Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘flower garden’

Button Designs by Frieda Warther

frieda-and-her-buttons.jpg

Frieda surrounded herself with buttons and more buttons.

Almost everyone keeps a container of buttons someplace in their home. At one time, many cut off the buttons on old clothes and kept them in a jar or can. You never knew when you might need an extra button.

Frieda Warther did much the same thing.

Frieda Button Strings

Buttons hung on strings around the walls of their dining room so she could reach them easily.

Living in Switzerland until the age of four, the family then came to the United States and settled in Dover, Ohio. Frieda was the oldest of thirteen children. It was a Swiss tradition that the oldest child would receive their mother’s box of buttons and sewing tools. Thus began Frieda’s love of buttons.

Frieda Button House

This Button House originally housed the Warther Museum to display Mooney’s trains.

Today those buttons have been used in some of the designs at the Warther Button House, which is just outside Warther’s Museum in Dover.

When Frieda first met Earnest Warther, called Mooney by his friends, their first date consisted of a field trip to hunt arrowheads. After marrying Mooney, Frieda became a wonderful mother to their five children and Mooney’s main support as he developed into a master woodcarver.

Her main relaxation came from tending the gardens outside their home and Mooney’s workshop. She designed them to remind her of her back yard in Switzerland. When the children were young, these gardens contained many vegetables as well. Today, those flower gardens provide a peaceful place to relax with many benches available.

Frieda Bank

During the depression, Mooney hid his money under the coal in this train. But Frieda knew!

Mooney frequently ‘borrowed’ items from his wife to use in his carving creations. When he needed a belt to run one of his model trains, he would borrow it from her sewing machine and replace it when he found one in his journeys. He often liked to use red and green sparkling gems on his trains as well. These he borrowed from Frieda’s brooches.

When visitors came to see all of Mooney’s carvings in those early days, they often spent the afternoon viewing trains brought from storage in the various rooms of their house and even the attic. Frieda decided in 1936, it was time for a museum, so they built the small museum, which is today her Button House.

Frieda House

Kristen, great-granddaughter of  Mooney and Frieda, stands on the porch of the Warther’s’ home.

The porch of the Warther Home gave Mooney and Frieda the perfect place to watch trains go by on tracks just across the street. From here they could also watch their children playing in a large playground Mooney had created for them. It’s no surprise that there is a red caboose there also, since Mooney carved so many trains during his lifetime.

Inside the Warther Home, you’ll learn more about Frieda and the family. They lived in their original residence for sixty-three years.

Frieda Table 2

This table served as Frieda’s workplace for most of her button creations.

Life was busy for young Frieda, so it wasn’t until she turned sixty that she began working on her button designs at their dining room table. She began experimenting with various combinations and then attached them to a board with either wire or dental floss to make beautiful hanging designs.

Frieda Button Wall Favorite

Beautiful button designs fill the walls and ceiling of the Button House.

Mooney enjoyed her artistic endeavors by saying, “Sometimes while Frieda was working, she would drill too deep and hit our table. One look at her breathtaking designs and you will realize it was well worth all the holes.” Those holes can still easily be seen.

She also used buttons to make jewelry, a button tree, chess sets and many games. Strings of buttons hung in her kitchen just waiting to be used.

frieda-warther

This picture postcard show Frieda in her Button House.

Today many of those creations containing 73,000 buttons can be found on the walls and ceiling of the Button House. Here you will find buttons of many kinds of materials: hand-painted ceramic, pearl, metal and wooden. Amazing as it may sound, there are no duplicates in the displays.

Frieda Lincoln Button

This button design features a button in the center from Mrs. Lincoln’s inaugural dress.

One of her favorite designs has, as its centerpiece, a button from the Inaugural Dress of Abraham Lincoln’s wife. Lincoln was a favorite of the Warthers, and Mooney followed Lincoln’s philosophy of life.

Because the family loved children, Frieda made one design especially for them. It consists of Cracker Jack prizes, novelties, and what she called Goofy Buttons.

Frieda Arrowheads

Arrowhead displays by Frieda also hung in Mooney’s workshop.

If you look carefully, you can also spot her button designs in another spot – the ladies’ restroom inside the Warther Museum. Had to inquire from a gentleman visitor regarding what was on the wall in the men’s restroom. Here Frieda made a creative display of Mooney’s arrowheads he found on his trips to the country with their family. You never know where creative objects might be found.

Frieda back

The back of a button display was shown by Sheila, our guide and daughter of Mooney’s barber.

