Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Missouri Mansion


Missouri Governors Mansion in Jefferson City,Mo. It is a beautiful home.

My Friend Donna.

Kay and Donna
Me, telling Donna about the columns.

   The state of Missouri ,where I live and abide,has a beautiful old Governors Mansion. It was built in 1870 and was built for the purpose, of the home to the Missouri Governor. Most states Governors mansions were built as private homes and then sold to the state ,for use as the home to the Governor and his family. Missouri is one of the few house that were built just as the governors home. This mansion sets high on a hill over looking the Missouri River and is in our state capital town of Jefferson City.It is about 2 and 1/2 hours from my little town of Clarksville,Mo. I have read and seen many books on the mansion. It  has a nice web site with pictures and history. For years I have wanted to go take a tour. The tour is free, but for some reason I just have not taken the time and made the effort to go. Sunday past ,my friend Donna, asked me if I would like to do something together on my day off. We both agreed it would be a fun thing to do, so we called our friend Kay ,who lives in Jefferson City and the three of us made plans to go visit the mansion and have lunch.
    After several days, which seemed like weeks, it was not  too hot in Missouri, only 90 as compared to the 104-108  temperatures that we have been experiencing.So on Tuesday morning, July 9th,bright and early, we hit the road for our big adventure. I was so excited to finally see and walk into this house that I knew so well from pictures and books,that was all I talked about on the ride up there. Donna said I could probably give a better tour than the tour guide. I laughed and said she was probably right. When we arrived we were a few minutes early and Kay was not there yet. So we went into the yard and looked around. I started telling Donna all about the porch columns on the entrance porch, the huge double front doors and the fountain outside in the courtyard. When Kay arrived and we started the tour, the first words out of the tour guides mouth were about the doors, columns and fountain. Donna looked and me and we both smiled.

   Then we went to the mansion and my mouth flew open, as all the furniture and window treatments were out of the mansion. They had been sent out to be redone and recovered. I was just sick. All we got to see were big empty rooms. They were beautiful rooms, but for the most part empty. The rooms did have a lot of portraits of the first ladies. It was fun to see them, in the many different styles and ages, from the very oldest to the newest. I have known several of the first ladies personally, for various reasons. My friend and lawyer in St.Louis, father was governor and her mother a first lady.  Two families have strong connections to Pike County,Mo. where I live, as they were from here. I went to school  with some of there descendants.I also worked with a couple of them ,when I had my shop in St. Louis, when they were looking for certain pieces for the mansion. Some of which I helped them find.
    The Governors Mansion is what is known as Second Empire style.  Some call is Renaissance Revival. It was designed by a St.Louis Architect  and built in 1870. The first Governor to move in was Governor Brown in the winter of 1870.The brick for the house was hand made in Missouri and the walnut wood for the wood work and floors was also from Missouri. Each Governor, from the very first to live there, has given the mansion a gift, some where mirrors, furniture,piano's and chandeliers. In the  late 1980's the house was in very bad repair. Governor Kit Bond, who latter went on to became a Missouri Senator was living in the mansion at that time. It was his wife who started a program to preserve the house and its furnishings. A trust was started and is still in place. The mansion owes a lot to Mrs. Bond.

The Missouri State Capital, Jefferson City, Mo. Sets behind the Mansion gardens.

Dining room ceiling details.

Dining room carpet.

The grand staircase.

   The house is going through a major  repair cycle at this time. The windows were all replaced with new, double plane glass. The brick was cleaned and tuck pointed. The slate roof replaced and the electric, heating and cooling was all up dated. This was all thanks to over 3 million dollars in donations. It is a grand home and well fit for a Governor and his wife, the first lady. I, as Missourian, am very proud of it. I am so glad it has been saved and preserved for future generations of Missourians to enjoy. I think one of the former first ladies said it best, when she said, that the mansion is a hand clasp of history, enjoyed and shared by all Missourians and others as well. I hope to go back soon and see it put back together. It only took 62 years to get there the first time, so I don't know for sure if I will every make it back. I sure hope so,
   In the mean time, come visit me at another Missouri Mansion, My House. The 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum here  in Clarksville,Mo. I will always leave the lights on and Sissy will meet you at the door with a jump and a kiss. And we have furniture and curtains. Heck ,some people even say my house is prettier. I'd like to thank so. In the mean time,  I hope you enjoyed your tour of the Peoples," Mansion of Missouri."

The Library

These chairs go in the entrance hall. 

Library ceiling

Library window cornices

Entrance Hall Ceiling

Double Parlor Details

Parlor ceiling detail

The 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum, AKA, My Old Historic House.Clarksville,Mo.


sue in mexico mo said...

Thank you for a very nice tour! Did they say when the furniture, etc. will be back in place?

