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October 17, 2012

History on Hall Street

Eric Keith | St. Joseph News- Press/

The Shakespeare Chateau is 127 years old.

Shakespeare Chateau, Gothic House host flashlight tour to benefit the Cracker House By SHEA CONNER St. Joseph News-Press

There’s just something about the Shakespeare Chateau that gives people the chills. Maybe it’s the home’s Victorian architecture. Maybe it’s the house’s intimidating presence. Or maybe it’s because it looks like the kind of ominous mansion that Count Dracula would inhabit. Whatever it is, folks always seem to ask innkeeper Isobel McGowan the same question. “People just take one look and say, ‘Is it haunted?’” Ms. McGowan says with a laugh. Although there are no recorded accounts of hauntings at the tremendous house at 809 Hall St., one can certainly feel the ghosts of 127 years of history throughout the decorative objects of the home — the stair banisters in the shape of dragons, which Ms. McGowan says guard the home, the hand-carved cherry woodwork, the antique roof ornaments and 47 — yes, an astounding 47 — stained glass windows. “You can imagine faces of the past in those windows,” Ms. McGowan says. “For people with that sensitivity — that leaning toward the spirit world — it’s easy to imagine.” One of those friendly faces likely would be the chateau’s original owner Nathan Ogden. He and his third wife dreamed of living in a home that would be inspired by worldly mythology, with each inch artisan-crafted. “They imagined a truly magnificent, fabled kind of building,” Ms. Eric Keith | St. Joseph News- Press/

Please see HISTORY/Page 2

The Shakespeare Chateau will host a dark flashlight tour, with ghost stories and a scavenger hunt to follow, on Oct. 29.


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Witches tea at the Gothic House

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

By SYLVIA ANDERSON St. Joseph News-Press

Eric Keith | St. Joseph News- Press/

A bust of the famous author at the Shakespeare Chateau.

History on Hall Street CONTINUED FROM page 1 McGowan says. Their dream home was built on Hall Street in 1885. Before Mr. Ogden sold the chateau to the McPherson family in the early 20th century, he installed a bronze bust of William Shakespeare above the fireplace in the grand foyer. The bard still greets visitors to the beautiful mansion from his lofty post 127 years later, and that’s how the house earned its moniker. During the last century, guests have become enchanted with the Shakespeare Chateau, and the house has earned a few distinct marks along the way. The residence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been featured in Midwest Living magazine. That feeling of enchantment — of history — is a big part of the reason why Ms. McGowan took on the property nearly two years after it became vacant in 2010 and has been fixing it up ever since. “This building is so magnificent, so captivating and so worth rescuing,” she says. “I could see beyond the peeling paint. I could see beyond the ‘70s curtains. I could see beyond the crumbling floor in the basement ... I could see beyond that and move forward.” Although renovation of the home won’t be complete until next spring, Ms. McGowan would like to open the doors to the public — for the first time in a decade — on Oct. 28. At 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. that evening, Shakespeare Chateau will host a dark flashlight tour with ghost stories and a scavenger hunt to follow. The event will be a fundraiser for the Cracker House, another one of St. Joseph’s historic homes at 914 Main St. Jennifer Baxter-Higgs is leading the Cracker House project as a means to show others in the community how to restore an aging building while creating a museum honoring saltine cracker inventor Frank Sommer and the saltine cracker’s local origins.

