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Inside the
Stephenson House
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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 light!


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 couple!


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,
Henry


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