TRIP TO MILWAUKEE AUGUST 2008 - PART 2 OF 2
We were up early on Monday morning, and after another wonderful breakfast, Tom drove us to the down town Hertz office, where we picked up a nice Chevy Impala rental car, returned to the Mansion to get our luggage, and then headed to Springfield, the capitol of Illinois, to explore Lincoln Country.
We used our GPS to help us avoid the Chicago area. How about that cute driver!
We saw miles and miles of tall standing corn, and every so often there were small Ethanol distilleries where the local farmers could take their corn to be processed into fuel.
We checked into a nice Comfort Inn Suites, and did a little exploring, had a nice dinner and a good night's sleep.
On Tuesday we started our exploration. First we went to the current Capitol Building, Shown here.
Next we went to the new Lincoln museum, shown here.
This is a very large round room, with a replica of Lincolns log cabin home on the left side to mark the entrance to all the displays of his pre Presidential life, and a replica of the front of the white House on the right, which is the entrance to the displays depicting his presidential years.
There is the Log Cabin, standing among the beautiful trees
As young Lincoln sits on this stump pondering his future. We explored this part of the museum depicting the early years, but we were disappointed because we could not take photos there. But, the displays were excellent.
We were given a warm welcome by the President and his family, who were standing outside a replica of the front of the White House.
He even let an old codger join the group for a photo.
The first room in this section depicts Mary Lincoln, the First Lady, in one of her elaborate dresses, as she might appear in the many formal events at the White House. In the background we see the dresses of some of the other prominent women who attended these functions.
We then explored the large section of the museums Presidential Years displays. It was excellent, but again, no photos.
Like most of the modern Presidents, Lincoln now had a Presidential Library, primarily devoted to housing extensive collections of Lincoln's Papers for use by researchers. There were some public displays, like the ones shown here.
We were getting hungry, so we found a nice small café on a downtown street, and had a nice lunch.
Next we headed to Lincoln's Home, which is operated by the National Park Service.
This is the house where Abraham and Mary and their children lived until they moved into the White House. It was much smaller when they bought it, but, as the family grew, Lincoln made a number of additions to the house, including the whole second floor!
Here is a view from the side street.
Our family visited this house while driving from CA to PA in our camper, sometime in the early 70's, I think. At that time the house was under the control of a state agency, was painted white, and the streets were asphalt and open to all traffic. After the house was transferred to the Park Service, they purchased all the houses for a block in each direction, and then changed the streets to gravel and blocked traffic. The whole area was converted back to look as it might in the 1840 period. It is a delightfully restful experience to now walk the streets.
This one story house that is caticornered from the Lincoln house is said to be just like what Lincoln's house looked like before he started the expansions.
This is the Lincoln parlor, where guests where welcomed. The guide said that extensive research has been done to make sure that everything is as close as possible to the way that it was shortly before he was elected. Most all of the furnishings are original.
Another part of the Parlor
Looking through a short hall to wards the front door.
This was their "Family Room", where all relaxed, and generally limited to the family and no guests were invited here.
We are upstairs in Lincoln's Bedroom
Another view of his bedroom. That small writing desk on the right was one of his favorite places to do his correspondence. They believe that he wrote his acceptance speech here before departing on the train to Washington.
Great things were done here by that wonderful President.
The Park Service has gone to great pains to make sure that everything is authentic. Just look at this wallpaper!
Back downstairs in the kitchen,
More of the kitchen.
As I reported above, the house was painted white when we last saw it in the early 70's, but the Park Service , after extensive research, determined that these are the correct colors.
Next we headed for his famous Law Office, a comfortable walk away. But it was closed for some reason. His home was convenient to both this office and the Old Capitol, which is across the street from this office.
This was the Capitol when Lincoln lived here. It has been preserved as a shrine, and we are going there next.
This is where Lincoln worked for many years as a member of the legislature. His body was brought
here after the assassination, and displayed for the mourning crowds. There are old photos showing this building draped[ed in black cloth, and long lines of mourners.
