Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas in 1845 at Bulloch Hall

We have not been back to Bulloch Hall in winter since 2012 when the theme that year was "Christmas in the White House at Bulloch Hall." In 2010 I had written a post entitled "Bulloch Hall in the Festive Season" because the theme that year was "The Symbols and Traditions of Christmas at Bulloch Hall."  This year the theme is "Christmas with the Bulloch's 1845."  (We also made several trips to Bulloch Hall in the spring for their quilt shows.)  Bulloch Hall, now owned by the City of Roswell, GA., was built circa 1839 for the Bulloch family and their eight children (4 were from previous marriages.)  Each year there is a living history re-enactment of the December 1853 wedding of Mittie Bulloch with Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.  When Mittie had visited her sister in Philadelphia she had met Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (Thee) there.  Thee fell in love with Mittie, a beautiful Southern Belle, and they were married in the Dining Room of Bulloch Hall.  Re-enactment picture below with pictures of Mittie and Thee in black and white, courtesy Bulloch Hall.

Before I continue I'd like to thank my blogging friends who commented on my two part post, Chalkfest 2015 in Marietta, part two, and the story of US violence.  I appreciate each comment.  Before this Chalkfest post my blog had 290 followers but immediately after it went down to 282.  I guess eight bloggers disliked my post so much that they decided to "un-follow" me.  Earlier I had been advised not to talk about anything that could be taken as a negative about America.  A British friend who has lived here since 1959 told me that if you don't say the US is exceptional people will get upset and think you hate the whole country.  I remember asking him about my blog "how if I research and only state facts?" No, no, he said - no good, they won't like you the messenger, have contempt for you and they'll take it personally, above all because you are a foreigner.  But, I replied, I am not a foreigner, I am a US citizen and have been here since 1961 - or 54 years.  Forget that, he replied, as long as you were not born here and have an accent, and a French one at that, you are and always will be considered a "foreigner."  I certainly did not write the post to upset anyone as I enjoy research, wherever it leads me, and thought people with open minds might enjoy it as well.  I did not think it would make anyone mad at me.

Our house has no decorations or Christmas goodies because for the last week I have been battling a miserable chest cold.  It is a kind I never had before - constant short but hard coughs (as when you clear your throat, but it does not clear) total exhaustion, and lack of appetite.  I was told it is "going around" and usually lasts a couple of weeks or so.  Christmas will be quiet here this year as no visitors will come by, but it is better this way as I would not want to give anyone a gift of a miserable cold.  Eldest daughter, Celine, will be visiting her fiance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Younger daughter, her husband, and the four grand-children drove to New York City to admire the beautiful holiday decorations there and stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on the way.  Here is a picture of New York at night my daughter sent me via her cell phone.  She said it was very crowded.

This morning, December 23, they arrived in Paris where they will stay 5 or 6 days, and then they will fly to India to visit relatives.  I am happy that the grandchildren will have a chance to see all the great animated windows of the large Paris department stores like the Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps.  I still remember my mom taking me to see them when I was a wee child.  I think they will remember this, too.  Below are pictures of Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris (Blvd Haussmann.)  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

Le Printemps department store is celebrating their 150th Christmas anniversary this year and their windows are bringing a Christmas fairy tale (written for them in 1909) - a frozen nature awakened by adorable articulated dolls.  Eleven windows, decorated in cooperation with prestigious brands, present idyllic pictures with game illusions, optical effects and blooms.  Click twice on collage of windows below to see better.   Photos courtesy Le Printemps.

Back to Georgia - yesterday, Tuesday December 22, we drove to Roswell to visit Bulloch Hall.  It had been raining that morning and was very foggy, but warm.  We parked by the Museum and Gift Shop and walked up to the main house.

I love taking pictures outside and inside the house.  By now we know the house so well that it is like visiting an old friend.  I remember each room with its furniture and it is fun to see how it has been decorated anew.  Entering the great hall I feel the home is welcoming me back, and the owners are steps away, in the parlor.

