Saturday, February 11, 2017

Murder at the Mansion

Ever wonder what it would be like to spend the night in a huge mansion and participate in a murder mystery? We have all the right things perfect for one, except we need you. Our house is a mansion, built in 1893. It is 10,000+ square feet of beautiful. We great food and book the entertainment. When we did our first murder mystery last year in October we became hooked on them. Our house does love a party and our bed and breakfast is there to let you have fun overnight.

We have one going on this month in February. The 17th and the 18th we have booked the event and are currently selling tickets to the event. If you are looking for something to do next weekend, ours is the place to be.

We will be looking to update our Facebook page with all the new ones we are planning this year. So you might want to sign up and be on the list of preferred people who find out about it first.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A New Christmas Beginning at the Christmas House

 11 10th Street in Racine WI will once again experience the Christmas House for Cancer in a bit of a different way. We are starting an annual event here to show off the house at Christmas. When we purchased the house in 2014 people then began to ask us when we were going to have the house open for touring again. From 1985 to 1997 the house was on display annually to assist in fund raising for the cancer program in Racine. We have worked very hard to restore the home since its purchase.
Now its time for us to open it up for display.

Christmas House will have it's tour finally with the start this year. New Beginnings Art Festival. We did not want to repeat what was done in the past. How could you ? It was a great time with hundreds of committed volunteers on a mission. No, we thought we would start our own history with this event.

November 12th will be the start of the annual Christmas House Art Festival. I call it New Beginnings this year, because it is. Christmas House has had a new beginning this year with the opening of the B&B and our events. We have rejuvenated the house and it's spirit of giving and want to continue to share this wonderful 10, 000 square foot home to all it's visitors.

Please come visit us on November 12th, 2016. It is from 9am to 4pm. You can then go downtown and see the Holiday Parade. It can be a wonderful start to your holiday season.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Digging In Deep

When you purchase an old home there is always the mystery about who owned it before, what has happened there, etc. Certainly many a horror movie has been based on that "old mystery house" . Well, when we purchased the house in March 2014 we knew we were buying a historical landmark over 100 years old. 116 10th St Racine Wisconsin was a home of Emily Baker and her family. She was prominent in this community. We know A.J.Horlick of Horlick Malted Milk was also an owner of the house. The Bendstead Hall fame when the nurses is still very much in existence as a lot of her alumni are still here with us. We knew this going in.

Once we decided to be on the Tour of Historic Homes, we did not think we would be on such an adventure. Preservation Racine has been very helpful discovering so many interesting things. We have been on a great trek through the many trails of documents and are uncovering new things that are so fabulous.

Come join us on the tour! Sorry, no reveals until then!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

When the leaves start to turn....Labor Day feelings

It is about that sticky time in August when I get a bit of mixed feelings. It's almost the end of summer and school will be starting again soon. I love all my seasons. That's a Midwesterner for you! The changing from one to the other always has me feeling this way. Summer to Fall is one that I think I have the most hesitation with. I love summer. The freedom to stay up late, sleep in ( at least for my kids) and go to the beach and have a picnic supper is always such a joy. I don't really mind the heat. It kind of comes with the advantage of living near Lake Michigan and Racine WI having one of the best beaches around. Not to mention the county fairs that are all over the state. I like to have a little fire in our backyard and roast marshmallows with my kids and make s'mores. It's a great time for getting together with friends and family.

Then comes fall. Labor Day for me is the start. I know the calendar does not agree, but this is the way I have thought about it as long as I can remember. The start of the school year kicks it off. It usually starts just after Labor Day. When I was younger, school was another activity. Around August I would get bored and want school to come so I would have something different to do. New shoes, new clothes, school supplies, etc. These things all ushered in fall to me. It was always kind of bittersweet.

The weather starts to get cooler and it is about that time I got tired of being hot. When the leaves change colors everything is so majestic in some places it takes my breath away. I still find joy in seeing the first tree fire red or bright yellow. As a kid we always would try to get the most leaves we could together to jump in. Time after time, we would rake the pile back up so we could jump in it again. Pumpkins and squash and time to eat Chili and Beef Stew!

As I get older, this changing of seasons just keeps reinforcing to me how quick life can pass by if you are not careful. I still enjoy it, still feel a bit the same about loosing my summer. Got to go now, I am going to get in a few more times at North Beach before there is no more time left.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A house that is calling you home

 Guests arrive all the time from all over. One of the things Pamela and I have started to notice is how often we get people coming back that have moved away. They are visiting family or friends that still live here. Or they are showing someone they are with where they were from first hand.

We love Racine Wisconsin. It has been my home for pretty much my whole life and Pamela has lived here for over 40 years herself. It warms our heart when we get guests in that come back and still find our city fabulous and some even say when they retire, they will move back.

Racine has a lot to offer visitors and families that live here. I guess you can, like anything, focus on what is right or focus on what is wrong. We like to look at all the great businesses that are in town, both large and small. We like to look at all the great things to do in the area. All the great art, culture, and community investment programs that we have and the tons and tons of volunteers that stand up every day, week to help their local church, school and the community.

Our house is also a home. I mean, the nature of a bed and breakfast is that it is also a home. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about Christmas House's past. It was a home then too. To Emily Baker's family, the Horlick family and to tons and tons of student nurses that stayed in Benstead Hall. Now that we are a bed and breakfast, it has become a house that has called its past residents to come home. And we are happy that they are coming to our house and calling it home for their stay here.

Welcome we will make sure your homecoming is GRAND!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Porch to Save Sale

You may have heard that 116 10th St is having a "Save the Porch " sale. This is true. Have you seen our porch? It looks okay from far away. Up close? Not so much. You have to give it a little credit though, after all, it is over 120 years old. I am not sure the last time it was worked on, but it really needs it now. We have done all we can financially on our own and now we need help. It does not take much to do it either. If 100 people all chipped in $20.00 we would have $2000.00. Our budget for the porch keeps changing. It would be great if that meant that it was going DOWN!! That, however, is not the case.

So we started a GoFundMe for it. and we have also started planning some events to help us reach our goal of $100,000. One if the first events is our Save the porch sale we are having on August 6th and 7th, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.    

Come check it out! There will be all kinds of stuff. Though I cannot guarantee what will be in there but if you know Pamela Deskins, you will know it will be great, unique and fun. And along the way you will be helping us to fix the porch up to its grandness that it needs to be for our guests and you to enjoy.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A park across the street called East Park

We reside on the corner of 10th street and Main Street in Racine, WI. The Gateway College Campus is just down the street. Part of their property is across the street from us. This part of their property used to be called East Park. It is famous now for it's statue of Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln. But when our house was built, it was East Park. 

When I promised to bring you a bit of information from 1893, the year the house was built, I did not realize I would also find other facts and photos that would be interesting from around the same time. Time changes lots of things. Landscape, ecosystems, communities.... it is fascinating to me and to Pamela the changes and what used to be is obviously  something we like or we would not have jumped into this historical landmark. 

I think it is important to know where we are from as well as where we are heading. To look back can give you such a great sense of comfort to know we don't have the struggles the past has had and how much we have changed and advanced and in some cases, what we have lost.

When I found this photo of what the middle of that park looked like in 1895 I can only assume this is what Emily Baker and her family used to see when they sat on our grand front porch or took a stroll through the park.