This is the room where the legislature sat, and he spent a large part of his career here
It is very beautiful.
This is the main staircase between the first floor and the second floor where the main Assembly room is. I have never seen a staircase just like this, with a single landing and two sets of stairs going down from there and two sets going up. The guide reported that this was a popular informal place for someone to make a speech, with listeners both upstairs and down.
As I slid my hand down the same railing that he used all those years ago, I liked to think that I was reaching out and touching him. I Got the same sensation on the handrail on the stairs in his house.
This is where President Lincoln, his wife and at least one of his children are entombed.
And here is his tomb where he was scheduled to rest in peace. However,other plans were developing.
Many years after his entombment, the leader of a criminal gang in Chicago was captured, and imprisoned . Some of his gang members conceived of a scheme to get his release. They planned to steal Lincolns body, and hold it for ransom. They would then negotiate their leaders release. The authorities got wind of the plan, and arrived here just as the bad guys were hauling Lincoln out!! What a dastardly evil scheme!!
The walk through the interior of the building was a very moving experience.
We went back to the motel and then to an excellent dinner.
We started the drive home on the next morning. Guess what we saw? Corn, Corn, Corn
Here in the Midwest,the farmland is fantastically beautiful and productive.
We arrived back at the Mansion after a nice drive, had a pleasant evening and sleep. Here we are having breakfast, with a very nice couple from Germany. They were fascinating table companions.
Two other guests are eating at the table in the dining room alcove . which is a very popular spot.
I wanted to come next door to the "Grand Central" to take some photos. It is a beautiful fascinating building in its own right.
This photo, somewhat foreshortened, shows it's two impressive neighbors to the West. The first is the Lutheran Church, and the second, with the beautiful domes, is the Shriner's building.
Now we are inside the Grand Central, and this shows some of the decorative detail in the dining room.
Some of the nice built in cabinetry. In fact there is a lot of wonderful woodwork throughout the building, including marvelous oak floors .
This is the fireplace in the parlor. As you can see, the furnishings are still sparse. Lots to do here before it is finished.
Now we are heading out through the front doorway to see some more local attractions.
This is the mansion that was built by Captain Frederick Pabst, who made his fortune in the brewery business. He came to America from Germany as a teen ager and did a number of different jobs in the Chicago until he got a job on one of the passenger boats that sailed between the major cities on Lake Michigan. One day, as the passengers were disembarking, a beautiful young lady fell off of the gangplank, and Frederick dove into the water and rescued her. Thus a romance started. Her father owned a large successful brewery, and, after Frederick married her, he became an executive in the brewery. Later, they changed the name of the brewery to "Pabst"in recognition of his contribution to it's continuing success. What a love story!!
We took the tour of the interior, and it is fantastic. Said to be the finest Flemish Renaissance revival mansion in America. After the family wanted to sell it, it was bought by the Catholic Diocese as the home for the Bishop and his staff. It was well maintained for the 60 years that they owned it, but when they put it on the market, the owner of the large building next door wanted to buy it and demolish it to make a parking lot!!! A croup of concerned citizens formed a nonprofit group, raised the money,bought and refurbished it. Now they operate it for the public enjoyment. It is a marvelous treasure!! But, sadly,no photos allowed!!
More about the Pabst accomplishments.
We went back downtown for lunch and a nice walk along the river.
There are many people retiring nearby and enjoying boating in the summer, and winter sports when it freezes.
This marks the spot where Father Marquette and his French explorers camped on their voyage of discovery in 1674. It was the begining of Milwaukee.
Now we are entering the Marquette University campus, which is about a mile down Wisconsin Avenue from The Brunder Mansion. The campus straddles the avenue for a number of blocks and extends for blocks on each side.
Beautiful well tended gardens.
This is what we have come to see - The famous St Joan of Arc Chapel that was moved here from France via Long Island, NY.
After looking around for a few moments, we met a delightful woman who was a docent. She explained a lot of the history and showed some of the artifacts to us.
