Time for tea and a tour

MARSHALL – A constant flow of people made its way in and out of the historic home owned by Mark Goodenow on Saturday for the Edwardian Tea and Tour event presented by Marshall Area Fine Arts Council (MAFAC).

This year marks the fourth time MAFAC has held a special tea celebration near the holidays, but it is the first time the event has been held at Goodenow’s West Lyon Street home. Since purchasing the house in 1990, Goodenow has invested a lot of time and effort into restoring it to its original state, which draws a great deal of interest from people in the area.

“My grandson and I really wanted to see the house, particularly,” Marshall resident Sarah Archbold said. “His grandfather (Dan Archbold) was born here. He never got to meet his grandfather, but he’s heard stories. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Mark has done a beautiful job of restoring everything.”

While the Tea and Tour event was meant as a fundraiser for MAFAC, Goodenow said he didn’t mind taking advantage of the opportunity to show off his historic hobby.

“It’s my hobby I live in,” he said. “It’s fun to show it off and it’s for a good cause. Being on the National Register, you don’t have to give tours, but they strongly recommend it if you can. And when it’s your hobby, you like showing off whatever your hobby is. It’s nice to have people come in and be amazed.”

The West Lyon Street home was built between 1896 and 1898 for William and Ethel Gieseke. William Gieseke, president of Marshall Milling Company, sold the home, which was opened as the Cowin Hospital in 1938. Two years later, Dr. W. W. Yaeger renamed the fully operational hospital to Anna Maria Memorial Hospital. The hospital served patients until Weiner Memorial Hospital opened.

“When I was a child, I had my tonsils out here,” said Sue Sullivan, a one-time patient at the hospital. “But I haven’t been in here since. I had to be very little because they carried me across the hallway into surgery. It’s an early memory for me.”

Sullivan said she likely would have been born there as well, but a blizzard prevented her parents from making the trip to the hospital.

“They didn’t make it to the hospital, so I was born at home,” she said.

Having taken a tour and had tea, cake and hors d’oeuvres, Sullivan assessed the overall experience.

“It was wonderful,” Sullivan said. “The cake was delicious and the home is beautiful. It was very much worth the trip.”

Throughout the afternoon, Jan Loft and Pat Brace gave tours, pointing out relevant details. Even though the first floor kitchen was off-limits because of the food preparation for the event, visitors still learned that the room used to serve as the incubator room and nursery years ago.

“That was the surgery and the delivery room,” Loft said about Goodenow’s office on the second floor. “A lot of people were born in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s or remember their baby brother or sister being born there.”

Loft also talked about the history of the bedrooms on the second level.

“Mark’s bedroom had, at one time, been a men’s ward and they had seven or eight beds in there,” she said. “The fireplace in there is not original. It’s made from Jasper, from Jasper, Minnesota.”

Loft also noted that Goodenow had finally taken the numbers off the doors when he redid them. From 1951-58, the house served as a boarding house.

“The people that took care of the house lived upstairs (third-level attic) and they served meals in the basement, which used to be the dining room for the hospital,” Goodenow said. “Each room was rented out. There was a real shortage of housing after World War II.”

Oftentimes, three of four people in a family lived in a single room, with all of the occupants sharing a single bathroom. There was also a maid’s quarters. In the third-level attic, attendees found a bedroom, a child’s tea set at a table, children’s toys and a Christmas tree with unique ornaments.

“Mark started collecting antiques when he was in sixth- or seventh-grade,” Loft said. “These are the ornaments he had when he was a kid or the ones that mean something to him.”

Loft mentioned Goodenow has often rented out the upstairs for little girls’ tea parties.

While the weather outside was bitter cold, those inside at the Tea and Tour seemed pleasantly warm. And according to Carol Purrington, president of the MAFAC board, the event was a huge success.

“We sold 85 tickets beforehand and a few at the door,” she said. “The proceeds will go into our general fund to help meet expenses. I’m very happy with the turnout.”