Happy Friday Readers! I continue to be in the Christmas Spirit, so this week’s fantasy will again be a festive one filled with Yuletide cheer. But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my Jewish friends! I have a special Hanukkah treat coming sometime next week!
Today’s Fantasy is the Victoria Mansion, also known as the Morse-Libby House, in Portland, Maine. I got my pictures from a blog called Cindy’s Photo Quest and her work is AMAZING, so you should all go check it out right after you finish reading this! She is a professional photographer and her site offers a lot of images for sale so you just might find a Christmas gift for someone special while you are there, like say the picture of the stairs at Portland Head Light (hint hint, Ash). I really can’t say enough about her work!
The construction of the Morse-Libby house began in 1858 and continued for two years. It was built for Ruggles Sylvester Morse, a Maine native who made a fortune operating hotels in New Orleans. Morse died in 1898 and his wife then sold the home to J.R. Libby. Luckily, the Libby family maintained the house in much the same state they found it in, which is what makes Victoria Mansion so special… its interior is truly breath-taking, so unaltered that you feel that women in bustled skirts and men in morning suits and top hats are waiting to greet you in the drawing room, much that same way that reading the Great Gatsby takes you to the Roaring Twenties.
The house suffered some damage in the Hurricane of 1938, which led to the decision to demolish the house to make way for a gas station (Such a Preservation cliche but the truth in this case). Fortunately for everyone who loves history and communities with some character, Dr. William H. Homes stepped in and bought the home, which he proceeded to open to the public as a museum to honor Queen Victoria. Later, the Society of Maine Women of Achievement took over operation of the museum, and they continue to run things to this day, under the auspices of the Victoria Mansion, Inc., a non-profit group. The museum’s website is VERY detailed and it can be found here.
Now, without further ado: The Victoria Mansion!
Edit: The Victoria Mansion graciously alerted me to some pictures of this years Christmas displays so I am am adding them here. The photos are from the mansions facebook page and are by Gregory P. Sundik
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Victorian Christmas Splendor! I think I know where Ash and I will head this weekend while we visit my family! Have a great weekend!