The goal, Ms. McGowan says, is to give more flashlights to the community before Halloween while also giving visitors an opportunity to soak up the historic details of the chateau. She would like to emphasize that the flashlight tour will not have any jump-out scares or features one would find in a commercial haunted house. Like the Jewels of Highlands house tours she used to organize when she lived in Colorado, Ms. McGowan says this one will be a standard, straightforward tour — simply in the dark. The tour package costs $30 a person and includes dinner and a flashlight in addition to the tour. Both the 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tours will start at the Gothic House Tea & Eatery at 720 S. 10th St. There, a dinner of rock Cornish game hen, wild rice pilaf, Prince Albert vegetables, house salad, scones and lemon curd will be served with your choice of apple cider, coffee or 30 hot teas. Black Forest cherry cake will be served for dessert. Pat McNaughton, owner of the Gothic House, has been helping to organize the tour because she loves the Shakespeare Chateau and because she’d like to see more traffic in a sometimes forgotten area of St. Joseph where the chateau, the Gothic House and the Cracker House all reside. “It is time we wake the community up and make them realize we’re not a bunch of drug dealers down here,” Ms. McNaughton says of the Hall Street district. “We really want everybody to realize that this is a really cool part of St. Joseph.” If the two tours on Oct. 28 sell out, Ms. McNaughton says an additional tour will be held on the evening of Oct. 29. For more information or to make a tour reservation, call the Gothic House Tea & Eatery at (816) 2328115. Shea Conner can be reached at shea.conner@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.

How do you turn a proper English tea into something spooktacular for Halloween? If you are Pat McNaughton, you start by making a witches brew out of “leaf of tea, smoke of pine, bark of cinnamon, thorn of clove, grains of pepper and pod of cardamon so strong it could cure a leper.” Then you serve it steaming hot in a fine china cups with an orange twist and cinnamon stick. “It’s to die for,” says Ms. McNaughton, owner of the Gothic House Tea and Eatery in Downtown St. Joseph. And it’s just the beginning of what she is concocting for a Witches Tea that will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Halloween. The 1869 Gothic House is a natural for such an affair due to the ornate architecture and furnishings alone. Haunting décor plus the guests’ attire will be all that’s needed. “Hats and costumes are strongly encouraged,” she says. “And special treatment will be given to guest witches.” Of course, the food must be special, too. And for that, she is using recipes from her “Gothic House Recipe Crypt.” The food must be made from scratch. The toil and trouble is worth it, Ms. McNaughton says. So she will be making a Dungess crab quiche, also known as creepy crab quiche, blood orange chicken salad, the devil’s own eggs, orange cheesecake and putrid pudding pie. She also will make two guest favorites: chilled pumpkin soup and the witches brew.

Jessica Stewar t | St. Joseph News- Press

When ready to serve, mix one part half and half to two parts base. Stir well or put in blender. Serve in small cups or hollowed pumpkins, using the top as a lid.

Gothic House witches tea

Note: All of the teas, spices and filters listed below can be found at Simply Tea in St. Joseph at 3613 Beck Road. Small teapot of hot cinnamon spice tea Small teapot of blood orange tea 2 teaspoons mulling spices 3 tablespoons frozen cranberry juice concentrate Sweetener to taste Orange twists Cinnamon sticks Make hot cinnamon spice tea and blood orange tea in separate pots using approximately 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea in a filter or infuser. Ms. McNaugton prefers the tea filters, which

look like small transparent pouches. You simply spoon the loose tea in the pouch, then after the tea has infused for three to four minutes, take the pouch out. “I make the separate pots so the flavors don’t blend until the end,” she says. Mix the two teas together and add a pouch of two teaspoons of mulling spices. Let that sit until it cools. Then add the frozen cranberry juice concentrate and the sweetener. “I would add 1/4 cup of sugar, because I like my tea sweet,” she says. “But you can substitute stevia, honey or leave it out.” When ready to serve, heat and serve hot with an orange twist and cinnamon stick. For more information or reservations for the Witches Tea on Oct. 31, call the Gothic House Tea and Eatery at 232-8115.

CROSSWORD

This soup has some of the same ingredients as found in a pumpkin pie, but the apple juice and sour cream give the pumpkin a fresh new flavor. You can make the soup base ahead of time and freeze it, so it’s great for entertaining.

Pumpkin soup base

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin – no spices added 1½ cups sour cream 1 can sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate 3 tablespoons molasses 3 tablespoons cinnamon 1½ teaspoon cloves ( Add up to a tablespoon if you like things spicy) 1 tablespoon ginger 1 cup half and half (Freeze at this point if you want.)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Local girl to perform with Olympians By JENNIFER GORDON St. Joseph News-Press

Jessica Stewar t | St. Joseph News- Press

Martin Johnson, chairman of the Mormons Next Door, and Bishop Gabe Murphy, along with other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints, will host an informational event Nov. 9.

