Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bismarck North Dakota

Our home is now parked outside of Bismarck, very much out on the plains. No more mountains for us. Out here there are fields of corn, wheat and sunflowers. We drove into Bismarck today for church services in a driving rain. By the time we were ready for touring the rain had stopped. We drove to the governor's mansion,a Late Victorian-style home built for a local merchant in 1884. The state bought it for $5,000.00.
 Twenty-one executives subsequently lived here from 1894 until 1961. It is a well worn mansion which has been redecorated by the governor's wives many times. It is estimated that the wallpaper has been changed about 60 times, and the walls have had more than that number of changes in coats of paint! I could not get over how simple the kitchen looked, new cabinets had been built into the kitchen in the 1950s.
In the first picture here of the mansion you may notice a yellow building in the background. That is the carriage house which had a big transformation over the years from a stable to a garage. The featured exhibit in that building "From Oats to Quarts of Oil" represents that period of time. I had never before considered what the first vehicle laws were in our country. The exhibit had on display The Ten Commandments of Motoring published in the North Dakota Highway Bulletin,September,1925. The first rule: "Drive to the right side of the road; it's just as good as the left". Number six: "Read and obey the warning signs; they are not put there as ornaments". Number seven is: "If you feel you've got to speed, do it where it will kill nobody but yourself". Later, after John and I had toured the capitol, we happened to drive past the current governor's mansion. It certainly is different in style than the original mansion. Hard to believe that building is now about 50 years old!

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