VIEWPOINTS McFADDIN-WARD HOUSE
June 2014 Vol. 30/No. 3
Heritage Foundation Honors Late Director The Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to TAM to sponsor the Matthew L. White Keynote Address at each Texas Association of Museums Annual Meeting for the next decade, beginning in 2015. A special fund will be established to bring speakers of national prominence to the Texas museum community in honor and memory of Matthew L. White (1956-2010). White was executive director of the McFaddin-Ward House museum from 2000 until his death and was the administrator from 1984 to 2000. He was also a recipient of TAM’s Jack Nokes Outstanding Service Award, honoring his dedication to TAM. He served as a council member, program chair and local arrangements chair for TAM. The museum staff is proud and grateful that the Foundation chose to honor Matt in this special way. He would be proud, too, since TAM was very close to his heart.
An ad for the opening of the Monteleone Hotel Bar in New Orleans, to where the McFaddins often traveled.
Matt White, director of the McFaddin-Ward House, center, receives an award in 2010 from Ruth Ann Rugg and Cliff Vanderpool of the Texas Association of Museums.
The McFaddins enjoyed good food on their travels BY JUDY LINSLEY The 2014 theme of the museum is “Beyond Sustenance: Feast and Fellowship.” During the year, the museum will show some of the many ways in which food shaped the lives of the McFaddins and Wards. They prided themselves on setting a splendid and abundant table at home. That same interest in, and enjoyment of, fine dining extended to their frequent travels as well; whether they were bound for Houston, New York or Europe, part of the adventure was the good food to be found along the way. If Ida McFaddin or Mamie Ward really liked a dish they had while on a trip, they often found a way to add the
recipe to their own collection. Sometimes they added a whole cookbook. On journeys to New York, the family often stayed at the Waldorf Hotel; in the museum archives is the 1896 Waldorf Hotel cookbook — all 907 pages of it. Train travel offered its own special cuisine. Major railroads such as the Southern Pacific, Missouri Pacific and Santa Fe lines provided travelers with complete meals served on monogrammed railroad china in elegant dining cars. The Southern Pacific line published a cookbook of its most popular recipes that included delicacies such as fillet of sole, egg and ham tim-
See FOOD, page 5
-- Director’s Desk -PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND
By ALLEN LEA
On the morning of March 5, 2014, we received a call from the Library of Congress asking if a photographer could stop by and snap some pictures of the McFaddin-Ward House to be included in the National Archives. How could we refuse? The photos came out beautifully, and, of course, they would with Carol M. Highsmith behind the lens. Highsmith, a DC-based photographer, author and publisher, is three years into a 20-year project for which she will visit historic homes, landmarks and important sites in all 50 states. In the end, “This is America!” the time capsule of America in the 21st century, with more than 100,000 high-quality images, copyright-free, will be donated to the Library of Congress as a very rare, one-person archive. Beaumont’s Channel 12 news crew was quick to pick up on Highsmith’s trail while she was in Beaumont, after we posted about her visit on Facebook. “The Library of Congress is all about preservation, a lot of what I am photographing will be gone over time... that’s the importance of this collection... it’s important that we see our history and have it recorded, just in case it goes away,” Highsmith told 12News, Wednesday.
A photograph of the mantel in the museum’s music room, taken by Carol Highsmith.
“Beaumont has a lot to be proud of... I’ve photographed a tremendous amount of historical properties... and I don’t know one I’ve seen quite so well done as the McFaddin-Ward House... it’s incredible inside.” Highsmith’s lifetime achievements and milestones are too numerous to list, but take a few minutes (or hours) to “Google” her and you won’t be disappointed. Or visit her website at www. carolhighsmithamerica.com. Ted Landphair, Highsmith’s husband and a native of Lakewood, Ohio, continuously updates the “Ted’s This is America!” blog on the website, which keeps readers posted on his and Carol’s expeditions. He recently blogged about his experience in Beaumont: “I’ll never forget those shoots, but I still appreciate the loving care that administrators and
Photographer Carol Highsmith crosses the country, documenting her travels for the Library of Congress.
docents put into preserving and showing off wonderful smaller houses such as the McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont. Smaller in relative terms. McFaddinWard is plenty big and beautiful.” It was a pleasure working with such a distinguished photographer and writer and we feel honored to be a part of this important historical collection.
