Wednesday, October 30, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 13 ~ Final Preparations....

It came like a thief in the night this Day suddenly and so
unbidden.  I do not know where the days slipped to, but I truly have enjoyed the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain.

A huge thank you...and hugs all around, to Robyn of Primlish and Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings for being the brainchildren behind this chain and for being the ever gracious hostesses.  These two women have some MAD creativity and decorating talent I tell ya.

A special thanks, as well, to my other fellow chain gang members:  The ever sweet Francine of Primitive Stars
 - I so enjoyed your colony of black kitties - and the inimitable Missy Marie from Primitives by Olde Lady Morgan - you know how to make me laugh you do...

And, lastly....but certainly not leastly...thank you to all who visited, commented or just tolerated 13 days of me.  You're the bestest!

So...without further adieu (literally):

Day 13 ~ Final Preparations...
...because the big night is near....

 (I was going to iron...but figure the wrinkles will "blow" out....)

(What's left of the leaves on Robyn's tree....)

Are you ready?

  Wishing you all a wickedly amazing night of spooking!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 12 ~ Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.....

Alrighty.... We've made it to Day 12 of the wonderful 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain hostessed by Robyn of Primlish and Misi of 1890 Gable House MusingsCamera cable is limping along and. with only one day left to go, I think I just might make it....

Day 12 ~ Hey Mr. Tambourine Man...
 Or....This one's for you Olde Lady Morgan....Or....the missing subject matter from Day 10.

Yup....lots rolled in there I know.  You see, some time ago (over a year ago??), when Olde Lady Morgan purchased her first vintage tambourine, I promised her that, someday, I would dig out my collection and share them.

Well, time came....and time passed....and I forgot.  Until she posted a photo of her tambourine on Day 3 of the chain....

The thought then occurred to me that this would be a good time to share mine.
And that was the plan for Day 10.
Until my tambourine collection went missing. does one "misplace" a whole collection of vintage Halloween tambourines????

I knew I hadn't displayed them last year...but, still...all my Halloween "stuff" is one place (well, basically....)  So, I went through each and every box of Halloween "stuff" not once...not twice...but three times.

I did recall that I had them in two separate containers....and while I managed to locate one of the containers, I regret to report that the other is still MIA.

 So...part of my collection will have to do for now....

(Yes, two look almost identical...except one has a sweet border of owls, black cats, witches, corn two the same!)

(This one is the one like Marie's....and is my favorite...well, of at least this "part" of my collection.  I believe it's the oldest of the ones shown, and while it looks plain on top, the sides have wonderful graphics.)

So there you have it....Day 12... I promise that should the rest of the collection show up sometime...and I remember that I promised this, I will share it with you.... a song for me....
(See you on the morrow.....)

Monday, October 28, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 11 ~ The Curse.....

Day 11 of the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain, and I'm going to tell you a bit of ghost story...about a curse just a stone's throw from Nod.....
 (In other words, nope, I didn't find the missing items from Day 10 and, no, I'm not over it yet....)  So on with the story....


I will attempt to be as concise as possible, but I warn you....there's a lot to this story....Perhaps that's why I haven't shared it before....

Just a bit north of Nod lies the city (well, actually, it's more of a town than a real city) of Merrill.
 Long before it was Merrill, however, it was known as Jenny Bull Falls....and it is here that the infamous T.B. Scott Mansion and its curse call home....

As history goes, in the mid-1800's, there was a small settlement of Indians in the area along the Wisconsin River which is now home to Merrill.  The tribe was named Squiteo-eau-Sippi by the French traders, who were some of the first white men to inhabit the area.

Legend has it that, when white men came north along the Wisconsin River, they were welcomed by the Squiteo-eau-Sippi, and particularly by the tribe's chief and by the chief's beautiful daughter, whom the white men called Jenny.

Jenny, sadly, died unexpectedly, shortly after the white men's influx into the area.  Although the accounts vary in the means of her demise (some saying she died in childbirth and others that she fell ill in an influenza epidemic), by all accounts...and especially her father' was because of the white men.

In grief and anger, the chief buried his daughter on the hill across the river from his village, but cursed the hill for eternity.  The chief's final prayer over Jenny's open grave was :  O Great Spirit, grant me this peace for my child.  Let this ground be sacred to her memory, and let it never do any white man any good."

