Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 2 – The Steamboat Arabia Museum and Boonesfield Village

Friday was a great day. The weather was beautiful and clear, exactly what you would expect in an early Fall day. Are big plan for today was to visit the Arabia museum in Kansas City, so we got up early, went to breakfast and stopped by a Missouri visitor’s center and picked up tons of brochures. This center just happened to sit on a hill above the KC Chief's stadium which was kinda cool.

We arrived at the museum about 15 minutes before the first tour, just as they were opening up. We wandered through the gift shop; a little disappointing as there was a bunch of touristy stuff and kitchy dodas that had nothing to do with the boat, Missouri or KC even. They did have some of the perfume; I didn’t like the smell and decided not to buy any. The other perfume they have not been producing but may again soon. Kimberly did find a ring that was a reproduction of one they found on the boat. It’s very nice.

We begin the tour. First I have to say our tour guide really needed some training on presentation. It was almost painful to listen to her. She delivered her memorized speech like a theatrical speech complete with dramatic gestures. It was just painful. Oh, and did you know that no one knew how to swim back then but small boys who lived near large bodies of water? We’ll get to the bathing only four times a year later.

After the movie, which just basically said the same thing the tour guide said, one of the gentlemen involved in the project came and spoke. That was a treat! I enjoyed that very much.

The exhibits…what can I say…amazing! So much stuff, in such great condition. Pictures can be found here. Kimberly has some as well; as she makes them available I’ll link to them.

After the museum we had lunch at an Italian deli at the City Market right there next to the museum. Great food, waaaay tooo much food. The sandwiches were huge! But I can’t get over the beautiful weather; I think I was euphoric just from the weather :). So on to Defiance.

Along the way we pasted Lexington, which is another Missouri Civil War site so we had to take a side trip to visit. They have a museum as well as an historic house, which we did not have time to tour. The movie at the museum gave us additional information and background for what was going on in the area. It was a nice visit, but we need to go back to the house to tour, it looked beautiful in the film.

The road to the village was so nice, a little hilly, two lane drive. Some of the leaves just starting to change. The village seems to sit in the winery country of Missouri. I don’t think we drove a mile without seeing a winery or a sign for one.

We got to the village about 5:30. We were able to drive right in and up to the Engledew house and unload our stuff. There were several participants already there and in period clothes; I felt a little out of place with my car in the village and not dressed out. Our room was upstairs and we shared it with Joanne Barber and Belinda Canaday. We were also lucky enough to have real beds.

Our room was large; we could have easily housed one or two more in the room. There was no fire place in this room. Kimberly has pictures of the house and the rooms I’ll link to as they are available. The house has another room upstairs, two rooms down and then a basement, which has modern bathrooms. We were able to keep some modern things down there as it was off limits pretty much to everyone other than those in the house.

I removed the car and went back to dress. Disaster!! My dresses are not fitting! I don’t know what happened. We took in the corset to less than an inch spring and the bodices still gapped. We got it together well enough for that evening.

The only ones in the house were me, Kimberly and one of the other residents’ children.
All of a sudden there is banging downstairs, the children screaming and some man yelling for his family and his house. We go to the landing, me in my wrapper, to see what was happening. He says he has just returned and he had the house next door and it was now gone. He wanted to know where his family was. We told him we didn’t know, we had only been there a short time and there was no house there when we arrived. He must go ask the gentlemen of the village. They finally left. I sent Kimberly off to eat at the inn as I got dressed the best I could, then I went off to eat.

The inn is housed in the summer kitchen of an unused structure across the green from the Engledew. The food was prepared by Capt. Smith (Terry Sorchy). Mrs. Smith (Nancy Sorchy) and the Andersons (Hank and Linda Trent) assisted in serving. The inn is a wonderful space and has an arbor just outside the door. This first night we were able eat inside as it was not too crowded. But the space was not made for dining and the Smiths needed all the room they had to cook. This evening we had fish soup, turkey with oyster sauce and kraut. It was all very good. After dinner I went back and put on my wrapper; it had been a long two days and I was ready to make it an early night. We sat outside a bit and listened to the owls and enjoyed the cool evening and then off to bed.

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