There are still unfinished patterns that Frieda had planned. Even when she was in her final days at the age of 98, she was still asking people for one of their buttons if she saw an unusual one.

Soon thousands of springtime tulips will be blooming in Frieda’s Swiss Flower Garden. Many of the spring flowers were originally planted by Freida. Stop by and relax on a bench and imagine what it would have been like to live at “Dumb Street” along the Calico Ditch.

Warthers Museum can be found easily off I-77 in Dover, Ohio. Take Exit 83 to the east and follow the well placed signs to Warthers.

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Tour Daweswood House Museum “Let the Flowers Grow Where They May”

Daweswood House Museum

Daweswood House Museum

Exploring Daweswood takes visitors back in time to absorb the lifestyle of the Dawes family in the early 1900’s near Newark, Ohio. Being greeted by Debby, the youngest granddaughter of Beman and Bertie Dawes, made the tour doubly enjoyable. Her added stories of childhood visits added life to the beautiful old home.

Outside, the playful, lighthearted garden design reflects Bertie’s favorite saying, “Let the flowers grow where they may”. Beautiful flower beds surround the home turned museum, and help visitors realize the importance of plants and flowers to the Dawes family.

Inside, Daweswood House Museum, actually built in 1867,  is filled with antiques, unique collections of natural history, and stories which seem to pour from the walls. The flooring and spiral walnut staircase in the entryway are original and from lumber cut on the farm back in the late 1800’s. Everything was built with loving care in the best tradition of the times.

Office of Beman Dawes

Office of Beman Dawes

Born in Marietta, Ohio, Beman Dawes graduated from Marietta College. After serving two terms as US Representative, he founded Pure Oil Co with headquarters in nearby Columbus, Ohio. The profits from that endeavor became the source of funds to develop Dawes Arboretum for the enjoyment of  people from all over the world, as well as the Dawes family. Debby mentioned that some of her fondest memories of childhood were the family picnics in the pines at Dawes. It seemed the children enjoyed the out-of-doors, just like their grandparents. Today the family still gathers at Dawes Arboretum every summer for an old-fashioned picnic.

Bertie Dawes' studio

Bertie Dawes’ studio

His wife, Bertie, displayed her collections in her special studio, which overlooked the garden. Shells, butterflies, and humming birds all held special places in her heart. The beautiful bedspread in the room had been handmade by Bertie as well. This elegant lady was definitely a woman of many talents and interests… including raising peacocks. Perhaps she had time to do these things since there were housekeepers that tended to the daily chores of the family. Since there were five children, this would have been a busy household.

"Our House" embroidered by daughter, Dorothy Dawes Young in 1925.

“Our House” embroidered by daughter, Dorothy Dawes Young in 1925.

One beautiful family tradition occurred in the formal dining room where the family met each Sunday for dinner. The grandchildren still recall those formal dinners with Grandfather and Granny as being a highlight of their visit.  This family had early access to some of the little luxuries, with electricity in Daweswood as early as 1929. Five stone fireplaces throughout the house provided a warm atmosphere. The warmth of family could be seen in the beautiful embroidered picture hanging in the kitchen to remind everyone of the importance of their Daweswood home.

A basement constructed of handhewn stone, where the children used to play, is now home to the Rathskeller. The walls are now filled with shovels and plaques of those invited for tree dedication ceremonies. Initials of the dedicators were placed on the ceiling with soot from a burning candle in the beginning, but today they are usually written with a marking pen…to save space.  Back in 1927, Ohio Governor James Cox was the first to dedicate a tree.  Over 100 people have been invited by the family to dedicate trees and some of those names are quite familiar: John Glenn, Jack Hanna, Richard Byrd, Red Grange, and Orville Wright to mention a few.

Smokehouse and Gardens

Smokehouse and Gardens

Behind the house is an old log smokehouse surrounded by Bertie’s garden. Nearby, on the right side of the picture, you can see the corner of the roof of the History Archives Building, which is being constructed to hold photographs, family journals, and Arboretum records.

Plan your visit to Daweswood on the weekend as hours are limited. Tours are given every Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 and 2:00.  Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students, and tickets must be purchased at theVisitors Center. If you like beautiful old homes and the beauties of nature, you will definitely enjoy a visit at Daweswood.

Dawes Arboretum is located near Newark, Ohio just off I-70.  Take Exit 132 , Route 13 , and proceed North on Route 13 for about three miles.  The entrance is located on the left hand side of the road at 7770 Jacksontown Road. Daweswood House Museum is down the first road to the right just inside the gate, but first you must go to the Visitors Center to purchase your ticket.

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