It is very small, even though it's size was increased somewhat when moved here.
These figures are at the rear of the chapel, above the entrance.
A very serene and beautiful place.
A modern Engineering Building. I was leaning, not the building.
Back to the Brumder Mansion for our last evening. Tom barbecued some great steaks , which we washed down with some great local brews.
wandered through the house taking a last look, at least for this trip, before starting for home tomorrow.
This is the stunning chandelier that I Mentioned in Part 1
This is a "Widow's Costume" from the 1870's. It is in a corner of the Library. Spooky!
View from the Library toward the foyer.
Back in the Dining Room.
I really liked that piece of furniture that is against the Dining Room wall.
This gorgeous inlaid ceramic tiled fireplace was made by a craftsman who worked on a number of projects with Frank Lloyd Wright.
Beautiful Beautiful!! Of course the camera does not begin to capture the color and luster.
Now let's go up and say goodbye to our charming room.
Very comfortable and attractive room
The design and workmanship of the mantle was exquisite.
The hot tub worked perfectly and felt great at the end of a busy day.
Fare thee well, Brumder.
Heading out through the vestibule.
It is a very charming place, and our visit was very pleasant.
Waiting in the nice new Milwaukee train station.
We arrived in Chicago with plenty of time to make our connection with the CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR.
This is the view of the Sears Tower in the distance as our train starts it's trip West.
And guess what we saw lots of?? Corn, Corn, and, according to Marie, lots of Soy Beans!!
I believe we were crossing the Mississippi.
We weer in Eastern Nebraska when we went to bed, and during the night Marie heard thunder and saw lots of lightning. The next morning we were told that the violent storm caused Flash Flood Warnings, which caused many delays and we ere now about 6 hours behind schedule.
Here our train is replenishing supplies in the Denver station.
We can get out and walk for a while and enjoy the mile high air.
We are now climbing up the Eastern escarpment of the Rockies, just West of Denver. Very pretty.
It is a very long way down if the train ever left the tracks! Note that we are getting into the taller pine forests.
Can you see how steep that drop off is?
Something seems to be killing trees. Sad.
After a while we passed over a summit, and started following a river that is a tributary of the Colorado River. I think that we will follow it all the way to the border with Utah.
The canyon gets deeper, and the surrounding rock formations more dramatic.
There was not much room for the tracks as the canyon walls got steeper.
Do you think that there are trout down there?
Now and again another stream joins our river, making it a little bit stronger.
This is a wonderful river for white water rafting, and we saw lots and lots of rafters, though I did not capture many on my photos.
That is Interstate 80 on the other side of the river. It's designers determined that following this river was the best way to cross the Rockies, just like the railroads did many years earlier.But they needed more room, and you can see the extremely complex and costly construction needed. I have heard that this section was one of the most expensive cost per mile of the whole Interstate system.
I can just imagine Indians camped along this stretch, with canoes, ponies, tepees, etc.
I think that this path through Colorado is one of the most beautiful in the USA.
Soon it was dark, and we crossed Utah and headed for Reno. We were still about 6 hours late, but they never gave up hoping that they could make up some of the lost time. We made a brief stop in Reno and then started across the Sierras, heading for Sacramento. We were able to talk to Richard on our cell phone when we were near civilization, and we arranged for Richard to meet our train in Sacramento. Again, our luggage was at the station, and Richard was prompt. We then went to his home to visit for several days.
Here Memphis is being entertained by his dad. We just loved seeing and holding him. He is so cute and well behaved!
Rich and Kath are unloading a new load of hay for the donkeys.
He is the star of the show!
My darling Great Grandson!! I think that I may have forgotten how to hold babys gracefully.
And he smells so good !
We changed our minds about taking the train from Stockton to Los Angeles for a number of reasons, and flew home on Southwest Airlines instead. Good trip.
Thanks to Tom and Julie and Rick and Kathy for their marvelous hospitality!!