INSIDE THE STEPHENSON HOUSE - May 14, 2004
Hi! Henry the Stephenson House mouse is back again. I
promised Spring would bring a lot of changes in "my" yard and
they are happening! The frames for the raised vegetable gardens are in
place and ready for the school children to plant the seeds. Keith is getting
the last of the bricks in place and that includes a formal garden at the
south front of the house. Henry thinks the formal garden will be a beautiful
place for wedding, engagement and family pictures!
Chris, an authority on fruit and fruit trees, is helping Jim select and
plant small fruit trees in the side yard. Next thing you know, Jim will
be making jelly and preserves! Dogwood trees and trees donated by Edwardsville
Township and the Edwardsville Garden Club were planted sometime ago in
the north yard and are growing nicely. Also, the Sig Eps put the cedars
and winterberry bushes in place a few weeks ago!
Now, Henry wants you to close your eyes and envision how this is going
to look! Larry is building a picket fence that will enclose the raised
garden beds, the formal gardens and the area reserved by the porch for
the summer kitchen. It will be much like the fence Col. Ben and Lucy had.
"The Friends" know what the pickets look like because one was
found in the Stephenson House attic and bills for pickets were also found.
The picket fence will separate the "working" part of the home
from the front yard. Don't open your eyes yet! There will be a rail fence
around the perimeter of the Stephenson property and a fence between the
alley and "my" house. Now - open your eyes! You have envisioned
the grounds that will soon be finished - looked good, right? One last
bit of garden news to tell ya': there will be an herb garden planted off
the porch near the kitchen. Kudos for this work go to Carol F., Jim, John
and Rose Marie. A big job well done by good "Friends".
Did you notice the one lone shutter on the front of the house? Henry heard
that Bob is trying out the shutter hardware to make sure it works properly.
Looks good to me and just think how good "my" house will look
when all the dark green shutters are hung! This is all so exciting! Ol'
Henry heard Sid say that the millwork, doors, and mantels are painted
and ready to install. Do you know what that means? When the millwork is
installed the plastering can begin in "my" house. Hey my friends,
that is the game plan as I hear it from "The Friends". Looks
like they are squared away and on a roll! Way to go guys! And, a big thanks
to all of you out there! Together we have reached a milestone with Col.
Benjamin Stephenson's house! I sure feel real good when I sit back and
look at "my" beautiful house and I am sure Col. Ben and Lucy
would be mighty proud to see their home today. It is a warm, wonderful
home almost ready to tell folks about life in the Edwardsville area in
the early 1800's.
Henry here can see that "my" house is under control for the
summer. So, I am headed for a vacation! How about that! Ol' Henry figures
that the hammering and plastering going on will not need my attention,
so I am out of here! I've got my bags packed, places to go and people
to see! I am dragging Cousin Jake, who doesn't want to leave Edwardsville,
with me and we are heading for Columbia, Mo. Ol' Henry has never been
there and I want to see the relatives and check out where in Columbia
the Stephenson family hung out since the middle 1800's. I do believe Col
Ben has a great-great-great grandson living in Columbia today and Henry
intends to find this out for sure.
From there on Ol' Henry and Cousin Jake are gonna' take it a day at a
time. There's so much to do and see, but we have lots of time. A visit
to the Stephenson mouse clan in Lexington sounds good and scoping out
Russellville KY might be real fun. I've been told a lot of wild and crazy
guys were around there in the early 1800's. There just might be some good
stories to hear. And, we are going to Knoxville, TN for sure! Henry here
wants to visit where the Stephensons and Boyds lived and I betcha' Jake
and I will find some cousins in Knoxville. Boy oh boy, we better pack
Deep down in Ol' Henry's heart is the big wish to find out for sure where
Col. Ben and Lucy spent their time before 1809 when they came to Illinois.
Who knows, Henry may find a Stephenson house cousin that knows the answer.
I hope! I sure do wish Great-great-great grandfather Samuel had more stories
to tell about the early days when the Stephensons were a newly married
Hey, you all keep up your wonderful support of Col. Ben's house restoration
while I vacation. You have been great! Henry sees all the work going on
by The Friends as they paint shutters, mantels and millwork; plant trees,
build gardens and, spend a lot of time on events to earn money for the
restoration costs. The Friends sincerely appreciate the awesome support
of the community and they are truly grateful! Right now your help is urgently
needed so the house can open to be used as intended. Henry hopes you will
help once again!
Now, you all remember to come to "The Taste" on June 12 at the
Madison County Transit Center and don't miss the fantastic tour of Hunter's
View on June 26. Tickets for each event are available at The Bank of Edwardsville,
Main Office. Be sure to show your support by attending these events! Hey,
I also heard the 50/50 auction will be in September, so call Sid or Jim
to pick up the items you want to donate. And, be thinking about what you
might just need to bid on at the auction! Now, you tell me, are the Friends
of Col. Benjamin Stephenson House working hard to get "my" house
open to the public???
Henry here is so excited about a vacation. I've been keeping an eye on
Col. Ben's house for 5 years and I need a rest. Really, I do. It's difficult
to leave because I will really miss EJ, Keith and all the folks that are
around the house including the new painter, Bill. E.J. and Keith, you
all just keep your eyes open and my corner clean, cause Ol' Henry will
be back and scampering around Col. Ben's house sooner than you think!
Doggone, there is a big, fat tomcat stalking "my" house lately
and he scares me! I wonder what he has been eating to get so fat
He is just another reason for a vacation! I sure hope that creature will
have a new place to hang out by the time I return. Henry will miss everyone,
but there are places to go, things to do and things to find out!
See ya later,