Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas in the Heartland

A week ago, I went with an old friend from the Civil War Round Table of 
Western Missouri to see the Bingham-Waggoner mansion in 
Independence.  Many of you will remember that I did this for numerous years, 
taking pictures of both the Bingham, and the Vaile Mansion, another big 
beautiful house in Independence. 

All the volunteers working there that day were so very nice. 

The front parlor was decorated in blues this year.  Be sure to note the beautiful friezes in each room. 

This was a formal parlor.  

I have to tell you I am not a fan of blue Christmas decorations, but I thought these well-done. 

There is a wide, beautiful hall on the first floor, and this gorgeous clock stands in it.  That is the pantry (butler's pantry) on the right, and could be closed off. 

This tree was in the parlor directly across from the "blue" tree. 

My friend Beverly was fascinated by the restored (huge) music box ... it was restored at a cost of 35,000.00.  It is a beautiful piece of work, and I should have showed it to you closer. 

The dining room is always gorgeous.  

There was a planter on either side of the bay window. 

The gorgeous centerpiece. 

The whole atmosphere made you feel warm and Christmassy. 

Uh oh, more blue upstairs in a bedroom.  There are seven bedrooms. I just realized in going through my pictures that the theme was "Past, Present and Future" and there were LOTS of blue trees! 

The door of the office (one of the bedrooms) was open for the first time in a while, and I stepped in to take some pictures of the frieze.  This door is usually closed. 

Can you imagine living with this decoration? 

A beautiful water jug and "pot de chambre".  There were sinks in many of the 
bedrooms, and two bathrooms. 

This unusual lady was in the sewing room upstairs, which was the original upper stairway hall. 

The house, built by John Lewis, was originally an L shape.  George Caleb Bingham, the painter, lived there six years and enlargened it, and then it was sold to the Waggoner family, who lived in it longest.  A Waggoner lived there from the late 1800's  to the 1970's. 

His heirs sold the house to the city of Independence. 

The servants had four rooms, a gathering area, and a bathroom on the third floor. 

While the servant's rooms all had windows, they were not well lit, and I doubt that the servants would have had quite so elaborate a tree. 

One last look at the dining room fireplace. 

The Waggoner Milling Company was directly across the street from the house.  It was a large mill.  This is all that's left. 

Even the carriage house is decorated. 

And there is still a weathervane on the carriage house to this day. 

All the dependencies are in good shape, and used for storage. 

We went on a beautiful fall day... here in Leavenworth County, it is 
now very cold, and snowed today very lightly. 

True Christmas Weather! 


  1. Maybe the blue trees are Hanukkah trees. ;-)

  2. Wow! Wow! Wow! What a beautiful place!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. Oh, your weathervane photo is exquisite!

  4. What a beautiful place to visit. Here it is very cold and big white flakes are falling. Hopefully we won't get much. Keep warm !

  5. Hari OM
    Mary Ann, this was a beautiful tour! Like yourself, I am not entirely enamoured of blue decorations; but there is no denying the quality of the arrangements. Just a very stunning place. Thanks for letting us in... YAM xx

  6. Beautiful! I'm going to have to share the lady tree with our dance teacher. It's something that I think she would love.

    Thanks for sharing Mary Ann.

  7. i love seeing houses like this. i never get blue for xmas.

  8. I will admit to you that I did not read this post because I want to go there
    this year. As you know this is my hometown and I love to go to this house, especially at Christmas.
    I am sure that you enjoyed it a lot!

    M : )


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