When you visit Maymont Park, be sure to sign up for a tour of the mansion. Seriously, take the tour of the mansion!!! While many historical homes are open to the public, quite often, they are furnished with replicas or pieces from the time period-sometimes just a few to supplement the collection and other times, the majority of the furnishings fall into this catergory. This is where Maymont Mansion shines; nearly everything in the house actually belonged to James and Sallie Dooley. From the painted walls to the light fixtures and table ware and furniture. Because they did not have any children, they made the decision to leave the mansion and its contents as well as the land around it to the city of Richmond.
The front parlor is set up to receive guests just as Mrs. Dooley might have. So much of this room glittered with gold; on the walls, on the light fixtures and the room itself was glowing and pink.
The thing that caught my eyes-the ceiling. All hand painted and all original to the house.
The depth of the details, all hand applied and beautiful.
Throughout the house, not a detail was spared. In the parlor next to the front parlor, the details were mostly silver in color. While this light fixture is actually sterling silver, the rest of the details in this room were actually aluminum, a metal which was more precious than platinum in that era.
Of course, my favorite room was the dining room. The table was set for a formal dinner with the best furnishings they had.
The glasses, the china and the flowers…overly ornate, perhaps but I would love to set a table like this!
To preserve the quality of the furnishings, the lighting is low and it was a challenge to take photos with a hand held camera.
Coveting the glasses is not a sin…
And while my camera was challenged, my cell phone was not!
Standing just outside the dining room, this was the overall view of the table as my camera saw it.
and this is what my cellphone saw. Same room, same lighting-cell phone cameras are pretty sophisticated!
One of the main features of the house are the Tiffany stained glass windows in the stair well leading to the second floor. They are 15 feet tall and some of the most beautifully detailed windows I have ever seen.
It was a bright sunny day and the windows glowed with the light.
A visit to the estate just to see the windows is well worth the time!
Some of the few things that did not actually belong to Sallie Dooley are actually clothing such as this dress. While it is from the time period, it was not hers but it is still a stunning example of the era.
In her bedroom, a trunk of ladies gloves and lingerie was on display.
And then there is her bed. She had a love of swans and this is the actual bed she slept in.
Obviously hand carved and painted, it is the thing of fairy tales…
Her bedroom was just one of the many rooms in the house that gave you a real sense of who they were. Please take a trip to Maymont Park and visit the mansion and gardens, you will not regret it!
To read about our walk through the gardens, click here