Sunday, January 31, 2016

Eisenhower Veterans Center

We drove over to the VA today,  to take a few pictures. 

It was 50 degrees out, and sunny, but COLD in the wind. 

The career artillery officer had to take a look at this 
24 pound gun.  It was made in Spain in 1854.  That's EIGHTEEN 54. 
I suspect it was captured in the Spanish American War. 

It had beautiful scroll-work on top. 

It's forging  date was inscribed on the gun... 
April 24, 1854. 

Whatever was inscribed on that plate is lost to the elements. 

That is the building you can just barely see behind it, and no, it has not been re-done yet, though many others have. 

I am going to skip forward and show you a description of the Soldier's Home so you 
have an idea of what this was like in the 1880's and 90's. 

At one time, there were 3000 veterans living here at the home.  They had a small 
city of their own, with their own stores and hospital. 

They lived in (and still do!) in barracks like these. 

But there are numerous barrack buildings no longer occupied.  We think that the building in the middle of these two barracks that were facing each other was the mess hall for them. 

I know we passed one building that had a back door that read "Canteen". 

There is a very famous church there, that was featured on Ripley's Believe it or Not. 
It has a Protestant Chapel on top, and then, if you go around to the bottom side, a 
Catholic Chapel.  Yes, I tried the doors, and they were locked. 

The stained glass looked gorgeous. 

These gargoyles hang over the doors to the Protestant chapel. 

And these guardians were on either side of the door. 

I am going to go back over next weekend and take better pictures of the beautiful church from a distance, so you can see the whole building.  I was Just. Too. Cold. 

There are many buildings that have not been restored. 

I would love to know what this one was. It was right at the end of the row of barracks. 

There is a very large nursing home there, in use, of course. 
There is also a building that is newer (like this) that is the Domiciliary for veterans (lucky enough to get in) who are 
homeless with no income.  It is closer to the hospital. 

And right across from the nursing home is Lake Jeannette. 

There are huge old quarters around the lake, and off to one side street.  In the old days, these 
were the doctor's quarters.  Now, they are apartments rented out to people like you or I. 
It would be a wonderful place to live except for one thing... NO PETS. 

Keith and I couldn't do it. 

Another of the large quarters. 

They are now duplexes and tri-plexes. 

This is the governor's mansion, not the state governor, but the governor of the VA Home. 

It is still in use today. 

I will give you a little preview of what we are going to show you tomorrow. 

Our forecast  showed that we were to get lots of snow on Tuesday or Wednesday, but it appears to have now been downgraded to rain, and not too cold... 
For those of my friends in the storm's way in Iowa... we're praying for you, be careful out there! 

An idea of how large the place is, that's the hospital on the right. 

More tomorrow! 


  1. I hope they restore ALL those beautiful old buildings!

  2. Gorges ... they will although it will take time and money. The entire complex is on the National Register of Historic Places. So not only do they have to restore these buildings, but they have to do it in a way that is architecturally of the period. What is interesting about the Soldiers' Home is that it was not the United States Government that created the home. It was the people of Leavenworth, KS. There were so many veterans wandering around this part of Kansas, homeless and destitute, many with very serious medical issues, that the good people of our community decided to build them a home to live out their days in relative dignity. The Home was run with military discipline, with daily formations, inspections, work parties dispatched to clean and maintain the campus and to raise food. It was like its own little city. The National Cemetary which Mary Ann's picture only showed a very small part of, was and still is one of two national cemetaries in the county. It is truly a special place.

  3. Wow, that is a small city. Beautiful old buildings with lot's of architectural detail. I hope they don't lose all that craftsmanship that the artisans put into making those creations.

    Thanks for the tour Mary Ann.

  4. THIS is a FABULOUS Post.... We think MORE should be done for our VETERANS...

  5. What wonderful history, I love the architecture from this time period and am so glad they will be restoring the buildings!!

  6. those pictures were so beautiful mary ann, I couldn't pick a favorite cos they all were, thank you for sharing all of them with us. We agree with F & E...more should be done for the Vets out there.
    stella rose

  7. The building is awesome. We love exploring buildings like that
    Lily & Edward

  8. Wow, our pawrents would want to go through all those buildings!! Wonderful photos!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. It's HUGE! I deal with a lot of veterans in my part-time job as a bookkeeper for a fiduciary; there is need for more homes like these.

  10. I hope they increase help for the veterans. Enjoyed the pictures.


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