By Laurie Bower-Epps
Every family has it's holiday traditions, and a new one is that on Black Friday, Dad & I go to a historic home in the greater Atlanta area. I practically grew up listening to the Atlanta Symphony, waiting for my brother's practice for the Atlanta Boys Choir, in Girl Scouts, or giving tours of Bullock Hall. Last year, I learned that Bullock Hall is one of three belles in Roswell, Georgia so it's my mission to see the other two.
Anyone that is here in the south can tell you that the weather is completely confused this year. It'll be too hot for fall clothes one day and have us reaching for winter clothes the next. So it's not uncommon for us to be in a short sleeved shirt on Monday, but ready for the arctic tundra the next. The day this adventure took place, it was unusually hot, and today, we have snow in the forecast.
Barrington Hall was built in the 1830s for Barrington King who moved into the home in 1838. The newly formed colony of Roswell is situated in the rolling, woodland hills of northern Georgia. Roswell is also this writer's hometown, and I gave tours as a young girl telling stories of the town founder, Roswell King. Roswell was instrumental in the development of the Roswell Manufacturing Company and its success was key in the development of the town.
The residence of Barrington King has remained astonishing unchanged since Barrington's arrival at the home with his new bride in 1842. Despite the occupation of Union troops in 1864 when the South began to fall, the home has remained for the most part in its original condition. According to family documents, the home was inhabited by Union General Kennar Gerrard during the short domination of the home by the Union. The King family was warned in advance of this occupation, and fled during the reign of the Union. But being true Southerners, land is everything, so they returned after the Civil War to reclaim the property and rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, a few days after their joyful return to the home, Barrington was injured while riding his horse and died shortly thereafter.
For more information, go to:
535 Barrington Drive
Roswell, GA 30075
As with most historic homes, there's a nominal fee to get in. I never feel bad paying this fee because it helps with the preservation of these historic treasures. However, my 90 year old daddy is a WWII veteran and that granted us free admission into the historic home-museum. They also have a small gift shop there with old fashioned note cards, and lavender available for purchase.
Generally speaking, Barrington Hall is open M-Sat from 10 am-3 pm and Sundays from 1-3 pm. They only close for major national holidays, so it pays to double check their hours when visiting near a holiday. The only other occasion they close is for a wedding. Barrington Hall is one of three belle's in beautiful historic Roswell with the other two being Bullock Hall and Smith Plantation. You can purchase a ticket that gets you into all three homes for a reduced fee if your feet can take it!
Side note: We had to walk completely around the house from the parking lot to get in. The house appeared locked by all purposes. So be persistent.
Lace-trimmed top &
Bell bottom Paisley Pants
by Takara Girls
Tan Booties by Arizona Brand
~ JC Penney
Chloe loves the ease of the soft knit fabrics, as well as the comfort with the changing temps we've had lately. It breathes enough for her to not overheat during the hot days, but due to coverage, if paired with a jacket, it'll keep her warm enough also at night.
The house is outfitted with hats from the civil war era and old fashioned games in the parlor. Chloe loved playing with the old toys and the docents were knowledgeable of different parlor games. Of course, being the younger generation, she was horrified at the lack of television, computers, and video games. Oh my, back then people had to talk to one another!
Our docent was very sweet, and showed Chloe how to watch slides using the different instruments. If any of my readers know what they're called, I'd love a reminder!
The parlor was their version of a family room, and it's where the family would gather after dinner to talk about their day. I loved that that they took the time to deck it out for Christmas. I thought I could share it with all of you. Every room was decorated for the holidays.
Grey "Lynnae" Top &
Maxi Skirt by LuLaRoe
Purple & Silver Jewelry
Charcoal Grey Slouch Booties
~ Rack Room Shoes
I just loved the look of the garden. Somehow, it just seemed to go with my long flowing skirt with feathered pattern. Although it looks more fall-like, it was a perfect pairing with my outfit.
This example of ribbon embroidery graced the entryway near the gift shop. I'm not sure if this piece is true to the home's true history since this style of embroidery was popular again around WWII. (Showing off my nerdiness here a bit.)
I have a great appreciation for this type of handiwork because I've been sewing since I was five years old. Taught by my grandmother, I remember making quilts and beds even for my Barbie's out of her scraps from quilting. My little dolls had the coolest sheets on the block... always. When I was nine or ten grandmother taught me to crochet. Later in my late teens, I learned various embroidery and cross stitch. In my late 20s, I made about 85% of my daughter's clothes. By my 30s I was working on tutu's backstage, and by my late 30s I added knitting.
In the "Camp" room there was a fabulous example of a crazy quilt. It's original to the home, and initials of the women of Roswell are sewn into every patch. What a neat way to leave a legacy.
I, myself, attempted to begin quilting, but I was a young mother then. With a couple of toddlers running about it was a difficult endeavor. I hope to return to this art form when I'm much older and a grandmother. That way, I can put it away with little ones underfoot.
The mantel in the "Camp" room. A very good looking gentleman occupied this room for a time, and his last name was Camp. That's how the room got it's name. He was very successful too, as I recall. One of his job titles included "postmaster."
The children's room has a very retro outfitted tree, and many not-quite as old toys. Mostly, the toys are from the 1940s and 1950s in this room. Still, I had an appreciation for this tree and the intricate dollhouse.
I hope you enjoyed this walk back in time with me, daddy, and my youngest. Back to a time where people actually talked to one another, wrote notes by hand, and always had dinner together. I hope this holiday, you & yours can gather around the table together for some real conversation.
Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas!!!
Until next time, be fashionable & be blessed,
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