‘The Mormons Next Door’ Following increased media attention, LDS church launches public affairs effort

By ERIN WISDOM St. Joseph News-Press

Despite being a religion that originated in America, Mormonism remains largely a mystery to many Americans. Maybe this is because for a number of years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was somewhat small and concentrated in the Rocky Mountain West, suggests Martin Johnson, a member of the local LDS church. But, he adds, “Now we’re all over the place. We rub shoulders with a lot more people.” Of course, “all over the place” includes this year’s presidential campaign. As a result of Mitt Romney being named the Republican presidential candidate, Mormonism has received an increase in media attention. And perhaps spurred by this interest, LDS churches throughout the nation are putting on presentations for the public entitled “The Mormons Next Door.” The St. Joseph church, located at 7 N. Carriage Dr., will host the event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 9. (Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to 752-7273 by Nov. 2.) “We’re getting a lot of attention right now, and some of what I read in the media is simply incorrect,” notes Mr. Johnson, who is chairman of the local organizing committee for “The Mormons Next Door” and will lead the presentation. “We want to put a view of ourselves out there, so people understand. We want them to have a better understanding of who we are, what our practices are and how our religious beliefs and values affect our lives for the good.” He adds that the event also will include classical music performed by community members — many of them not members of the church — as well as a question-and-answer time and a reception after the presentation. The presentation itself won’t delve too deeply into LDS history or theology but, rather, will discuss some of the key values of Latter-day Saints. An example Mr. Johnson gives is the Mormon “Word of Wisdom,” which requires Church members to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea. Many people are familiar with this tenant, he says, but may not know the health values of it that have been reported by secular studies. Something else he says is core to Mormon practice

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after church service. but not widely recognized is the amount of money and effort the church puts into humanitarian work such as disaster relief and education funding for people in poverty. “Often, our aid gets to people before government aid does,” Mr. Johnson says. “Outside of Utah, this just doesn’t get a lot of public comment.” In addition to illuminating some things like these about the Mormon lifestyle, he hopes the presentation will dispel what he describes as common misconceptions, such as the belief that Mormonism isn’t a faith centered on Jesus Christ. Another misunderstanding held by some is that the LDS Church is connected to groups such as the Fundamental Latter-day Saints, who continue to practice polygamy. “That causes me quite a bit of consternation,” Mr. Johnson says of this association. “You hate to be confused with someone else.” He adds that what the evening won’t include, despite the political climate that may have stirred it, is any discussion of politics — or of the more minute aspects of Mormonism, such as one prophet’s claim to know where the Garden of Eden is located, that have made headlines during this political season. “Where the Garden of Eden is is not an important issue as far as I’m concerned,” he says. “What’s important to me is where Christ is in your church, and the tenants of your faith.” Dee Dee Squires, who serves as a public affairs director for the church and is on the committee for “The Mormons Next Door,” also notes the importance of making these tenants clear. “Many people don’t know who we are and what we value,” she says. “I think this event is a good follow-up to what’s been happening in the news to inform people about who we really are.” Erin Wisdom can be reached at erin.wisdom@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPWisdom.

