Tuesday, December 18, 2007

craigdarroch castle - 2

craigdarroch - 1

Robert Dunsmuir's unexpected death in 1889 brought with it one big (and nasty) surprise for his thirty-something sons James and Alex. For contrary to their father's spoken promise that he would will his business holdings to them, he left everything to his wife Joan.

After Robert's death, the sons supervised the completion of Craigdarroch while their mother toured Europe. Joan finally moved into the 39-room, 20,000 square foot mansion in 1890. With her came three unmarried daughters and two orphaned grandchildren. And for 18 years, until her death in 1908, Joan lived in Craigdarroch.

Main Hall

The ornate clock on the mantle is original to the castle.

This carved bear hall stand occupies the Garden Entrance.


Notice the yule log sitting by the fireplace. On December 25th it was put in the fireplace and burned for the full twelve days of Christmas to bring prosperity and good luck.

Drawing Room

The room is set up for late afternoon tea.

The toys underneath the tree date from the late 1890s to around 1910. The tree decorations are reproductions of 19th century ornaments.

Dining Room

The table is set for a family Christmas supper. The hostess will spend as much time decorating the table -- arranging menu cards, placing salt shakers containers between the guests etc. -- as fussing with the food.

Servants will set the table, serve the meal and clear the table later.

Tomorrow we'll tour the castle's upper floors.


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