The first day of May was cool and windy as Living History Farms and the Flynn Mansion opened for the 2013 season. New staffer Matthew Beyer joined me in welcoming eleven school groups and quickly proved he is a great addition to our staff. Matt was a volunteer last season and will be working as the lead counselor for Camp Victoria this summer as well as a staff member here at Flynn on Saturdays and Sundays. I’m also pleased to report that one of last year’s interns, Chelsea Tegels, will be returning shortly to work on Mondays, and Kate Dahl, the 1900/Tangen domestic assistant, will work with me on Wednesdays. Assisted by our irreplaceable volunteer Flynn Ladies, we’re all very excited to welcome you to the Flynn House this summer!
Now we just need the weather to cooperate. LHF was forced to close May 2 and May 3 due to a surprise snow storm that dumped heavy, wet snow all over our lovely daffodils and hyacinths. However, the weather is scheduled to warm up, and soon the magnificent hedge of lilacs which runs in front and along the side of the mansion will be in full bloom! Be sure to plan a trip soon to enjoy the sight and fragrance of these blossoms.
I am very pleased to tell you that we finally have lighting throughout the entire house. Martin Flynn installed gas lighting in the mansion when it was built in 1870, and electric lighting was added at a later time. As Living History Farms restored the home, antique gas chandeliers converted to electricity were installed in some of the rooms. Over the past 43 years we have slowly added period appropriate fixtures to the rooms. Last winter, just before the Flynn historic dinners program began, a lovely chandelier was hung in the master bedroom, and more lights were placed in the three back bedrooms, back hallway and butler’s pantry. Kitchen fixtures had been added last season. Thanks to a grant from the LHF Guild, we were able to purchase all these fixtures, convert them to electricity, and finish the lighting project. I would like to thank Deb Irving, our Collections Specialist, who found all these fixtures for us, Dave Meschek of Antique Lighting Company who repaired and converted them, and our Maintenance Staff – Dean Irving, Dean Boots and Dan Gallardo – who installed them.
The lighting came in very handy as the Flynn mansion hosted a new series of Flynn Dinners and Teas during March and April. The dinners staff led by Lucy Olson prepared and served elegant nine-course dinners featuring such delicacies as oysters, mock turtle soup, chicken rissoles, and an amazing Chocolate Charlotte for dessert. According to several guests, the food was fabulous and the table setting was beautiful. Congratulations to all the cooks! The afternoon tea program was also very successful! The three-course teas included a tour of the house as well as delicious soup, savories, and sweets.
We have several special events and new activities planned this season for the Flynn House. We’re hosting the Flynn Garden Party to honor mothers in just a few days. Be sure to come and join the fun!