Floor by the west wall of the office

Restoration 6

Things are picking up again here at the House. The trim in each room has already been sanded and primed. By the end of the week, all of the trim should have a two coats of finish paint. In order to prepare the rooms for painting, the edges of the carpets were removed so that the […]

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Bachman-Sanders at work in the Willard Archives

Research Notes: The Wheel Frances Willard

I first encountered Frances Willard in 2014 when I stumbled upon her 1895 book, A Wheel Within A Wheel: How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle.  I was captivated by her use of metaphor and the role she granted the bicycle in her progressive vision, and she inadvertently shaped the direction of my dissertation research […]

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Restoration 5

We have had to do some unplanned exterior restoration. A large windstorm in late February knocked several bricks from the chimney cap on the southwest side of the house. It is the chimney for Willard’s Den. While looking at the one chimney Gerry Rice of Rice Masonry Construction alerted us to the poor state of 4 […]

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Picture rail in the office

Restoration 4

Restoration Update Not much has happened (visually) in the past few weeks. The plaster has cured and now is hard and ready to work with. Matthew Weil has stripped the picture rails in preparation for their being refinished. After several layers of paint were removed much more detail on the rails can be seen. Most […]

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Professor Kohiyama at Willard Archives

Research Notes: A Visitor from Japan

The Frances Willard Memorial Library and Archives was happy to welcome Professor Rui Kohiyama to our Reading Room earlier this month. Professor Kohiyama teaches American and Gender Studies at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, and has done much research on missionaries and the WCTU in Japan. She has been in email contact with the Archives for […]

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Week 3 Restoration

The plasterers have made tremendous progress over the past week. Work in the office and hall has been completed and the dining room and the parlor are set to be completed either by the end of this week or early next week. Some walls were so badly damaged due to the house settling that large […]

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This is a small sample of items that Willard had in her satchel, "Old Faithful"

Featured Collections Object: Old Faithful’s Contents

Ever wonder what Frances Willard carried around with her in the satchel she named “Old Faithful”? Pictured above are a few of the papers she had in it upon her death and includes pamphlets, a newspaper clipping, a letter, and invitations. These items remained there until recently when conservators working on the satchel discovered and removed them. Old Faithful was named […]

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Willard without moustache

Humor in the Archives: Frank’s Facial Hair

When we work in an archive, it is easy to feel like we are treading on hallowed ground—constantly solemn, serious, and afraid to take anything for granted. But during a recent research trip to the Willard Archives, I discovered a surprisingly bizarre, and hilarious, object. This photograph, pasted into the teenage Mary Willard’s unpublished diary […]

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Previously Unknown Opening In West Wall

Week 2 Restoration

Week 2 update: The wallpaper has been fully removed to reveal the original plaster, a mystery opening, and a previously unknown wallpaper pattern. The completion of this work also means we have to say “goodbye” to Mike and Zach. It has been a pleasure working with them. The plasterers  from Bob Jirasek Plastering have started […]

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Parlor19

Week 1 of Restoration

The restoration work has begun!  The furniture has been moved out of all 4 rooms being restored in Rest Cottage (Parlor, Entry Hall, Office, and Dining Room) and the wallpaper is being stripped from the walls.  (Over time, we will be introducing more proper restoration terminology, but let’s start out simply, shall we?)  Already we […]

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