Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Soul-less Houses

There's a saying, "The Devil is in the Details". 
This couldn't be more accurate when it comes to the Victorian Houses found in small towns across the globe. It used to be main-stream thinking to demolish these old beauties and put up some under-engineered stick built dwelling. In many locales, these houses are seen as a boon to the community and they have been lovingly restored. In some towns, developers have gotten hold of these homes and have kept the exterior but have completely 'modernized' the interior. Tearing out and not replacing beautiful woodwork, ornate doorknobs, or other details which add to the charm, the Soul of the House. 
Those are the Soul-less Houses.

A house in Cripple Creek that was recently sold
The interior of the above house could be an apartment
or small condo located in Anywhere, USA

When gaming was established in Colorado. There was a new kind of land rush to the state. People focused on making a quick buck swooped in, bought up real estate (both commercial and private), and then did their darnedest to turn a quick profit. I understand that the commercial establishments had to do a fair amount of remodeling in order to bring old buildings up to the modern building safety codes. But I think that a little more care could have been taken in designing the brand new buildings so they blended in with the old ones a wee bit better.
Proposed expansion for a local casino
To me, the details say it all about a house. And all the people, who over the years, have left their mark on that house. Our house was purchased, along with several others, by a retired gentleman in the 1990's, not long after gaming was established. This man did his best to modernize these houses and yet retain as much of the old charm as he could. I commend this guy! And it is because of his attention to detail that we have a home with a Soul.

Original light fixtures (modernized) with embossed wallpaper on ceiling and walls, crown molding, chair rails all add to the original ambiance of the house

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Old Sew-n-Sew

For those of you out there who like to sew. Here is a link to a source for free vintage patterns. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Can it Be?

Happy Joyous Spring!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

For The Working Girls

Hubby and I recently attended a charity event,   Pearl's Follies, to raise money for the local Working Girls and their place of business - The Old Homestead House. They are hoping enough money was raised to pay off the mortgage on the building.
Old Homestead House present day
Old Homestead House - 1950s picture
The Old Homestead House was the most notorious Parlour House in Cripple Creek and is only one of three historic buildings of this type (brothel) known to exist in the US. This establishment was owned and operated by Madame Pearl De Vere.

Pearl De Vere began her business career in Denver and became wealthy by catering to only the richest men. She came to Cripple Creek in 1893 to capitalize on the wealth created by the gold rush. One night with one of her 'girls' cost upwards of $250! And this was in a time when $3 a day was considered good wages for a miner. Needless to say, most of her clientele were the wealthy business men of the District.
The Old Homestead House is located on Meyers Avenue, the red light district of Cripple Creek. Brothels and 'cribs' (small houses for prostitutes - generally one room) lined this street. The original building was a wood structure and it burned to the ground in the Fire of 1895 which burned most of the town of Cripple Creek. Pearl had the building rebuilt, but this time it was constructed from bricks. She spared no expense in the construction and especially in the decorating of the interior. Velvet wallpaper was purchased for the dining room, brass door and cabinet hardware came from India, electric crystal chandeliers hung from the ceilings, a telephone was installed along with an intercom. And the new building had two indoor bathrooms! The upstairs rooms had windows so that gentlemen callers could view 'the goods' before deciding on who they would stay the night with. During this tragic time, Pearl was most generous to those affected by the fire by providing food and other needed items.

In 1897, Pearl was found unconscious in her room and later died from an overdose of morphine. Her death was ruled an accidental overdose but many suspected it to be suicide because she had been scorned by a previous lover.

Pearl's funeral filled the streets of Cripple Creek. A brass band led the funeral procession to Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

Today the old Parlour House is a museum with the majority of the original furnishings. A fun and knowledgeable staff  are ready to give guided tours. 

Here is a link to our visit to the classiest bawdy house in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018~ pt.3

The second weekend of the Ice Festival saw record crowds fill the streets of Cripple Creek. And the additional sculptures added to the magic. 

The sculptures stay up for an additional week for visitors and residents to enjoy. Can't wait to see what's in store for next year!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018 ~ pt.2

While the first day of the event brought a snowstorm to the area, the second day was gorgeous! The beautiful sunshine allowed people to fully enjoy the frosty creations.

In Cripple Creek, no event is complete unless there are DONKEYS!
The City had another shipment of ice brought in before the second weekend because in the past, the ice has melted in the warm temperatures, causing the sculptures to look a bit sad. But this year was different. The cold stuck around all week and the new ice allowed the sculpting teams to create more beautiful-ness. 

Next time we'll take a look at the second batch of sculptures and some night-time views.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018 ~ pt. 1

The Cripple Creek Ice Festival takes place every February for two weekends. What a great way to break up the winter doldrums. Only thing is, it really hasn't been much like winter around here. We have had such extreme temperature swings! Almost Spring-like for a few days, then a storm blows in and brings us a small amount of snow and some frigid temperatures. The last couple years has seen warm temperatures for the Ice Fest and the ice begins melting not long after the first day. But this year was a little different. We had snow arrive on the first day and moderately chilly temperatures continued throughout the first weekend.

The Ice Festival is an interactive ice sculpture event with a different theme every year. The public is encouraged to touch, sit, and enjoy the sculptures carved by the sculpting teams. This year's theme was Renaissance in Ice with five professional ice sculpting teams who turned the downtown area into a medieval wonderland complete with an ice castle, dragon ice slide, carnival games in ice and for the adults a martini ice luge.

The ice was brought in on two semi-trailers over the course of two days- about 180,000 pounds of ice from the Great Lake region of Ohio. That would be 600 blocks of ice each weighing 300 pounds. It was fun watching the process. 

The ice is shrink wrapped for its protection
All manner of items were used to sculpt the ice - axes, chainsaws, blow dryers, kitchen utensils. Whatever gave the carvers the ability to shape the ice.

Next time, we'll take a walk down the street as another storm moves in and we'll view the finished sculptures. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Seeing Pink!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I am showcasing all the pink homes here in Cripple Creek. 
I have often wondered on the frequent walks I take around town, why there are so many pink homes. 
Was there a sale on Pretentious Pink at the hardware store?