New intern at McFaddin-Ward House By CHRISTOPHER FERGUSON
Originally from Moberly, Mo., I now go to school in Cape Girardeau at Southeast Missouri State University. I’ll be graduating there with a degree in Historic Preservation. While in college, I was also inducted into Sigma Pi Kappa, which is a Historic Preservation Honors Society. With my degree, I plan on continuing work in the field of preservation, preferably with heritage education and through various other aspects of work in an archive, although I am certainly open to other areas of museum work. My desire to work in a museum stems from my two years of study in secondary education; I realized that teaching in the field of academia
wasn’t the right profession for me. Working at a museum allows me the opportunity to continue my dream of educating younger generations about the importance of history while avoiding the limitations of public education. I chose to apply for an internship at the McFaddin-Ward House after researching the museum online. I found that its reputation within the museum community was stellar, even from all the way in Missouri. I have always had a goal to reach out and expand my knowledge of places outside of my home state. This internship has given me that opportunity. I look forward to my time at the museum, and expanding my skills and knowledge during my internship with the staff at the McFaddinWard House.
The Art of Demitasse BY SAM DALEO MICHELLE CATE
Since ancient times, coffee was said to have healing properties. After-dinner coffee was thought to assist digestion, enhance endurance, and act as an antidote for inebriation. The Middle Eastern custom of drinking very hot, black coffee in small cups traveled to Europe along with the beverage in the 17th century. It was the French, in the 1800s, who originated the demitasse and turned after-dinner coffee drinking into an art. Demitasse means “half-cup.” The cups are typically half the size of a regular coffee cup, holding two to three ounces of beverage. The smaller size facilitates the drinking of strong after-dinner specialty coffees, such as espresso, cappuccino and Turkish coffee. Tea may be served in demitasse cups, but they are really meant for coffee. Certain rules of etiquette are followed for after-dinner demitasse serving and drinking. The coffee is strong and always served black. Cream is not offered and should not be requested. Sugar, however, is permissible. Demitasse cups are always used. These are placed on a matching saucer and accompanied by a demitasse spoon. Only one cup of coffee is served, and it is not polite to ask for a second. The coffee can be served to guests several ways. Cups can be brought in, unfilled, by a butler. A second butler brings the coffeepot. Each guest is offered a cup, which is then filled. The coffee can also be poured in the kitchen
or butler’s pantry and served to guests on a tray by a butler. A less formal way of serving is to have the butler place the coffee and cups on a tray. This is then placed on a coffee table in front of the hostess. She pours the coffee, and the butler takes each cup to a guest. On occasion, a liqueur can be offered with the coffee or after the coffee has been taken. By the 20th century, any woman who entertained, formally or informally, would have owned demitasse sets and served afterdinner coffee. Ida Caldwell McFaddin and Mamie McFaddin Ward owned numerous demitasse sets and spoons. The sets in our col-
lection contain from four to twenty-four cups and saucers each. There are a few individual cups, suggesting a special find on a shopping trip or perhaps a souvenir purchased on a vacation, or a gift given by a friend. Although the sets are in very good condition, they do show the wear expected from frequent use. The exhibit, currently on view at the McFaddin-Ward visitor center, features twenty demitasse cups, sixteen matching saucers and eleven spoons. The variety of patterns and styles would certainly have assured Ida and Mamie of having just the right demitasse for any occasion.
MUSEUM HOSTS SPRING EVENTS Spring was a busy time at the McFaddin-Ward House, with events both old and new. The semi-annual spring picnic brought people to the lawn of the carriage house, while two lectures in May brought out people interested in food and wine. The rose garden was also in full bloom during most of April and May. And the launch of a new event, Mondays at the Museum, saw yogis spreading out on the lawn of the house.
