Sunday, October 19, 2014

A sale in historic Mimosa Hall

Toward the end of September I saw an estate sale advertized.  It was a 3-day sale in a historic house in Roswell, Georgia.  When I realized that it was to take place in Mimosa Hall, I decided to go, just to see the house at least.  I had seen it from the street, but could not distinguish much of the house.  So this sale was a good opportunity to get a close look at the house and see more.

Roswell is a town about 15 miles (24 km) from our home and has many historic houses.  I have already mentioned Bulloch Hall which we visited at a couple of Christmas times and during their quilt shows in the spring (here is a link, and here another link on the quilts.)  Below are some pictures I took of Bulloch Hall then.

The City of Roswell purchased 3 historic homes - which they call "A Southern Trilogy."  They are the homes of three of the families who founded this town.

In addition to Bulloch Hall, we visited the exterior of Barrington Hall a couple of times, and I'll have posts on those visits.  You can see my husband, below, sitting on Barrington Hall porch last January while I was taking some pictures of the garden.

Last Friday, October 17, 2014, we visited the third antebellum house, the Archibald Smith Plantation.  I'll also have a post on it soon.

A fourth house, Mimosa Hall, was also built in the mid-1800s, but is now in private hands.  It is very close to Bulloch Hall and the Saturday of the sale, September 20, 2014, I parked in the street, just a few yards from Mimosa Hall, right in front of the gate of Bulloch Hall.  It was a very sunny and warm day but I did not see any visitors on its grounds.  It was also the annual Arts Festival on the Square in Roswell.

Since going to this sale I have found out that Mimosa Hall was built between 1839 and 1840 for John Dunwody (1786-1858) (also spelled Dunwoody) a coastal planter who had moved to Roswell from Liberty County, near Savannah, Ga.  The house was built adjacent to Bulloch Hall because John Dunwoody's wife was the sister of Major James. S. Bulloch.  The house, built of wood, burned down the night of its housewarming.  Another house made of brick covered with stucco and scored to resemble stone, was built on the same site and called Phoenix Hall.  Below is the house in 1940 and John Dunwody (courtesy Georgia Archives.)

During the Civil War the house was a hospital. In 1869 the house was sold to General Andrew J. Hansell and was renamed Mimosa Hall (because of a large number of mimosa trees on the estate.)  He sold it 30 years later but in 1947 Granger Hansell re-purchased the house for the family (he was the great-grandson of Andrew Hansell.)  Granger's son, Edward and his wife Sylvia, lived in the house until their deaths.  Their daughter Sally now owns the house.  I understood that Sally Hansen is re-decorating the house and was selling the furnishing of her father, Edward, who passed away in 2012.  It was not easy walking on the driveway which is paved with large rocks - larger than regular cobblestones.  The garden looked very inviting with its enormous century-old trees.

Entering the house, the foyer reminded me of Bulloch Hall.  I later found out that the two houses are very much alike.  I was surprised also to see that so few people were at the sale - I guess it was because of the Arts festival.  Another large event was going on also in a nearby church.

The sale had started on Friday and by Saturday, the day I went there, many of the items had been sold, but there were still many more - furniture, china, paintings, dishes, silverware, books, etc.  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

I looked more at the rooms in the house rather than what was for sale.  I could not stop going to the books though and did purchase one.  It is called "Born in Paradise" by Armine von Tempski, a first 1940 edition (for $2.)  It is the true story of the young Armine on Haleakala Ranch in Hawaii - a 60,000 acres ranch.  It describes the way the island of Maui was in the early 1900s before the real estate boom and strip malls.  I think it will be a good book to read during the cold of winter.

Upstairs was a room filled with clothes and shoes.  I did not go in.  The other room had what was left of a doll house, toys, linens, more clothes and hats.  A lovely chandelier was hanging in the hall, but I don't think it was for sale.

Then I walked up to the attic.  Just as the attic in Bulloch Hall, it was rather large.  It was filled with a great variety of items, old, quaint, cute, shabby, broken and almost new.

Walking back downstairs I stopped on several steps to look at three lovely paintings.

The late Sylvia Hansell was an an accomplished artist.  Her paintings hang in some regional art galleries and in private collections.  In addition to the stairwell her paintings were being offered for sale throughout Mimosa Hall.