After we entered, the docent gave us a page of information about this Christmas.  It said "Welcome to the World of 1845 .... James K. Polk is the President of the growing United States.  Florida has joined the Union as the 27th state and Texas as the 28th."  Well now, when we drove to Columbia, Tennessee, to see the doctors for my knees and foot, I remember seeing a sign directing us to the James K. Polk ancestral home, a couple of blocks away.  James K. Polk (1795-1849) was the 11th President of the United States, a Democrat.  He was born in North Carolina and died in Nashville, Tennessee.  Now for sure when we go back to Columbia, we will visit his home - that is really exciting (I get excited by things like this ...)  Below is a photograph of President Polk.  He was the first President of the United States to be extensively photographed during his tenure.

The leaflet went on "the village of Roswell in Cobb County has one church, one store, and one male and female academy ... residents include the Bullochs, Kings, Dunwoodys, etc..."  "And at Bulloch Hall ... James S. Bulloch, age 52, and his second wife Martha, age 46, are busy raising their blended families.   ...the younger Bulloch girls, Anna, 13, and Mittie 10, are excitedly wrapping gifts for their siblings and the sound of three year old Irvine's feet echo everywhere as he is swept up in the excitement."

The narrative on the page said "In Europe, Monet, Renoir and Rodin are challenging the traditional world of art."  Hmm.  Well, now, I don't want to be picky, but having shown many paintings of Monet, Renoir and sculptures by Rodin on my blog I know that both Monet and Rodin were born in 1840 and Renoir in 1841.  How could these men (?) challenge the traditional world of art in 1845 if they were just toddlers?  Last night, I told my husband that I should call Bulloch Hall so they could correct this error.  No, he said, they won't like it - people don't like to be told they made mistakes and they will be upset with you.  OK I said.  Then as I was writing this post I read this page again and thought that I needed to do something.  I called the contact listed on Bulloch Hall web page and left a message.  A few minutes ago someone called back and said they changed the names of the artists to J. M. W. Turner of England, I believe, and they thanked me.  Maybe they were upset, I don't know.

Going on with our tour - in the Parlor, refreshments are ready for the Bulloch's guests - tea or punch.

Passing into the Dining Room, we see that the table is set.  A couple is talking close to a Christmas tree.

Each room has one or more Christmas tree, from very small to large.  All of them decorated with natural ornaments, candles, corn, fruits, nuts and garlands.

The Pantry has food and drinks waiting.

A sumptuous array of food and sweets is waiting also in the cellar.

Then we went up to the bedrooms - two of them were decorated.

Back down again, we entered the children's bedroom/playroom,

then the Master Bedroom.

A Santa Claus was standing next to a Christmas tree in the Library.  A game of card, with glasses of Port by each player, was started in front of a roaring fire.

Our tour was finished.  We could sit on a bench in the hall and recall all the pretty decorations we had just seen.

Goodbye Bulloch Hall - we'll drive back home now, in the fog.

Now is the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays.  However, I think that this video showing the US Navy Band in Washington, D.C., last year, says it better ... and with a French twist.  Below is the Christmas Can-Can.


 and a Happy New Year!

See you next year ...


Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for taking us back to Bulloch Hall. It looks like a truly amazing place, and somewhere I would happily visit and revisit.
Blogger has been doing a cleaning fit - and many of us have lost followers. I understand that they are deleting people who followed using avatars other than google. It may not be your post at all. I have certainly lost a few.
Get well quickly - and be as kind to yourself as you can manage in the interim.
Happy Christmas.

Down by the sea said...

I have remembered your previous visits to Bulloch Hall and it is always lovely to see it. It looks so beautiful decorated for Christmas. In England too some of the historical houses are now opened up at Christmas. It must have been so memorable spending Christmas there.
I always loved looking at Selfridges and Hamley' s Christmas Windows as a child.The Galeries Lafayette Christmas Windows look amazing.
I also lost some readers over the weekend and so have many other bloggers. They must have been clearing out readers whose bloggers are no longer operational.
I do hope you are feeling better and have a lovely Christmas. Sarah x

Linda P said...