Food Continued from page 1 bales, roulades of beef, and caramel custard. Gus McFaddin, grandson of Ida and W.P.H., recalled the food on the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Sunset Limited: “Oh, the food was actually fantastic. And the dining room [car used] all the crystal and linen table cloths. That was very formal dining at the time. They used to serve hot potato soup in a little round pewter bowl.” His sister, Mamie White Edson, remembered, “They had the best lamb chops and the best toast. The toast always had little brown stripes on it.” Restaurants at train stations usually served good meals as well. Harvey Houses provided Santa Fe Railroad travelers with “good food at reasonable prices in clean, elegant restaurants,” according to one account. “Meals by Fred Harvey,” named for the founder, became a Santa Fe slogan, because Harvey also managed the dining cars. Young women who worked at Harvey Houses were known as “Harvey Girls.” The most elegant dining of all, however, was probably steamship travel. Passengers dressed in evening clothes for dinner at night. Mamie seemed especially fond of shipboard dining. On a trip to Europe with Ida in 1938, she used words such as “lovely,” “delicious,” and “served perfectly,” singling out one dish, “Peche Juilette,” for special praise. As roads and automobiles gradually improved, driving trips became more popular, though they could still be an adventure. In August 1935 Ida and Mamie left on a trip to Canada and New England, with Ida’s chauffeur Andrew Molo driving. Mamie faithfully listed in her diary the towns and hotels where they got their meals but rarely commented on the menu, seeming more concerned with the summer heat. Riding in an un-air conditioned car (“hot as fire” she wrote in Indianapolis), she mentioned only whether dining facilities were “air cooled.” When they finally drove into Detroit, she wrote with relief, “grand and cool.” In Bethel, Maine, Mamie finally gave her approval to lunch at Bethel Inn: “good food $12.00 apiece.” Coming back through New York, she and Ida met up with Carroll Ward’s brother Levy, who lived there. During their evening together, Mamie “had cocktail [at the] Biltmore then to Pennsylvania Hotel Room, had [a] lovely dinner, drank a Planter’s Punch….” Mamie later wrote Levy for the Punch recipe, and he sent her one from a New
A postcard from the Santa Maria Inn, located in Santa Maria, Calif. Jersey bar “where the bar tender specializes in Planters’ Punches.” Mamie seemed to appreciate the food more as they made their way down the East Coast. Driving through Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains “with the old houses on rolling slopes with the characteristic white fences,” she and Ida “had a good chicken dinner with wine” at the Monticello Hotel in Charlottesville. In North Carolina a few days later, the two lunched at the Pisgah Forest Inn — “a rustic quaint hotel & the best food” — for Mamie, high and rare praise indeed. Though they enjoyed fine dining, Ida and Mamie often stopped for lunch at coffee shops, which provided hungry, tired travelers with good food in a relatively relaxed and informal setting. One coffee shop menu from the 1940s
included chicken salad, waffles, eggs, hamburgers, a selection of both single- and doubledecker sandwiches, and several kinds of pie. The cheeseburger, incidentally, was 20 cents, 5 cents extra for lettuce and tomato. The McFaddins and Wards took shorter driving trips as well, to Houston or New Orleans. In Houston, they often stayed at the Rice Hotel and ate in its coffee shop or at the Lamar Cafeteria. On the way there or back, they might stop at Layle’s Café in Liberty or the San Jacinto Inn, famous for its seafood. New Orleans could also be a final stop before reaching home on longer train or automobile trips. Ida and Mamie usually stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel, which had not only fine din-
See FOOD, page 6
