Now we return to our Waukegan Trip. The Haines Museum in Bowen Park opened and we got to tour it. It’s operated by the Waukegan Historical Society. This home was originally built as a one room cabin to go with the farm that is now Bowen Park. Over the years with various owners it was added onto it until it because the Victorian home you see now.
Mayor Hull of Chicago and his family lived there as their summer home until the great fire then lived there full time. I learned that back then there were yearly elections for mayor. CAN YOU IMAGINE YEARLY ELECTIONS? Always being bombarded by the campaign trail, all the calls from the various parties and interests groups. The constant ads… it’d never end. The mayor would never be a leader but a figure head and it’d open up for another machine that stayed in tact to actually run the city. Oh wait… that’s what happened in the Chicago Political Machine.
Okay back to the house, it’s restored to its Victorian period to go with the architecture. It was the center of the Bowen Country Club. Here is where the children would be taught the ways of society. It was thought part of the barrier of improving oneself was not understanding the societal norms of table manners, dances, polite conversation, etc. I think honestly some that still holds true today knowing how to behave in the boardroom as well as the local bar is key to advancement. Today there is a room dedicated to the club and those kids it helped in so many ways not just the social graces classes in the house.
None of the items in the house are from the original owners. They are from the correct time period and exemplify the types of things the home would have contained in this 1870s time period. The last addition was the red parlor, a more formal parlor, and the master bedroom. The master bedroom now contains a bed and settee set that Abraham Lincoln used during his visit to Waukegan. The room is dedicated to him.
There were exhibits to the Waukegan area residents Alfred Gustafson and James Elsbury who died on the Titantic. There was an exhibit honoring Waukegan son Jack Benny, which explained why there was a Jack Benny art center (where the unhelpful lady was). There was also a time line of Waukegan events including when their town got curb side recycling! YAY! From there I’ve added the Genesee Theater as a place I want to visit for a photo post.
Also I noticed that all their doors were painted red. I had to get photos of each one to add to my red door collection! Heck some day I might make a poster of doors to sanctuary – all red doors I’ve photographed. I have to say of all the doors my favorite one on the Haines Museum was the servant’s door with the aged screen. Some doors to sanctuary aren’t ornate but are well used.
Enough explaining – now for the photos.
Okay that’s MORE than enough here. Please if you are as interested in restored homes as I am click any of the images here to jump over to my Flickr account and see many more displays and details from the museum.