Just a note to let you know that I shall continue to follow your interesting blog in the new year. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and new year.

Jenny Woolf said...

A lovely and very interesting post, but Le Printemps charms me most of all! How I would love to have seen it.

Yes, I agree about the followers. I have lost several too. So have many other people.

I hope you are better soon, have a good (albeit wquiet) festive season and a happy and prosperous New Year. I will look forward to more of your posts in 2016!

Thérèse said...

Such a Christmas feel in each one of your takes!
Joyeux Noël et douces fêtes!

DJan said...

It is the same with me, VB. I lost several followers a while back and I didn't post anything that would upset anybody (that I know about, anyway). Your posts are always thoughtful and represent your world so beautifully. I have always been a fan of James K. Polk since I had to give a talk about him as a young student. But I learned something about him here in this post: I didn't know he was the first president to be extensively photographed! I love your pictures of the lovely Bulloch Hall. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, and I wish you all good things in this coming year! Sending you love and virtual hugs. :-)

rhymeswithplague said...

I can't remember whether I ever became an official follower of your blog, but I am not about to "unfollow" you -- no way! You write the most amazing posts, whatever the subject, and the photographs and postcards are too, and this one is no exception! Lovely it is, as Yoda might say. I list a couple of followers too; my thanks to the other commenters for explaining why.

My. wife's Dad came here from Albania in 1917 and her Mom in 1927 (he went back to marry her). They lived here for 60 years and I found their accents charming. Not all is us are The Ugly American, but certainly many fall into that category. Xenophobia is an ugly thing, as is chauvinism. My mother always said to remember that the person who had a problem was the person who had a problem, not you.

Keep on with your wonderful blogging!

David said...

Hi Vagabonde, Ho! Ho! Ho! It's that time of the year... Sorry to hear that you're still suffering with that nasty virus. At least it isn't cold outside in North Georgia...or here in East Tennessee either. Beautiful photos as usual and a well thought out and presented posting on your blog site. Thanks for the heads up on Polk's home...another place for us to visit. We've already been to Andrew Jackson's and Andrew Johnson's homes. I'll be looking forward to reading your blog in 2016... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Magic Love Crow said...

My friend, never stop being you! This is your blog! If someone doesn't like what you write, that is fine, let them leave! Who cares! LOL! Be you and never stop loving you! I love your posts and all the information you put into them! Merry Christmas and here's to a Great 2016! Much love, Much happiness, Great health and peace, these are my blessing for you and your loved ones! Oh, I think that was wrong, for that person to tell you, you are not a US citizen!

rhymeswithplague said...

I lost & Not all of us. Drat that predictive text!

donna baker said...

Don't worry about whether you did or did not upset anyone. I think that was my first visit and thought so much of your research abilities, I immediately started following. I loved it and we a gun owners - have many for hunting and other though thankfully we've never had to use them. Happiest holidays.

Frances said...

Dear Vagabonde, it is Christmas Eve, and I am still baking cookies! My Christmas preparations got off to much later start than usual, and I've been very busy, when not at my job, trying to play catch up with gifts, baking, visiting with friends and so forth. I admit that my blog visits have been a bit sketchy.

And so, somehow, I have missed the Chalkfest post...I will surely take a look.

I loved this post with views of New York, Paris and also Bulloch Hall with its truly beautiful decorations. I can imagine how much effort goes into decorating each room in style.

Hoping that your bad cold will soon be gone. Meanwhile, I send you and your husband many wishes for a very Happy Christmas! xo

Things and Thoughts said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family dear friend!
Love, Olympia

joared said...

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoyed this post.