Museum named finalist for BBB Torch Award BY MARCUS POWERS The weeks surrounding late April into early May were busy ones at the McFaddinWard House. So adding in an extra activity on May 6th should have been quite a hassle. But all those events at the house were one of the many reasons why I had to add an event to my Google calendar for the night of May 6: the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust. Earlier this year, I got a call from the BBB informing me that the museum had been nominated by someone in the community for the award. The Torch Awards are given out annually to two businesses and one nonprofit for displaying an outstanding level of business ethics, as well as for giving back to the community. When I learned the museum had been nominated, I knew we certainly met those criteria. I filled out the application and submitted it in mid-March. Near the beginning of April, I got another call; this time, it was to inform me that the museum had been selected as a semifinalist and that a committee would be by in a few weeks for a “site visit.” The week before Easter, we welcomed five
different business owners from around the area. I gave them a tour of the house itself and showed them around the carriage house and the various office buildings around the museum’s campus. Later that week, I got yet another call, the best one yet. The museum had been selected as one of three finalists for the nonprofit category. I was beyond excited, as I knew the McFaddinWard House has long been a leader in not only the Southeast Texas museum community, but also in many other circles as well. I had worked hard to get the museum the recognition I felt it deserved, and was glad to see it selected as a finalist. Early the next week, I learned of our “competitors,” the other two nonprofits selected as finalists: CASA of Southeast Texas and Baptists Hospitals of Southeast Texas, both incredibly steep competition to be sure. On top of that, this year saw a bumper crop of nonprofit applicants; in fact, there were more applicants in the nonprofit category than there were in the for-profit categories. The fact that we were selected to be one of just three finalists was a pretty big deal. So, in the middle of one of the busier sea-
Food Continued from page 5 ing and a coffee shop but also excellent room service (which both women used from time to time). On the back of a postcard picturing the Roosevelt, Mamie wrote, “Have been here many, many times since I was a child — I love New Orleans, especially Royal Street and this hotel.” For Ida, Mamie, and their families,
A postcard from the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans
sons of our calendar year, Allen Lea and I attended the Torch Awards at the Beaumont Civic Center. Sure, we were tired from all the events going on at the house. In late April, we had a very successful picnic on the carriage house lawn; that was followed quickly by the launch of Mondays at the Museum, a monthly yoga event on the east lawn, as well as the Old Time School Days program for fourth graders at Laura Reeves Elementary in Silsbee. The event also fell right in between the two lectures at the house in early May, one from Perry McFaddin Clark of Amizetta Wines on May 1 and another from Peter Hatch of Monticello on May 8. First, the bad news: We did not win the Torch Award that night. Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas won it, and deservedly so. But the good news: We were still recognized as one of the best nonprofits in the area. Many people told us it was hard to choose, since the nonprofit category is so broad. I’m proud of the McFaddin-Ward House, and I still believe we are the best museum — and one of the best nonprofits — in the Golden Triangle. I look forward to continuing with the mission of the museum, and reapplying next year.
meals eaten on trips were much more than nourishment; they were part and parcel of their social and cultural experience. Traveling in proper style involved seeking out not only the finest accommodations but the best food, according to the practice of “conspicuous consumption” defined by economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen. “Beyond Sustenance: Splendid Repasts,” the summer and fall interpretation for the McFaddin-Ward House, will run until December 3.
