To give you the one-cent history recap of Mayowood Mansion (for more in-depth information, visit www.olmstedhistory.com), it was constructed in 1911 for Dr. Charles (Charlie) H. Mayo and his wife, Edith, who raised their six children in the house. After Dr. Charlie’s death in 1939, his son, Dr. Charles (Chuck) William and his wife, Alice, moved in and raised six children of their own in the house. In 1965, Dr. Chuck and Alice donated the home and its collected furnishings to the Olmsted County Historical Society, who still maintains and oversees the house. Along with my house, it is typically regarded as one of the finest residences in Olmsted County.
One of the first things I encountered at Mayowood this time around set a great early tone for my tour. It was also entirely accidental. You see, I drive a gently used (read: beaten up) 1999 VW Jetta, and while it is a reliable steed, the AC quit working about 4 years ago. As a result, my windows are rolled down even on the most sweltering of summer days (like the day of my tour).
As luck (read: old car) would have it, as I was driving past the front of the house to the parking lot, my brunette locks feathering nicely in the wind, I was suddenly immersed in the smell of the flowers that are planted in the front yard. It was wonderful first impression for the day, and is something I would have missed out on had I been rocking the AC with my windows up.
In responsible journalistic fashion, I was about fifteen minutes early for the tour, so I had some time to walk the grounds outside of the house. As I mentioned, the front lawn area of Mayowood is beautifully landscaped and the flowers look and smell absolutely amazing.
After about ten minutes I meandered back over to the garage area, which is where the tour begins. At this point I met my tour guide, Sheri Lu Pappas, who, over the next hour, would drop some serious Mayowood knowledge on me. I’m not going to play spoiler and give it all to you in this post, you’ll have to head over to Mayowood and get it for yourself.
|Photo courtesty of Olmsted County Historical Society|
In addition to the player organ and Baroque doorway, tour participants will also get to see a plethora of rare and luxurious items and furnishings that the Mayo family personally purchased and collected to be part of their home. You will also get to see some wonderful artwork, much of it created by members of the Mayo family, as well as get an excellent glimpse into the home life of the Mayo family during their time living at Mayowood.
Coming up in my next post:
I’m super excited about my next post, which will take me to the 64th Annual International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) Juggling Festival that is being held in Rochester. It will feature “a full week of juggling, workshops, competitions, world-class performances, games, late-night shows, joggling, a parade, fire nights, busking, and so much more!” Plus, if the RCVB and I can come to an agreement about hospital bills, I will try my hand at juggling chainsaws. After that, I will try my limb at juggling fire.