Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 Geneva Street, the Lights Are On

You know that tingling feeling kids get when they are in bed on Christmas Eve and hear the bells on Santa's reindeer?

The fearsome knowledge that a secret world exits somewhere close by?

Scary and exciting at the same time?

That's the feeling I had when I first saw this miniature house.

That feeling of being seven again and in the presence of magic didn't last long enough I'm sad to say ...

but my astonishment is still with me.

This amazing little house has been taken out of storage and is on temporary display for at the Museum at Lock 3 in St. Catharines, Ontario.

This is the upstairs bedroom. 

Each piece has been hand crafted. Even the little drawers open.

I reallllllly want to know if there is anything in those drawers, old maps to pirate treasure, (miniature pirates of course), a wee pair of wire rim spectacles, maybe even a tiny diary full of secrets.

Evidently the builder had to make the proper miniature tools before he was able to construct the objects that appear in the house.

I find it hard to imagine that he went to all that trouble and then didn't pull things in the drawers. 

If I find out I'll let you know!

The downstairs parlor is my favourite room.  You have to see it to believe how tiny and exquisite  everything is.

Notice the open door on the hutch on the left.  Each tiny little plate, candlestick and vase has been placed just so. 

When I saw it in the basement of the museum after it first came out of storage, a number of the items had been knocked over.  Someone must have very gently used tweezers to put everything back in place. 

The identity of the children in the daguerreotype is unknown at this time. 

Perhaps the builder and his sister?

This is the masculine sitting room opposite the salon. 

Notice the clock and the tiny little pictures on the desk.

You can practically smell the cigar smoke still lingering in this room.

Another sitting room upstairs. 

This one seems more feminine. 

Could this one have been for the lady of the house?

No tobacco smells here.

 Just a hint of lavender.

Servants quarters under the truncated turret at the upper left of the house. 

Such a lovely painting on the wall.

It must have been a lucky girl who landed a job with this family.

This is a photograph of the house that still stands at 3 Geneva Street in St. Catharines.  For those of you familiar with St. Catharines it is south of St. Paul Street close to the 406. 

The Museum is closed between Christmas and New Years but the week after is a perfect time to take the whole family. 

Trust me, it's worth it.

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Anonymous said...

Adults may not recognize this house at first glance but the kids who visit the arenas all know it as the "house with a face". Take a second look at the windows in the tower! :)

Thanks for the images, Francie. This is one of my favourite treasures from the collection vault.
Happy Holidays!

Unknown said...

So beautifully strange to see this piece, because as a young woman, Margaret Livingston (my mother's closest friend & neighbor for the past 60 years) lived and worked for the family/owners of that house. I believe she was in her late teens and early twenties at the time, and was employed as the cook (mostly) and maybe some housekeeping, but she also took care of their young boy who needed special care of some kind.
Whenever we drive by the place, she’ll always point out that house, explaining it was where she used to work, and then point up to the turret showing us where "her" room was. Margaret just turned 90 (going on 70) in November. I might add that to this day, she is known for her superb baking and cooking.
I'll have to print this out and send it to her.

The Episcopagan said...

Thanks, Bel. I didn't know about the faces! Have a lovely Christmas!

The Episcopagan said...

Monika, that is so strange. Mrs. Livingston must know about this house then. I believe it hung in a Doctor's office for years. If she & your mom would like to see it the week after Xmas, I would be thrilled to pick them up & take them to the Museum. Merry Xmas, dear friend!