As I was ready to leave one of the sales associates announced that there was now a 25% discount on all items.  In addition to the book I had already selected there were two other objects I liked - a lamp in the attic, with a long and narrow unusual lampshade and one of Ms. Hansell's paintings.  I was told she painted it in the Mimosa Hall gardens.  The colors were soft and bright at the same time, in hues of lilac, purple and blue.  So I left with my three purchases.  I was also very pleased to have had the chance to visit this historic home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Street art - the ChalkFest on Marietta Square, October 2014

Last Saturday, October 11, 2014, we had planned to go to the Fall Festival at the Smith Plantation in nearby Roswell, Georgia, as we have never visited this plantation.  But, the morning sky was very dark and it started to rain lightly.  Instead we decided to go and have lunch at the Australian Bakery, on the Square in Marietta.  When we arrived downtown Marietta the streets were very wet - it must have rained heavily there.  In addition the roads leading to the Square were closed off.  We managed to park and then walked to the Square.  That is when we realized that this was the ChalkFest week-end. 

Last year the ChalkFest festival, hosted by the Marietta Museum of Art, had been held in conjunction with the Arts in the Park event during the Labor Day week-end (early September.)  I had written a post on both events, click on Chalk Art in Marietta, dated October 12, 2013, to read it.  We were not aware that this year the festivals were not held together as we were not here on Labor Day.  The sun started coming out and we ate our lunch on a sidewalk table outside the bakery.  From the Australian Bakery we could see the children amusement area.  There was some machine, where the child sits inside an elliptical big thingy and is turned around and around.  I have never seen this machine but I guess this would be fun for kids?  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

This year the Marietta ChalkFest was featuring 40 professional chalk artists from eight US states.  Last year there were only 20 professional chalk artists.  Each artist is sponsored by a business.  The name of the business is inscribed in the street painting as an advertisement for that firm.  On a side road close to the Art Museum was an area reserved for non professional artists, of all ages.  The event started at 10 am on Saturday morning but since it rained, some of the work, mostly the non professional work that had no plastic covering, was washed out.  Work created by professional artist was to be finished on Sunday, by 5 pm, but it rained again on Sunday morning.  I was hoping that the drawings were well shielded so they could be finished.  (The sun came back on Sunday after lunch.)

On Saturday we started walking along the main street around the Square to take a look.  By then the sun was shining brightly and it was around 81 degree F (27 C.)

Some of the artists had placed the model for their chalk art on the pavement.  Of course, because of the delay caused by the rain most of the works were in the starting stages.

Julie Graden is the artist who painted the crow - the two top left-hand pictures above.  I like crow paintings - my blogging friend Stacy of MagicLoveCrow paints some terrific whimsical crows.  On the web site of Julie Graden, click here, she shows also some watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings and more.  She lives in Land O'Lakes, Florida.  Below is a sample of her art.

Stop the Press!! As I was writing the above Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining brightly.  I stopped typing and called my husband "Let's get back to the Square and look at the ChalkFest again!"  He was ready to go, so we drove there (about 8 miles from our house or 12.8 km.)  What a difference a day made - the chalk drawings were about finished.  So we walked around again and I took many pictures.  I'll go back now to the collages that I showed above and find the finished drawings.

Marietta ChalkFest provided a biography of most the chalk artists in attendance.  The bottom left picture above, of the witch with an apple and worm was made by Bridget K. Lyons of Tampa, Florida.  She has been to numerous chalk art festivals.  Below are two more of her street drawings (Courtesy B. K. Lyons.)

The drawing of the girl in a blue dress with long red hair, above, was drawn by Stacey Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She is also a children's book illustrator.  Below are some of her chalk art.  (Courtesy S. Williams.)

The drawing below, on the right, of the woman's face was done by Cass Womack, who lives in Tampa, Florida and is originally from Minnesota.

There is a certain amount of distortion by taking photos of the ground, the drawings look better if the photos are taken from some height.  There was a professional photographer at the fest, and he carried a ladder with him.  I asked him to take a picture using my Nikon to see the difference.  You can see the result below.  The photo taken from the ladder is on the bottom of the collage as you may have guessed.

The crowd was larger on Sunday afternoon than on Saturday, and it was warmer too - 83 degree F (28.5 C.)  You can see the photographer on his ladder below and the roll of plastic on the center of the road.  It it starts raining, the large plastic sheet covers all the chalk drawings and is sealed all around it.  Then after the rain, a leaf blower is used to blow the rain away from the plastic sheeting.  (Click on collage to see better.)

On Saturday I saw the beginning of Beth Shistle's owl drawing.  I was pleased to see it finished on Sunday afternoon.  Beth is an award winning artist from DeLand, Florida, who has been participating in chalk art festivals since 2004.  She is a talented artist and also a retired elementary school teacher.  Below on the right are two of her other chalk drawings.

People had brought their children and also their dogs.  I do not take close-ups of children unless authorized but people usually do not mind if I take a quick photo of their dogs - there were some cute ones.

