the first time.
to model or lend items appropriate to the Victorian era may call Bob
Bean at 222-5783 to make arrangements.
Bring your family,
friends and neighbors for Second Sunday Open House between 2:00 and
4:00 p.m. on Jan 13.
Second Sunday Open House
Focus Changes Each Month
In order to call
attention to the many facets of the HBGHS collections at the Dean
House and keep our exhibits alive, it has become the custom to emphasize
some part of our collection each month. Sometimes guests experts are
invited to give an informal presentation on a certain subject. Over
the past three months we have focused on local plat maps, how to research
you house history, and the house paintings and artists.
Subjects to be
featured in coming months include antique clothes, Valentines, dolls
and the doll house, Native American artifacts and local history, and
handcrafts. The Society invites contributions of such related items,
either to its permanent collection or on loan for the specific showing.
Contact Bob Bean at 222-5783 or Judy Taylor at 222-9507 for more information.
As the numbers
of visitors to the Second Sunday Open Houses grows, a need for more
docents to help welcome the visitors is developing.
Donated Map Collection
Helps Historians Visualize Development Of Blooming Growth Township
A valuable study/research
tool was added to the HBG Historical Society archives this fall in
a unique donation.
Karen Field, a
HBGHS member and genealogist, has identified 29 different Dane County
plat books and atlases published between 1861 and 1999 in various
libraries and historical societies in the area. She made photocopies
of the Blooming Grove Township map from each of them and had these
maps reduced or enlarged to one standard size. She gave a complete
set of these maps to HBGHS.
We put them in
a notebook and they are available to look at during Second Sunday
Open Houses and at other times by appointment. These maps show how
land ownership and building placement in the Township have changed
over time. Of special interest is a map from Michael Conzen's book
Frontier Farming in an Urban Shadow, which shows the route that the
US Census taker took in canvassing the township in 1860. There also
are transparencies of the original 1861 land ownership map and the
current City of Madison and Monona street map which can be laid over
any of the other maps to help identify the location of a particular
piece of property.
Mrs. Field (Mrs.
Harry Field) is related to the Field families who owned land in the
Dean House neighborhood. She was researching the family genealogy
when she needed the map study. We are grateful to her for sharing
this knowledge with us and presenting it in such a useful form. It
represents an innovative compilation and long hours of preparation.
Blooming Grove Historical Society
President: Jim Stickels 221-1324
Vice president: Allan Burling 222-1361
Secretary: Dorothy Haines 221-1948
Treasurer: Don Taylor 222-9507
C. Anne Wellman, past president
Dean House Manager
Robert Bean 222-5783
What You Need to Know
to Research The History of Your House
HBG Board member
Ann Waidelich attended a State Historical Society workshop on tracing
your home history this summer, and presented version of the material
at the October Second Sunday Open House. Following is a summary of
book like Houses and Homes: Exploring Their History published
by the American Association for State and Local History, 1987.
Read some books on the history of the area such as Forward:
A History of DANE the Capital County, Monona in the Making, and
the booklet Footsteps Through the Past.
Identify the style of your house by looking in books such as
Field Guide to American Houses and America's Favorite Homes:
Mail-Order Catalogues as a Guide to Popular Early 20th Century Houses.
Search for a copy of the property's abstract by asking the
previous owner, local title companies or the mortgage holder if they
have it. Read it for the names of people who have owned the property
in the past. Or you can do your own abstract in the Dane County Register
of Deeds Office using the grantor - grantee indexes.
Look at various plat maps over time to see who owned the land
and notice when buildings appear.
Check annual tax rolls and assessment records over time to
see when there was a jump in property taxes which generally indicates
when a building was added to the property.
Check the current assessment file/ building inspection file
in the local city/village/township hall for the names of previous
owners, date of when the house was built and any additions or changes
that have been made to it.
1850 Census Is Added
to HBG Website
The 1850 census
of Blooming Grove Township has been added to our Web site, and is
thus available for perusal. It provides interesting information, such
as each person's age, gender, place of birth, school attendance, literacy,
etc. Of the 291 persons listed, 79 were born in Norway, 61 in New
York, 21 in Germany and 20 in Ireland. Learn more about HBGHS, the
Dean House and area history. Visit www.wlhn.org/daneco/hbg.
Some wishes on our previous list were fulfilled and
some long-standing ones remain. A room air conditioner for the second
floor was donated by Joe and Shelley Schmitz; and a dehumidifier for
the basement was purchased. Arrangements have been made to get the
Lincoln rocker restored at a reasonable cost. But the need for a dining
room buffet remains.
A new wish
is for help: A number of the wooden chairs in the dining room need
to be reglued, as they have come loose. These chairs get a lot of
use and need to be in good sitting condition. Also, regular help in
cleaning and dusting is needed. Contact Bob Bean at the Dean house
any Monday morning or at 222-5783.
Shop Corner Features
Old-time Craft Gifts and Pertinent. Printed Papers
The HBGHS hopes to create a more enticing "gift
shop" out of its miscellaneous collection of cards, crafts, and
reading materials and invites contributions of home crafted items.
At the time
of our Historic Preservation Week live demonstrations last fall, the
beginnings of the shop sprouted when Judy Taylor contributed the dish
rags she had crocheted, Wanda Nelson created quilted pot holders,
and Ann Waidelich put in the candles that she had poured.
are invited to contribute other handiwork items to be sold for the
benefit of the Dean House, AND to demonstrate their work during the
Open House Sunday afternoons.
Allis School Second Graders
Come to Learn About Early-Day Living
As has become a tradition in recent years, school rooms
of children in the second grade at Allis School walked over to the
Dean House on two pleasant November days and spent an hour learning
about living without electricity, central heat and indoor plumbing.
in his Prince Albert coat and top hat, and Judy Taylor, clothed as
a 19`h century housewife, each led a group through the house in two
separate hours on Thursday and Friday mornings, Nov. 15 and 16.. To
arrange for a Dean House tour or for more information call Robert
Bean at 222-5783.