Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dunham Tavern (10/30/2016)

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Dunham Tavern is the oldest building still on its original site in Cleveland.
Dunham House and Tavern (1824 with additions, including the
1842 tavern on the left side) that belonged to Rufus and Jane Dunham

Dunham Tavern was a stop on the
Buffalo-Cleveland-Detroit Road, a stagecoach route,
now Euclid Avenue
Flower garden
A silhouette that more resembles punting on the Thanes!
A replica of the1840s Dunham Tavern Barn
 (2000, after a fire of the original in 1963)
A log cabin from Virginia, but in the same style the Dunhams
would have lived in when they arrived from Massachusetts in 1819
Working in the vegetable garden
Pepper plant
Companion planting with beans and corn
From Chester Avenue behind this display, the horses look real!
Garden and orcahrd
Fascinating seed pods of the Clematis terniflora/
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Photos were not allowed during the tour of the interior of Dunham Tavern, and we spent nearly an hour-and-a-half there!
The Dunhams sold the property in 1853 and it continued to operate as a tavern until 1857 when it was sold to be used as a private home. Several owners later, it was slated to be torn down like most of the mansions along Millionaire's Row on Euclid Avenue.  A. Donald Gray, a Cleveland landscape artist, purchased Dunham Tavern in 1932. He restored much of the 19th century architecture and replanted the orchard. For a time in the 1930s the tavern served as a studio for WPA artists and printmakers.
Gray helped establish the Society of Collectors in the early 1930s, and when Gray was no longer able to maintain the property, the Society took responsibility in 1936 and opened Dunham Tavern as a museum in 1941.
Our tour guide told us that it was essentially two women, Roberta Holden Bole (who also helped found Holden Arboretum) and Delia Bulkeley White (wife of Windsor T White of the White Motor Company) who saved the tavern from the wrecking ball. Apparently they held a major fundraiser in 1938 to benefit Dunham Tavern. It seems Mrs. White was instrumental in getting donations of period furniture and other household items. (Oh, my gosh, in my research I just discovered that Roberta and Delia were sisters!)
The tour included explanations of all the household conveniences of the 19th century, including origins of the phrases "Pop goes the weasel" and "Sleep tight." Something I hadn't seen before were the candle holders that could be adjusted from floor or table level to a height of about 2 feet.
Dunham Tavern was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1974.

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