It certainly was a beautiful afternoon.  A Marietta policeman was going around on his electric wheels, and the firemen were carrying their first aid kits in the back of their bicycles.  There was music as well.  A gentleman was playing his guitar.  He told me it was a "resonator" guitar.  I asked him if he could make it sound like Hawaiian music.  He placed the guitar on his knees  and played it in a sliding motion.

Passing by an ice-cream shop, we decided to have some and eat it sitting outside.  The trees did not show much fall color yet.

Then we looked at more chalk art.

Some of the drawings that I had photographed on Saturday were finished and looked great.

The drawings shown on the two top right hand pictures above have been drawn by Anat Ronen, a self-taught artist.  She is based in Houston, Texas and is originally from Israel.  Her website shows her art including murals, both indoor and outdoor, as pictured below (courtesy A. Ronen.)

On Saturday afternoon I took photos of some chalk art from non-professional artists, but after the rain on Sunday morning, they could hardly be seen.

Michelle Hawkins (with the beret below) from Orlando, Florida, was finishing her pumpkin themed drawing and joking with on-lookers and fellow artists.  It seems there was much chalk adorning the artists too...

Joel Yau, a chalk artist from San Rafael, California, who has participated in numerous international street art festivals, had finished his heroine from a sequel to horror movie "Frankenstein."  He draws attractive mid-century women faces as you can see below. 

By now it was after 5 pm, the fest was over and people were leaving.  Most artists were congregating in the hospitality area reserved for them.  But Joel Yau was helping his street artist neighbor to finish his drawing.

The drawing was a brightly colored rendering of children with a pumpkin.  Being close to Halloween (October 31st) there were many scary faces and pumpkins, in the chalk drawings, decorating shops and also on the Square.

We walked across the Square to return to our car, but stopped by the fountain first.

It had been another fun afternoon on the Marietta Square.  We were pleased that we returned to the ChalkFest and to have seen the usual grey asphalt surface turned into a temporary museum.  There was such creative and stunning visual art with optical illusions and bright colors.  Their canvas was the pavement, temporarily.  This morning I was awaken before 5 am by the sound of sirens announcing a possible tornado.  This was followed by heavy rain.  I thought about all the chalk masterpieces around the Square and felt sad that they would be so soon gone, not with the wind ... but with the rain.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

County Fair in Chickamauga, Georgia

 Earlier this past September my husband and I spent 10 days at our daughter and son-in-law's house in Tennessee while they attended a conference in Boston.  We stayed with the grandchildren.  It was fun being with them.  The two oldest 7 and 5 years old went to school but the youngest, 3 years old, stayed with us during the day.  The youngest baby, 1 1/2 years old, had gone to Boston with her parents.  My husband had a great time listening to his little grandson's tales.  Below are the two au-pair yound ladies wearing Boston tee-shirts.  On the left is the au-pair from China and on the right the French au-pair from New Caledonia.  All the grandchildren are learning Chinese, and can already speak a little.

Coming back from our earlier visit to Tennessee in mid-August, I drove on little country roads along the freeway and we went in a bakery which I showed on my post Local Food in Appalachian Hills of August 18, 2014 - click here if you have not seen it.  This time I drove down the freeway from Nashville and just before Chattanooga took my usual detour via the Chattahoochee National Forest.  There were many signs advertizing a county fair.  Since it was still early on Sunday, we decided to have a look at the fair.  It seems we drove a long way before arriving there.  Below, top map, shows the route from Brentwood, below Nashville, to my usual turn before Chattanooga.  The bottom map shows, in blue, the route to the fair and in maroon the route I usually use to get back to the I-75 freeway; so it was a big detour.  (click on collage to enlarge.)

Since we came back home I have done a bit of reading about Walker County and Mountain Cove Farms, the location for this fair, the first one ever.

Walker County, Georgia, borders the state of Tennessee.  It was created from land seized from the native Cherokee Indians and divided, in 1832, among white settlers through a land lottery.  The Cherokees were herded away on the infamous Trail of Tears.  (I wrote about this in my post of July 26, 2009 "Staying at the Cherokee Indian Reservation" click here to see it.)  In 1836, the county seat town was named Lafayette, in honor of the French Marquis.  One major tourist attraction in this county is Chickamauga Battlefield National Park, the oldest and largest military park in the US.  We visited the park a couple of years ago and I still have to write a post on it.  In 1863, during the Civil War, 34,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Battle of Chickamauga - it is considered the second bloodiest of the war.  The back roads that took us to the fair were curvy, narrow and very picturesque.  We were in a valley with mountains on both sides - Lookout Mountain, on the Tennessee side and Pigeon Mountain on the Georgia side.  I wished to stop many times to take pictures but with the narrow roads it was not easy.  There was an abundance of green color - no hint of fall coming yet.