FWIW your earlier posting of gun statistics are figures that come as no surprise to me and perhaps others elsewhere. They've been openly and frequently discussed in our Los Angeles news media. I've heard the same on national media. Am not sure I totally agree the analysis you reported receiving applies to all. It might be more accurate to say it tends to be a more prevalent attitude in various segments of our population, even certain geographic areas. I say this based on having lived in the Midwest Great Lakes Area, South, Southwest and West Coast. :-)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I hope you are feeling better, my dear. It is no fun being sick and especially, with these chest illnesses. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas, dear Vagabonde.

Kenza said...

Chère Vagabonde, je viens te souhaiter un joyeux Noël et de très très belles fêtes de fin d'année ! Avec toute mon amitié, Kenza

Nadezda said...

Another interesting post, Vagabonde! I liked a virtual tour there. Your collages of Christmas trees and wreaths are lovely.
Merry Christmas and Happy Year to you and your family, dear!

Glenda Beall said...

As usual, this post is beautiful and full of interesting things to ponder. I am glad you corrected the folks at Bulloch Hall about the mistake. How embarrassing for them. I doubt that they were upset with you, but probably upset with someone on their staff.
One of the things I like about blogging is the opportunity to use my voice in a way that I see fit. I don't please everyone and I know that many don't find my blog that interesting, but, as someone said, we are not all the Ugly Americans you hear about. I was extremely happy to read from a person who knows, the history of Paris and the people of France. I love your blog and I share it often with others.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, I remember your previous visits to Bulloch Hall and I love seeing it again. I think you did the right thing in correcting their mistake -- I certainly would want to be told if I'd made that sort of mistake.

I hope that you are feeling better -- a cold is a miserable thing.

Sally Wessely said...

Thank you for the visit to this magnificent place. I have been very busy and not blogging for a bit. I hope you are well. Happy New Year, VB.

claude said...

Quel endroit charmant !
Super de faire référence aux Galeries Lafayette et au Printemps ! Toute mon enfance !
J'espère que Noël s'est bien passé.
Je te souhaite le meilleur pour l'année qui vient.

ELFI said...

merci de ta visite, ça me permet de voir tes billets magnifiques... surtout les peintures de rue qui me fascinent ... ( moi aussi ,j'ai perdu des dizaines d'abonnés mes amis allemands ont fait le même constat...)pour finir , je te souhaite une belle et heureuse nouvelle année ...bises

Christine said...

Interesting photos! Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by!

Ginnie said...

No one does it better than you, Vagabonde, when it comes to research and images to accompany your writing. Don't EVER apologize for what you do, especially with your factual honesty. I TOTALLY follow you!

DeniseinVA said...

I lost about a dozen followers recently and after reading Elephant Child's comment, maybe it is a blogger issue and nothing that you wrote. Great post, I don't get to read every one you write but do enjoy when I pop in to visit.

DeniseinVA said...

Ups! Popping in too fast. Meant to wish you A Very Happy New Year :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a delightful post, all the way around! My husband and I visited Bulloch Hall last summer when they had a Civil War reenactment camp there, and it was very interesting. It's nice to see it at Christmastime through your eyes.

A lot of us lost followers last month, so don't take it personally. I'm sure it wasn't about anything you wrote. I freaked out a little when I thought a bunch of people had deliberately bailed out on me, but almost everyone I know lost followers, and some lost a LOT of them. We can just blame it on Blogger. Or Google. Whatever. Not us. :)

I'd think the folks at Bulloch would appreciate you correcting them about the artists. I'd certainly appreciate it.

I hope you're feeling well now. Happy New Year!!!

EG CameraGirl said...

So sorry you were not feeling well during the holidays. I love the interior shots of the Bullock House!

Al said...

What an amazing place. Have a wonderful 2016!

Fun60 said...

Natural decorations just look so much better than the glitzy ones of today but that's probably more to do with the age of the house and its furnishings. Love the decorated shop windows. All gone now I suppose. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog on the London Underground.

Tamago said...

Wow, pictures from Les Galeries Lafayette are amazing! Looks fantastic!
Inside the Bulloch Hall is so beautiful, too. I've been living in Georgia for a while, but never been there. I gotta check it out :-)

Carola Bartz said...