Viewpoints from the Visitor Center By BECKY FERTITTA
The McFaddin-Ward House Visitor Center has been in full swing this spring, keeping the volunteers extremely busy. They seem to have been having quite a bit of fun as well. Twenty-five volunteers and staff took home new-found treasures and enjoyed a fantastic meal at their second annual Swap Meet, hosted by the past presidents of the Volunteer Service Council (VSC). Next on the agenda was a trip to the Bruno and George Winery in Sour Lake, Texas, where volunteers sampled locally-made wine and learned the interesting history behind that little Southeast Texas gem. The McFaddinWard House Lunch Bunch continued to enjoy getting together for lunch, and the MWH book club is thriving! The group meets quarterly and enjoys lunch, along with great discussions of interesting books. In April, the VSC executive committee planned an entertaining and informative “Hat Parade” and tea party for the group’s general meeting. Current president Peggy Ducote and immediate past president Gloria Ayres gathered hats from the museum’s teaching collection, as well as from private collectors. They researched and crafted a special description for each hat (close to 50), and volunteer models sashayed through the crowd, sharing tidbits of information with the audience. It was fabulous! A hard-working crew led by Kim Williams decorated the tables with lovely hats and the prettiest array of “Tea Party” paraphernalia seen anywhere. The McFaddin-Ward House 2014 Lecture Series began on a very high note in early May with a talk from McFaddin family descendant Perry Clark, whose family owns Amizetta Winery in St. Helena, California. After his lecture, those in attendance tasted three Amizetta wines and enjoyed tasty treats. An abundance of volunteers worked tirelessly to decorate, prepare and serve food, pour wines and wash wine glasses — in other words, to do it all! VSC social/hospitality committee members Laura Assunto and Denise Delboy did a sensational job helping to plan and carry out this enjoyable event. One short week later the museum hosted another superb lecture and reception. Garden lovers attended in droves to hear Peter Hatch, former director of gardens and
grounds at Monticello, discuss Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden. MWH volunteers, led by Billie Osborn, prepared beautiful and appropriate refreshments and decorations, and stayed on until late putting everything back in order. These events are always enjoyable for those who attend, but the volunteers seem to love them even more! They work really hard and have a great time. The museum staff could not possibly present events of this caliber to the public without the enormous input, effort and support of the volunteers. Later in May, volunteers enjoyed a special event just for them — the Spring Exhibit Preview presented by the curatorial staff. Volunteers were encouraged to bring prospective docent candidates to the preview in hopes of recruiting new trainees for our docent training class. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the training should contact Becky Fertitta at 832-2134. One of the most enjoyable MWH volunteer traditions has always been the “bus trip.” The most recent trip in mid-April featured the painted churches of Schulenburg, the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, and magnificent vistas of bluebonnets in every direction. Bus trips are always fun and the volunteers love them; it is great to let someone else do the driving! A wonderful time was had by all. And the volunteers deserve to have fun.
A display of vintage hats, above, at the luncheon. Teresa Orr, a docent at the museum, left, models a hat during the “Hat Parade.”
Besides giving tours and assisting with events at the museum, some travel to schools and libraries to present programs. They also play a huge role in planning, preparing and presenting our yearly summer camp. Several will also assist with junior interpreter training in June. Then, hopefully, the adults will have the month of July off and the JIs will take over. This worked beautifully in 2013, and we are hoping to repeat the success. Our junior interpreters stayed busy giving tours on several Saturdays this spring and helping with special events. Many of them will be on hand to support their newest colleagues on Junior Interpreter Guide Day, Saturday, June 28. JIs will also be a huge part of our summer camp. And, of course, they will OWN the month of July — lock, stock and barrel! The McFaddin-Ward House Visitor Center is a great place to be!
VIEWPOINTS McFADDIN-WARD HOUSE
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Vol. 30, No. 3 June 2014 Published quarterly for volunteers of the McFaddin-Ward House and others interested in cultural and educational aspects of the museum. (409) 832-1906, office (409) 832-2134, visitor center www.mcfaddin-ward.org 2013 Press Club of Southeast Texas Excellence in Media Award winner for Best Newsletter
Thursday, June 12; Thursday, July 10; Thursday, August 28 Movie Nights 6:30 p.m. The Visitor Center
Monday, June 2 Docent Continuing Education Program Lecture Hall 10 a.m.
Tuesday, July 29-Thursday, July 31 Summer Camp 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily Ages 8-12 $20 for all three days Registration begins May 19
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, June 16, 17 & 19 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, June 23, 24 & 26 Junior Interpreter Training 10 a.m. to noon
May 26, June 30, July 28, August 25, September 29 Mondays at the Museum 6:45 p.m. On the east lawn
Wednesday, June 18 Summer Reading Program Johns Library 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 28 Junior Interpreter Guide Day 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 15 VSC General Meeting Lecture Hall 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 18 Volunteer Book Club Visitor Center Noon