Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bulloch Hall in the Festive Season

On a very cold but sunny day we decided to visit Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Georgia. It is about 15 miles from our home. We had driven by it many times but had never stopped. Bulloch Hall is an antebellum grand house that was the Bulloch Family’s estate, circa 1839. Martha “Mittie” Bulloch (1835-1884) grew up in the home - she was the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt and the paternal grandmother of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Martha “Mittie” Bulloch (1835-1884)

Later in the upcoming year we will return to Bulloch Hall and I’ll post a history on the family and the house. This time we visited the house to see it with all its holiday decorations. Unfortunately I forgot to take my Nikon – I just had my Sony camera, so some of the pictures are not too crisp.

Click on picture to enlarge

I have always liked the Christmas lights, decors, wreaths and all the trimmings. Growing up in Paris, my mother would take me to see the beautiful windows of the large department stores, Le Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette. We would walk inside first so I could give my letter to Papa Noël (Santa.) He used to sit in a huge armchair in the middle of the central stairways. I had to walk up the stairs to reach him and was petrified to miss a step. There were no photographers then. My friend Peter of the blog Peter’s Paris has graciously let me use a couple of the photos he recently took in Paris of the stores.

Grands Magasins, Paris (courtesy of Peter's Paris)

Wooden platforms were installed under the large windows, with steps, to enable little children to see well. Every window had a different scene – mainly automated toys and stuffed animals. Here is another picture from Peter’s blog – I would think that these little men are dancing to lively music.

Animated store window in Paris (courtesy Peter's Paris)

Here in Atlanta, now that all the department stores have moved to malls, there are no longer large windows to walk by and admire. The two big department stores, Macy’s and Rich’s, have moved away from downtown. When our daughters were little, we used to take them to Rich’s downtown and they would ride Priscilla, the “Pink Pig” on top of the roof, then we would go to the Magnolia Tea Room and have a piece of succulent apple pie.

Rich’s Pink Pig in downtown Atlanta in the 70s (postcard copyright Whitefield)

But that was then, now to Roswell we go to look at the pretty Christmas decor.

It was very warm inside. We entered the large hall

then turned right entering the parlor and going toward the chimney where, it seemed, a nice fire was burning.

On the side a little table was set with “savories” ready for our tea.

click on collage to enlarge, then click on each picture to biggify

Walking into the next room we saw many snowmen.

As this huge snowman was standing close to the fire I wondered why he was not melting…

Snowmen were everywhere - on a sideboard, reflected in a mirror, on a table, on the floor …

and under a painting.

On our way to the kitchen downstairs we walked by a “deer” having a snack.

The kitchen looked inviting.

We were the only visitors and I would have liked to get my hands in the flour and cut the dough to shape gingerbread cookies…

then to move the bread and pie in the oven aside so they could have room to bake…

Or, maybe we could stop a while and read the book, open on the stand…

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound…”

“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work…”

Is the chimney large enough for St Nicholas?...

Let’s close the door to the kitchen and explore the upstairs rooms…

First we walk by a wall in the hall sheltering a small village…

Upstairs, the children are well tucked in their bed and the bears are having tea…

The parents’ bedroom is also brightly lit. Going downstairs I see an inviting armchair where it would be nice to relax and read a tale of Noël.

Here is another charming room with lovely Christmas trees – but wait, is that a gentleman caller waiting on the settee?

Perhaps he would like to partake of some caroling accompanied by the pianoforte?

I don’t think so, he is not moving from the settee. As we walk by a tall window I look up and what do I see? Could this be some Osage oranges on that bare tree outside – there in the top middle pane?

Let’s walk in the garden and find this Osage orange tree (which was the subject of my post here) Yes indeed, there is an old tree, must be as old as the house, with 3 fruits left on it.

Now it is time to end our visit of Bulloch Hall and keep its delightful Christmas decorations in our memory.

I’d like to take y’all to our family gathering for Noël where we will be a diverse group of Catholic, Non-believer, Agnostic, Free Thinker, Muslim and Buddhist (plus three dogs.) But since we cannot take you with us I am sending you the postcards below with my warmest wishes for a merry and happy time during these festive days.

Vintage postcard illustrated by Jenny Nystrom, Swedish 1854-1959


Diane said...

What a wonderful post, so much to see and all so interesting. I love the decorations at Bulloch Hall but also the photos of the shops in Paris.
Have a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2011. Diane

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love that big fireplace in the kitchen at Bulloch Hall. We've toured a lot of antebellum homes, especially when we lived in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Bulloch Hall is a very stately mansion.

Paris must have been something, especially to a small child. What a wonderful experience.

It's sad all of the big department stores have left downtown for the malls. I miss the window shopping too. Is Saks Fifth Avenue still downtown on Peachtree Street or did they disappear too?

Happy holidays to you and your family Vagabond.

Val said...

thanks for the vicarious visit - it looks sumptious! not sure about those ghostly figures though - theylook a bit spooky to me :) merry christmas!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for sharing all these wonderful photos of Bulloch Hall and its outstanding holiday decorations! I also enjoyed seeing the Paris store window photos.
I took photos of many of the holiday window displays in Manhattan which I will be sharing on my blog next week, Vagabonde.