As many have said before, we all have lost followers - I certainly have. I have read somewhere that Goolge was implementing some changes, so I guess it's due to that.
Funny how everyone with an accent is seen as a foreigner in the US, especially when you take into consideration that the US actually is an immigrants' country... I am (like you?) a dual citizen and feel loyalship to both my countries, and I also criticize both countries. If you can't criticize a country, you don't give it a chance to improve either. There is hardly everything wonderful in the US. I will go and read that post now. I have been away from blogland way too long.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It is really fun to visit mansions and estates when they're decorated for the Holidays! Thank you for the lovely tour. I missed your Chalkfest posts as we were traveling in December and I didn't do much blogging while we're getting ready and traveling. I'll scroll back. But I can assure you that all of us 'born in the USA do not get upset at criticism. . No country is perfect and we have certainly had our share of sad chapters. ( I wish I could say that I think they are all behind us, but I am very afraid right now with all the hate that is out there.).

Pat said...

Vagabonde don't worry too much about suddenly losing followers. It recently happened to me and another person and I'm convinced it is some
strange quirk of Blogger - probably unintended.

Manzanita said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and it is my pleasure to meet you.
Your many pictures give a marvelous visual presentation to your story. History is my favorite subject
and I loved the beginnin historical paragraph.
Your post lavished some of the old time charm of the South. It seems our country is large enough to
be divided into many factons and each one has it's own distinct flavor. Very interesting.
I wish you good health and peace for this coming New Year.

Kay said...

I loved this beautiful post, Vagabonde. I've been to Printemps. It's such a huge, amazing store. My daughter was there in October and bought a number of items too. I loved seeing all the history of Bulloch Hall.

Yes, I'm afraid there are people who just never want to hear anything bad about their country and often choose to have a blind eye. But the truth will come out.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

Je suis désolée d'avoir raté cet article plus tôt; mais je suis bien contente d'avoir pu voir les vitrines de Noël parisiennes grâce à ces photos. Je n'ai pas eu le temps d'aller à Paris cette année. Ne vous tracassez pas des "mauvais lecteurs" qui cherchent le mal partout. Il me semble qu'aux Etats-Unis, tout le monde est un "foreigner" quelque part... Moi-même en France, je suis "foreigner" puisque ma famille vient d'Angleterre, pourtant, je me sens le plus souvent ici chez moi... Bonne année 2016!

Cergie said...

Une heureuse année à toi et à tes êtres chers, Vagabonde !

Chaque année j'ai du mal à me remettre après les fêtes. Ça y est je crois que je tiens le bon bout à présent ! Nous avons eu tous nos enfants et nos petits enfants à Noël, je me demande encore comment j'ai pu caser tout le monde à coucher dans notre petit pavillon de banlieue (tu sais comme l'habitat français peut être parcimonieux). Notre record a été de 10 dont 3 enfants. Il nous faudrait une vaste demeure comme Bulloch Hall, mais le reste de de l'année elle nous semblerait bien vide !
Ma fille aurait voulu aussi montrer les vitrines de Noël à ses filles, cependant elles sont moins destinées aux enfants à présent et puis ma fille a souhaité être tranquille à notre appartement de Belleville, nous avons gardé ses filles à Cergy, nous avons fait autre chose, comme aller à la pizzeria, nous promener et elles ont été tout autant ravies car elles sont encore bien jeunes.
Eh oui, le blog n'aime pas les messages sincères. Et pourtant, messages comme commentaires sont plus constructifs lorsqu'ils le sont, sans être méchants bien entendu...
J'ai vu une merveilleuse exposition consacrée à Turner une année, au Grand Palais, et une consacrée, dans un autre style, à William Blake au Petit Palais... J'ai beaucoup aimé les deux... Sans oublier Renoir, Monet et bien entendu Picasso (et même Edward Hopper)

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