Marcia said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Your cohorts were blessed to have such a knowledgeable companion yesterday!

Olive Cooper said...

I can imagine your disappointment at not seeing the furniture Richard. Next time.

Mary said...

It's very beautiful on the outside. You will have to go back when it's restored.

Curtains in My Tree said...

I am so glad you got to tour the Governors Mansion
so sorry the furnishing were gone

Next trip over you can admire all the cleaned up window coverings and furniture

last time I was inside was when my daughter was on her 5th grade summer school trip I was one of the mothers who went along .
at that time we was only in the downstairs dining room and entry hallway because something else was going on , the first lady was having a ladies group there for the day

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

What a treat to see this beautiful mansion, Richard! i especially love that green room! I love that shade of green.

mississippi artist said...

A beautiful Govenors mansion. Our mansion was specificly built for the govenors too. I is also one of the oldest govenors mansions.I bet you were fit to be tied to see an empy house-I would have been too. Go back for the Christmas tour if they have one, that is always special.

Anonymous said...

How I have enjoyed the tour of the Governer's Mansion with you as a guide and the lovely pictures. I will also go to the web and see more of your states lovely governor's home.

I perused the post before this and your home. I spied immediatly my 'southern gentleman soldier'...

I did grow up in the South, in Virginia. My father was a South Carolinian and Mother a North Carolianian.

A great love of my life has been in visiting antebellum homes in the South; however I have not done so in 'many a moon'.

My dear one of 60 years in September took me away to the Great Northwest.........Canada eh!

I would welcome a chance to visit your home and go to the governor's home with you and then 'sit a spell' on the porch.

What do I miss about the South? I miss the much slower pace. Five years ago my brother (Florida) and I did a 'Back in Time' trip and it made my heart happy to see dear old friends and cousins along the route of places we had lived. In some places it felt as though time had stood still...for awhile anyway.

~Sylvia Faye

I have no blog but if you answer this on your blog I can email you. You sound so sweet, so kind, so Southern ya'll hear now?

Linda McMullan said...

Thanks for the lovely tour, Richard. Love, love the detail work on the ceilings!

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

What an elaborate place! Too bad much of the furniture was missing. Still looks wonderful. Thanks for the tour!

Richard Cottrell said...

My Dearest Sylvia, Thanks so much for coming by to visit me and especially thanks for such sweet words of encouragement. I love comments and look forward to them so. It means so much when people take the time to say a few words and say something meaningful. So many just say something like nice house. I hope you are having a beautiful life and stay cool and happy. Richard

GinaBVictorian said...

Hi Richard! Nice house! No, I'm just kidding!!!!! (in reference to your reply to Sylvia) Gotcha!
So anyway! I too love the Governor's mansion and have been there several times. It is neat to go through at Christmas also. The red upholstered parlor set was done by the same guy that did my striped chairs. That is too bad, that after all this time and you finally getting there, that the furniture and window treatments were gone!!!
Did you happen to go across the street to the Cole Co. Historical Society? It is a row house with beautiful furnishings and paintings. You must go sometime!
Take care! Gina

Sissysmom said...

Beautiful house...even with out all the furnishings! One more thing to mark off your bucket list.

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

That is one beautiful place, Richard! Reminds me so much of your home.

Sea Witch said...

richard, you are such a delight. I so enjoy our meanderings and it would be a kick to hang out with you as you embrace life with such joy.

Missouri Mansion Preservation said...

Thank you for visiting The Missouri Governor's Mansion. You arrived during our 2012 Manners at The Missouri for children 8-12. The first floor furnishings certainly were shifted to accommodate the children attending this week. Thank you!


A fabulous tour and learning about this gorgeous Mansion Richard. You always share stunning things I just adore! Your friends were so lucky to have you..I'd love to go on historic tours with you PAL!! Thanks for the visit, I'd loved your comment on my Meissen piece, I appreciate it coming from you!

debchester said...

Thanks so much for the tour of this fabulous home. What a shame that the furnishings weren't in place! Perhaps you can go again in the future and see it in its full glory.

Renaissance Revival is my favorite style of Victorian furniture. I would love to live in a Second Empire or Italianate house. These glimpses that you shared were such a treat.


Ann from On Sutton Place said...

What a wonderful tour Richard. The staircase is incredible. Hope you are well. I haven't visited for a while and for that I'm sorry. I've been neglecting the blog world while I try and make a go of my Etsy shop. It's going OK but could be better! Enjoy the rest of the weekend and give your pooch a pat for me.

Anonymous said...


I love your blog so much as I have been Victorian since birth as well as a dog lover but I have been worried since you haven't posted for awhile. Hope everything is OK with you and Sissi Dog.


Matthew said...

Great mansion! Love those windows and doors as these two components play a major role in the style of each and every home!

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