Three mansions in Missouri are now open to the public, revealing the secrets of how the owners had lived. Preserved with original antique furniture and belongings, the houses provide an insight into the lives of the owners. Southeast Missouri is where visitors will discover the Hunter-Dawson mansion, set out as it would have been in the 1860s. Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site is perched high up on a north bluff of Sedalia, looking just as it did in 1929 when the owner died. The home of Thomas Hart Benton and his wife Rita Piacenza still displays the paint brushes, canvases and paints of the owner.
All three mansions are left just as they would have been, with most of the original possessions like furniture left intact. Marvellous displays of antique furniture, books and art are available for visitors to learn how the owners would have lived their life. The owner of the Hunter-Dawson mansion died before construction was completed, leaving his wife and children to move in alone. The house stayed in the family until 1958. The centrepiece of the house is a centre table housed in the room that would have been a parlour, with elaborate carving and finish.
Interest in the three mansions shows that items of furniture from the period, including tables and antique dining chairs , are still relevant. Ribble Valley has reputable antique dealers who will be happy to demonstrate fine antique furniture, and who may also be able to provide some of the history of an item.
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