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Around the Whaley House

The restoration work continues. Recently we have been concentrating on changing the lighting in the house to period lighting, replacing inappropriate pieces. Most notable is the 1870's cast iron four-arm chandelier in the courtroom, and for the bedrooms center hanging kerosene and table lamps really help to bring the house back to a period appearance. The last of the florescent lighting is finally gone, thanks to volunteer Everett Mehner. The search continues for a replacement for the 1940's crystal chandelier in the parlor.

Estimates for the faux-graining of the wood trimwork back to its period finish have been, as expected, high! Volunteers along with staff will be helping to defray cost by doing the prep work. Good painters wanted, please contact the office if you would like to help.

Great news! Two of Thomas Whaley's original ledgers have been anonymously donated to SOHO for the house, and reflect the years when Thomas was in real estate. These are an important resource and we are grateful for the donor's placement of these artifacts. A beautiful 1860's walnut marble top sideboard has been added to the collection, which was found on the internet, the perfect piece for the dining room. Imagine our surprise when we learned the man selling it was a Mr. Whaley. He assures us though he is no relation.

Lynn Christenson, the Historian for the County of San Diego wrote an IMLS grant, which funds a general conservation survey of a museum's collections, environmental conditions, and sites. Professional conservators, who spent two days on site, identified conservation priorities. This report will help SOHO develop strategies for improved collections care and provide a tool for long-range planning and fundraising. In addition, it enables us to apply for other grants to actually finance the work that is so greatly needed. Board members David Swarens and Christopher Pro, along with staff members Autumn Acker and Bruce Coons, have been taking curatorial and collections classes on their own time.

The gardens continue to improve. The lawn area, disturbed by the high traffic of the summer season, has been reseeded and looking lusher then ever. The rustic gazebo designed from an 1860's pattern book has been completed and the area is now being planted with wisteria, heirloom roses, and other lovely flowering plants. Plans to rent this area for weddings and other special events will help raise funds for the overall restoration plans of the museum. Work on completing the brick pathways throughout the complex is coming along just in time for the rainy season.

A grant proposal is being submitted for funds to landscape and irrigate in front of the Whaley House, replacing unattractive and inappropriate plantings. The front of the house has changed dramatically from 1856 when the house sat directly on the street. The street was cut down later and in the 1960's the brick planters installed. Our immediate plan is to minimize those unfortunate changes as much as possible by planting the area sparsely with ornamental grasses and adding rock or cobble to convey something of the old west street facade that it once was.

Friends of Mrs. Whaley's Garden has been accomplishing a good deal, the rose garden in particular is looking quite nice. They meet the 2nd Saturday of each month, if you are interested in helping out, leave a message for Jessica McGee at the office. There are several large specimens of birds of paradise that need to be removed. Please call the office if you are interested in having them. As always, we invite you to drop by to see the progress and cheer us on.

2002 - Volume 33, Issue 4

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Canfield-Wright House Rescued from Demolition!

Temple Beth Triumphant!


Coronado Railroad Designation to be Challenged

Executive Director Report


President's Message


SOHO Files Suit to Protect Red Roost and Red Rest Cottages

Border Field State Park


Volunteer Profile, Sandé Lollis


Getting To Know Your San Diego


Historical Resources Board


Welcome New SOHO Board of Directors


Remember SOHO in Your Will


Latest on the Old Police Headquarters


Remembering Claire


The Whaley House Junior Docent Program


Dreaming of a White Christmas


Around the Whaley House


Strength in Numbers


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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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