The valley is called McLemore Cove after Robert and John McLemore, who were the sons of a Cherokee mother and a white trader.  In 1994 the cove was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for periods of significance dating from 1825 to 1949.  It did serve also as a temporary encampment for 15,000 Union troops during the Civil War.  It is one of the most intact rural landscape in Georgia, and at 50,141 acres, the largest historic district in the state.  It felt like driving in another era as there were very few new buildings but mostly historic houses, barns, clapboard churches, shady country lanes, rolling pastures, lush forested slopes, ancient red cedar trees and cattle grazing behind barbed wire fences.  The fair was held at the historic Mountain Cove Farms.

In mid-2000 the McLemore Cove property, including the historic farm and its land were going to be sold to developers and subdivided, but in 2008 the Walker County Commissioner persuaded the State of Georgia to partner with the county and the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation (early president of Coca-Cola) to acquire the farm and land to protect it.  Walker County has made extensive renovations to the main house, barns, and the 1947 workers' cabins (which can be rented.)  There is also a country store, a restaurant and the Manor House for special events.  We drove by these when we left the fair but did not stop - we will have to return another time.

We parked our vehicle then took a small minibus to the fair floor.  There, a small carnival with rides was set up near the road.  But we did not stop and took a ride up a steep hill to the fair.  A pick-up with a trailer filled with bales of hay provided the ride.  You can see the minibus on the top left hand picture below.

From the top of this hill the vista around us was very pastoral - so peaceful and rustic.

The pick-up transportation went further to another building on the farm where some of the animals had been judged earlier.  We stayed by the big show barn and I took pictures of the valley below.

This large white barn is called the "Show Barn" because between 1947 and 1967, stock shows took place there.  Cattle ranchers competed for blue ribbons for their Hereford cattle.  On Labor Day weekends it was the site of the annual Southeastern Rodeo.

Now, prize winning vegetables were shown inside the show barn, as well as baked goods and quilts.

An apiarist (beekeeper) had an exhibit showing how honey is collected.  He also gave free samples of his honey.

Maggie, the Mayfield cow, was guarding the grounds outside the barn.  If Mayfield had been giving free ice-cream samples, I did not see them - must have been earlier in the fair.

After looking at Maggie, the fiberglass bovine, we walked toward a flesh and blood one.  This was a 5 years old prize winning Texas Longhorn cow.  It weighed 1750 lbs (784 ks) and its horns extended to 7 feet wide (2 m 134.)  Its owner let little children sit on the cow for picture taking.  Behind, in a pen, was another beautiful Longhorn.

Another pen had a pretty alpaca - a domesticated species of camelid (such as camels and llamas.) Its owner, Susan B. Darling of the "Little Darlings Alpacas" ranch also showed some knitted items made with the alpaca wool.

Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years and originate from the Andes Mountain Range of South America.  Alpacas are warm, clean and fuzzy little animals.  They come in 22 natural colors and their soft wool is easily died into lovely colors.  If I had more land - and stayed home - I certainly would obtain one or two alpacas as pets.

Then we walked around, looking at all the exhibits and booths.  Even though I still have so much homemade jam, I could not resist one type I did not make this year - pear.

Music was in the air - so we walked toward it.  It was the Dennis Brown and Dr. Ted Scoggins Band.  Dr. Scoggins is a family doctor in nearby Lafayette.  For a while it looked as it might rain but the clouds passed us by.  The local television station was filming the band as well.

We left the fair and drove up and down the mountain and winding roads before being back on the valley floor again.  The landscape was certainly bucolic and tranquil - no cars behind or ahead of us.

At the end of a road shaded by old trees we came to a large open space, with a lake in the background.  A wood sign announced that this was the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area.  The late Jack Crockford was a friend and colleague at work of my husband.  This area is not visited very much.  It has miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing and many caves.

We then drove by some cows peacefully grazing in a field covered with yellow wildflowers.  Luckily there was on old church across the field, so I briefly parked there to take photos.  The church, Mt. Olive, was established in 1887.

I photographed the cows who did not mind me at all.  I could have stayed there a long time, but we had to drive back home.

We stopped on the way in a small country barbecue restaurant and shared a small meal (ribs, fried sweet potatoes and okras, peach cobbler,) and enjoyed reading the signs on the wall.

The next morning we saw that our potted plants had not suffered during our absence.  They looked very healthy.  A purple flowered plant had grown tremendously.  We bought it as a tiny green plant, without a tag.  Now the flowers are lovely, but we do not know what type of plant it is.  Anyone knows?