 Years passed.  The railroad came, and long with it, a new name for the honor of S.S. Merrill, the general manager of the St Paul Railroad.  The hill where Jenny's grave was was purchased by Thomas Blythe Scott, a wealthy lumber broker, who, ultimately, chose the hill for the site of his 3000 square foot mansion.  

And things went downhill (get it?? down "hill"???) from there...

While many have attempted to "debunk" the legend of Jenny and the curse, there is no disputing that the land has been fraught with a series of strange deaths and a plague of bad luck.  To keep things as brief as possible, the following is a summary timeline of some of the strange "coincidences" associated with the T.B. Scott Mansion.

(Photo of the mansion taken by me in 1971....Yes....I was obsessed even back then....)

(Another of my photos from 1971....Hmmm....don't know what that white blur is.....) 

1884:  The foundation for the mansion is laid. Mr. Scott is 55 years old.

1886:  Mr. Scott dies at the age of 57.  The house is not completed, but Mr. Scott's wife, Ann, encourages their son, Walter, to complete the house.

1887:  Ann Scott died suddenly.  Walter Scott subsequently went to Chicago to meet wit the architect and purportedly told him the hill was cursed. Walter was killed by the architect with a letter opener during an argument.

1893:  Chicago millionaire, Kuechle, bought the house for a summer home.  He spared no expense putting in the finest chandeliers, mirrors, and mantels.  Later, Kuechle lost his money in a California gold mine fraud and mortaged the house for $5,000 to Chicago innkeeper, Tony Barsanti.

1900:  Barsanti foreclosed on the mortgage and Kuechle signed over the deed.  Kuechle went insane and died in an asylum.  Barsanti, out of favor with the Black Hand Society, was stabbed in the back of Chicago's Union Station while waiting for the train to Merrill one night.  The Scott mansion was for sale.

1901:  George Gibson, an Illinois land speculator, bought the house from the Barsanti estate with the intention of using it as a home for elderly professional men.  One day in August, he closed his office and went to inspect the house.  He was never seen nor heard from again.

1906 - 1907:  Mrs. Fehlhaber, a midwife, bought the house and 39 acres of adjoining river frontage.  She took in boarders, hoping to make the place a hospital some day.  One day, while out on errands in her buggy, she felt deathly ill and stopped at the nearest farmhouse for help.  She died before the doctor arrived.

1911:  During this time, one-armed "Popcorn Dan" was the caretaker of the mansion.  In the winter of 1911, he returned for a visit to England where he was born.

1912:  In the spring, Popcorn Dan booked passage on the Titanic, saling from England on April 14th.   He was listed among the missing.  After the death of Popcorn Dan, a family named Lloydson became the caretakers of the house. Mr. Lloydson died of alcoholism after the Lloydson family moved out west.

1919:  Herman Fehlhaber, Mary Fehlhaber's widower, gave the property to the City of Merrill.

1923:  The City of Merrill gave the land and house to the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross order on the condition that they establish a hospital.

Some local folk will tell you that the old place is still filled with mysterious laughter, disembodied footsteps, and an occasional apparition in the bell tower.  Others say it's just so much nonsense.  Some also say that the three trees that grew over Jenny's grave still stand next to the house.  Whether fact or fiction, only the river and the hill know for certain.  But, one thing IS for certain....the above occurrences are, indeed, "fact," and another fact:  There have been no more strange or mysteriously untimely deaths since the sisters took over the mansion.

So...there you have it.  The curse of the T.B. Scott Mansion....  
And, if you're curious as to what it looks like today, I'll leave you with some additional photos.....literally from today.  That's where I spent my afternoon....

(Front View)

  (Front entrance)
 (Side View)

 (Bell Tower)

(Side balcony)

(One of Jenny's trees?)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 10 ~ Cranky Randomness...

It is with regret that I must inform you that the subject matter of my intended post for Day 10 of the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain is "missing in action."

I have searched each and every box of my Halloween stash (no easy feat) least no avail.  

If you believed me to be cranky can be glad you're not in Nod today.  (Just ask Mr. Crow and Little Crow....Well, when they return that they have vacated the premises for the time being.....)'s post is just a whole lot of random....