Wishing you and your family a Joyeux Noel!

Ann said...

what a lovely post!! the photo's are great! I remember going to Rich's downtown as a special back was my Mother and Aunt and Grandmother's favorite store! how beautiful Paris is! thank you for the wonderful "vacation"!
Christmas Blessings to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a New Year filled with many more exciting traveling adventures for you, Vagabond.

PeterParis said...

Thanks so much for this, a wonderful house! ... and I was so pleased to see that you could make some use of my photos ... and at the end to find the "God Jul" and to see the for me (born in Sweden) famous Jenny Nyström version of the "tomte", which I believe inspired Haddon Sundblom and the famous Coca Cola version. Merry Christmas!

Ruth said...

The fireplaces are warm and wonderful. I especially like the black painted one. I enjoyed hearing about your Christmas outings in France.

A beautiful and peaceful Christmas to you, Vagabonde!

marciamayo said...

Another gorgeous post. I guess I need to go to Roswell for something other than getting my hair cut.

Olga said...

Splendid photos as always.Thanks so much for visiting my blog.
Have a wonderful 2011!

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you for the tour of Bulloch Hall as well as the memories of times past!

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas/holiday gathering! It's been a leasure following your ramblings thhis year!

Zuzana said...

Your images always instigate illustrations to a book. The quality and the feel they convey is superb. What a lovely home...
Love the last postcard in Swedish.;)
Wishing you and your loved ones a tranquil Holiday Season and all the best in the New Year.
Many kind greetings,

claude said...

Je suis très en retard sur ton blog. Je reviendrais plus tard aux épisodes sur la mer.
Quel magnifique post et magnifique maison, c'est très enchanteur.
Je vois que tu as les mêmes souvenirs que moi de Noël à Paris
Mes Parents nousd emmenaient aux Galeries et au printemps en reconnaissance et en générale nous trouvions au pied du sapin ce sur quoi nous nous étions attardés.
Peter est un bon Ami. Je l'ai rencontré déjà deux fois à Paris.
Il est fort sympathique et serviable.
Je te souhaite un JOYEUX NOEL, Vagadonde, ainsi qu'à ta famille.
Je repasserai plus tard pour te souhaiter une Bonne Année.
Bises !

Unknown said...

Hello Vagabonde
super ton reportage photos : que du bonheur.
Je te souhaite un JOYEUX NOEL,ainsi qu'a ta famille

Kenza said...

Ma chère Vagabonde,
Je te souhaite un joyeux Noël et de très belles fêtes de fin d'année! Beaucoup de joie, de chaleur et d'amour entourée de ceux que tu aimes.
Bisous, bisous ma belle

""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Joyeux Noël à toi et GROS BISOUS !!!! :o) ***

Elaine said...

Thanks for sharing your visit to Bulloch Hall. It is beautifully decorated and would be a joy to tour at any time of the year, but most especially while it is all dressed up in its holdiay finery. Happy holidays to you and your family

Ginnie Hart said...

The things you have seen that were in my own backyard for years! I declare, Vagabonde. What a delightful tour of this charming house. It may be the first time I've seen such a collection of snowmen inside. Please know that I'm wishing you the best of this holiday season, with safe travels. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

kyh said...

Oh Madam Bulloch looked so lovely! Beautiful home.. I'd love to make a visit there.

And wow, you've got such a diverse family! If only the world would see each other as one big family, and not enemies! ;) And I just realize you're a Buddhist too! :D

""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Il ne reste que deux petits jours avant l'arrivée de 2011, j'en profite pour te souhaiter un BON RÉVEILLON de fin d'année ! :o) GROS BISOUS CHÈRE VAGABONDE !!!! ***

Vagabonde said...

Dear friends – I was away during the last week and am writing a post before the end of the year to wish you all a Happy New Year. Thanks so much for visiting my blog during this busy season – I cherish your visits and appreciate all your comments.

Vagabonde said...

Chers amis – j’étais partie chez ma fille la semaine dernière. Maintenant j’essaie d’écrire un post avant la fin de l’année pour vous souhaiter une Bonne et Heureuse Année. Je vous remercie d’être venus voir mon blog pendant cette époque chargée. J’aime beaucoup vous voir sur mon blog et j’apprécie tous vos commentaires.

Jeanie said...

It is such a treat to visit your posts when I have time to sit and savor them! And this -- what a delectable treat! (I can't wait to learn more about our gorgeous ghostess, whose presence must be through the entire house!

I have decided if I ever get to your part of the world, I must go to this beautiful house -- and especially if it is Christmas! Simply stunning -- I didn't know which photo to enlarge first! And I must say, your "little" camera did a fine job!

As always, your postcards make me smile, particularly that last -- no, it's a Jenny Nystrom illustration. Lovely.

Warm greetings. I am so very glad I discovered your wanderings this year.

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