My tour of Rosemount Manor (with kids)

Rosemount Museum, Pueblo, Colorado

In early March of this year, I toured the Rosemount Museum in Pueblo, Colorado – about 45 minutes from where I currently live.

Rosemount is a historic mansion that has been exceedingly well preserved as an old house museum.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

I visited with Lupe and my two kids and we were treated to a personal tour from a very knowledgeable (and serious) tour guide.

image from: www.rosemount.org

image from: www.rosemount.org

Built in 1893, the 24,000 square foot mansion took over two years to construct. It was designed by famed New York architect Henry Hudson Holly.

This 37-room mansion was home to the John A. and Margaret Thatcher family and named for Mrs. Thatcher’s favorite flower. It remained a family residence for 75 years.

from:  www.rosemount.org

The Rosemount is yet another one of those impressive Gilded Age monuments to personal wealth. But it stands apart as an old house museum because nearly ALL of the furnishings (decorative arts, custom paneling, wallpaper, window treatments, accessories and appliances) are original to the house.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

The Richardsonian Romanesque style mansion was built at a cost of $60,750. The home and carriage house were constructed of pink volcanic stone quarried near Castle Rock, Colorado. Pink was the lady of the house’s “signature color”.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Rosemount features beautiful oak, cherry, maple and mahogany woodwork. The home’s golden oak entrance hall exhibits a coffered ceiling and the largest of the home’s Tiffany chandeliers. The dramatic oak staircase nearby directs you past an exquisite 9 x 13 foot stained glass window, “Kingdoms of Nature,” designed by Charles Booth of New York. The Thatcher family dedicated the windows as a memorial to Lenore and Albert, their two children who did not live to see Rosemount completed.

from: www.rosemount.org/home/

My two children, Noe & Tova, graced Rosemount with their boisterous presence…

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

(They were threatened within an inch of their lives to be on their BEST behavior.)

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Below – a funny picture of me yelling at my kids as my son snaps photos:

photo credit: Noe Felix Burns

photo credit: Noe Felix Burns

(Yes, I’m one of those point-and-yell moms: “You. There. NOW!“)

The little monsters were actually fairly well behaved.

But there was one incident….

Our nearly two-hour long tour was punctuated halfway through with “I have to go to the bathroom!” from both kids. So Lupe brought them down to the basement to use the public restroom while I continued on with the tour. The tour guide and I were standing in the servant’s staircase chatting away about old houses when I noticed I was standing next to a vintage elevator.

“Does it still work?” I asked.

“Yes, but we don’t use it because it is such a rare antique elevator.” The guide replied.

“Really? Because I hear something in there…” I trailed off as I heard my kid’s giggles coming up the elevator shaft.  A moment later the delicate doors lurched open and out popped my husband and kids – much to my horror and the tour guide’s astonishment!

Apparently, a volunteer had told them they could use it.

Ahem. Now every time we see an elevator, it’s a big laugh and a stern look from mommy.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

My children were also impressed with the large antique player grand piano in one of the Rosemount’s parlours. The staff had rigged up the piano to a remote control so they could surprise you with a rousing Victorian tune when you least expected it.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

Unfortunately, we were strictly prohibited from taking any interior photos. As with most old house museums, the tapestries, artwork and fabrics are so old and fragile that they need to be protected from flash photography.

I did find a couple of interior images on the Internet:

image from: http://livability.com/

image from: http://livability.com/

This gives you a sense of how opulent the décor is.

Below is a photo of the exquisite stained glass window in the grand staircase:

image from: www.koaa.com

image from: www.koaa.com

Rosemount is decorated each year for Christmas – you can imagine how spectacular it is. The tour guide told us that it takes a solid month to put up all the elaborate decorations.

image from: www.chieftain.com

image from: www.chieftain.com

Keep in mind that almost everything you see in these images is original to the house – the rug, the dishes, the paintings, the light fixtures.

Although I could only find one small photo of the kitchen, I just had to mention how exceptionally preserved this room is at Rosemount…

image from: www.chieftain.com

image from: www.chieftain.com

About 95% of the kitchen is original to when the home was built in the 1890’s. We’re talking way back when only servants went in there – original cookstove, tiles, wash tub sink, ice boxes, storage bins, and primitive intercom system that still works!

Below is the carriage house on the northeast part of the estate. It was converted to a restaurant in recent years called “The Carriage House” but unfortunately, was shut down when we were there.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

One more funny story to share with you:

Before the tour guide led us up to the final leg of the tour on the third floor of the house, she turned around and said to me: “I just have to warn you before we go up – there is a mummified body upstairs.”

WHAT?!

She explained that there was an ancient Egyptian mummy on display as part of the home’s Victorian curio collection.

Sure enough, there “it” was in a glass case in the center of one of the third floor rooms. My kids literally ran out of the room screaming. I do wish I was allowed to take pictures – but then again, I don’t want to ruin your dinner.

I asked where the mummy came from and the guide explained that a friend of the home’s original owner had been on vacation in Egypt back when tomb-raiding was a popular Victorian pastime. He bought this mummified body for around $5 from a port-side vender, apparently.

You never know what you’re going to come across in an old house.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

The Rosemount is a near perfect example of a late 19th century Victorian stone mansion. If you are ever in Pueblo, Colorado, please take the time to stop off and see it – they even allow “well-behaved” kids!

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

For more details and a complete history of the home, see the official Rosemount website.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Responses to My tour of Rosemount Manor (with kids)

  • Nick Kirby says:

    Great post

  • Sue says:

    The kids are so adorable and leave it to you and the family to exit out the elevator just as the guide tells you that it is not really in use. That was great, along with getting to see yet another great historic manor and learning about its history. I am glad having mummified bodies in residence is currently not in fashion.

  • Sharon Taylor says:

    love the personal interest part about the potty thing! We traveled for 3 years in an RV when our children were your children’s size! We lived with, “I have to go potty!” I am so glad we took all the photos and spent that time in our life. You can never get that time back again.
    The rooms are beautiful…but a mummy? well, to each their own, right?

  • Bev says:

    Sarah, your kids are adorable and I think it is wonderful that you bring them to see such historic places.

  • Sacha Milieu says:

    This mansion is beautiful – some people had so much money back then LOL! I guess some people do today as well. But they had better taste back then!

  • Suzan S says:

    You didn’t mention it, but I’m thinking with a mummy from Egypt there in the house, it has GOT to be haunted !
    I love how brightly lighted the dining room is !

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~ House Crazy Sarah ~
Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"






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