(My chicken crate with some of my favorite the framed "All Nite Long" vintage sheet music, the funky witch in an antique boot, the skelly kitty, and the old crow decoy....)

(Wall box in the living room with punch needle black cat and candy corn on an oil can....and the smallest vintage Halloween book in my collection.....)

(The Snow Dog's interpretation of a black cat.....)

Wish me luck as I make one final, desperate, attempt to locate the missing items ... or who knows what tomorrow's post will be. 

'Til then....stay calm and be spooky!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 9 ~ The Mantel....

Welcome to Day 9 of the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain hostessed by Robyn of Primlish and Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings

Are you tired of me yet?

Well, you may not have to weather the entire storm....I'm not sure I'll make it to Day 13....My camera/computer cable is dying....It took 3 hours to upload 3 pictures....and only after many (not-so-nice) "incantations."  :o(

Consequently, the photos aren't necessarily what I intended...but, with incantations and spells, you take what you can get some days....

Day 9:  The Mantel....
I changed it up a bit this year....but I'm not feeling the spook love. So, I'll likely go back to the old, tried, and true next year again.

Hope you're getting your spook on!

Friday, October 25, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 8 ~ Bone Appetit!

It's day 8 of Robyn's and Misi's  13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain...and you've probably been wondering where I've been.  (Ok, so you haven't been....Just humor me here....ok?)

Actually, Day 8 finds me in the kitchen....

Making funeral biscuits for poor, dear, Mrs. Oliver....

  (Please note....these biscuits are actually the brainchild and creation of the talented Mary Flanagan...)

 A few other random views from my kitchen: 
 (In my drysink)

(Window above my kitchen sink)

(Closer view if you couldn't read the words and were wondering what it said...)

(At our table)

Bone Appetit!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 7 ~ My Latest Addition

It's Day 7 of the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain hostessed by Robyn of Primlish and Misi of 1890 Gable House MusingsWoo Hoo! I've always liked the number 7.

Since I am the kind who holds onto her treasures, including (especially?) my holiday decorations, most of you who have been with me for a while have already seen much of my Halloween fanfare. It's been challenging to find something you haven't seen before in my home.

But....try as I might to be good, every now and again I find something new (well, if you know me at all, it will actually be old) that I can't imagine living without.

My latest:  These two old Shadowland Candies tins.

These couldn't be more perfect for Halloween!!  And, the company that made these candies hails from not too far away from Nod....
These are oldies....actually dating back to circa 1910.

Now I need at least one more to make it an official "collection." ;o) (Unfortunately, they are not easy to come by.....)

Wishing you a bewitching and beguiling day!!


Oh...and here's the "rest" of the tree for Primlish Robyn....
( has already lost a lot of its leaves....)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 6 ~ Shake, Rattle, and Blow.....Or Collections Part 5....

Day 6's post of Robyn's and Misi's 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain is serving double duty....It is my daily post for the chain, but also is Part 5 in my very sporadic "Collections" post series.  (Remember those?)

Not surprisingly, many of my "collections" relate to Halloween....
So for those of you following the chain....and those of you who follow the collections, here ya go:

Day 6: Shake, Rattle, and Blow....

My modest collection of Halloween noisemakers.

Some that you shake:

 (Yes, OLM, one of these days I'll pull out the tambourines....just not today.)

Some that you rattle:

(This guy is one of my very favorites....note the 10¢ sticker on his mouth....)

And some that you blow....

(If you're interested in Halloween collectibles, I posted my collection of papier mache Jacks last fall. If you missed it and are curious, just click on this post....)


And for those of you who missed the "clue" in my Day 4 post, here's the spoiler:  If you enlarged the first photo, you would see that while I might have been "inside looking out," someone else was "outside looking in...."


Have a wicked fun day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain: Day 5 ~ Outside Looking In....

It's Day 5 of Robyn's and Misi's 13 Days of Halloween Blog Chain.

Yesterday my post was "Inside Looking Out."  So, today, of course, I'm "Outside Looking In."  (Bet ya saw that one coming, eh?)

A peek or two...or my front porch.  (Of course, you need to "imagine" the jack-o-lanterns yet to be carved and a few other finishing touches....if I get that far.)


Have a bewitching evening!

(P.S....I'm truly surprised that no one caught my little "surprise" in yesterday's post.....It would have given you a clue to today's post....)