On Oct. 18, East Buchanan Elementary School third-grader Emma Klein will share the spotlight with Olympic gymnasts. Emma was one of two children from the Kansas City area chosen to shadow an Olympian during the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions 2012 event, which comes to the Sprint Center this week. Members of the 2012 Women’s Olympic team Nastia Liukin, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber are slated to be appear on the Tour. Their appearances, however, are not a guarantee; the cast changes depending on the Olympians’ other commitments. Nevertheless, for the 9-year-old, it’s a dream come true. Emma wants to be in the Olympics someday. She started taking classes at Arising Star Gymnastics at 18 months and hasn’t stopped since. “She’s very dedicated,” her mother, Mandy Klein, says before one of Emma’s classes at the gym in St. Joseph. “When she’s not here, she wants to be here.” Emma and her mother make the drive from their home in Gower, Mo., to the gym north of St. Joseph three times a week during the school year. She spends about 10 hours a week in class, 20 during the summer. She enjoys the competitive side of the sport, she says. “I just like to go up against all the girls and see I’m good,” Emma says. Recently, Emma participated in USA Gymnastics’ Talented Opportunity Program. The TOP initiative works with skilled gymnasts ages 7 to 11 to improve their technique and identify future international competitors. USA Gymnastics contacted Robin Weidmaier, co-owner of Arising Star Gymnastics, to see if Emma would also like to participate in the Tour of Champions event. In order to be considered, Emma had to submit an audition video. Mandy and Robin decided to surprise Emma with it because they didn’t want to get her nervous about it. Robin called her into the gym and asked her to perform her bar routines and do some tricks on the trampoline. She didn’t get to do any of her floor routine or her vault, which she says are her two favorite events. Emma doesn’t know what her routine will be yet at the Tour of Champions, but she’s excited. The Sprint Center is a much bigger venue than she’s used to performing in. She will not be the only gymnast from Arising Star Gymnastics to appear in the Tour of Champions event. USA Gymnastics recognized Arising Star Gym for its high ticket sales to the event and asked the following gymnasts to take part in the Tour of Champions’ opening and closing ceremonies: Lacey Fanning, 11; Kaia Teale, 10; Chloe Fuson, 10; Sara Beck, 10; Saige Eaton, 9; Zoey Hayes, 8; Morgan Stoecklein, 10; Megan Funk, 12; Sydney Kapp, 14 and Kayton Reynolds, 10. Jennifer Gordon can be reached at jennifer.gordon@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @jjgordon.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sylvia Anderson| St. Joseph News- Press

Dan Rohr uses a gouge to shape a piece of wood spun on a lathe at his shop.face

Sylvia Anderson| St. Joseph News- Press/

This is one of the urns Dan Rohr has made.

Woodturning gator jaw pens and purpleheart urns St. Joseph man turns odd into beautiful

By SYLVIA ANDERSON St. Joseph News-Press

The Harris-Kemper neighborhood committee was in a quandary over what would be an appropriate prize for the winner of the best haunted house decorations. They wanted something unusual, but useful; a bit morbid, but not gruesome. Once Dan Rohr made his suggestion, the debate was over. Dan is a bricklayer by trade and works for McGlade Masonary in St. Joseph. “My dad was a bricklayer, my brother was a bricklayer, I had two cousins that were bricklayers, so it’s in my blood,” he says. But seven years ago, he started watching a TV show on woodturning and

became fascinated with it. Woodturning is a form of woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe. It cuts and shapes the wood as you turn it, so you can make cylindrical shapes like bowls and ink pens. “For Christmas I went over to Woodcraft in Kansas and said, ‘I don’t know what all I need, but I want everything he needs to learn to turn pens,’” says his wife, Denise. From that point on, Dan was hooked. Bricklaying has a completely different skill set than woodturning, so he recorded TV shows and taught himself how to do it. He uses no patterns. Part of the thrill is seeing the form come to life as he sees it in his head. “It’s like it’s born,” he says. “You are making this. You are creating this.”

Sylvia Anderson | St. Joseph News- Press

Dan Rohr enjoys the hobby of woodturning.

The main reason he likes woodturning is that it’s amazingly relaxing, he says. Now the couple’s basement is his woodturning “kingdom,” with three lathes, a jig that he made himself and wood and materials from all over the world such as zebra wood from Africa and purpleheart wood from Central America. There’s redwood burl that he will turn into a bowl. And he has some stagwood cactus and Banksia pods that will become pens studded with turquoise. A half dozen sea urchins will become Christmas ornaments after he adds a wooden spindle. A shimmery red marbled “blank” (rectangular size block) will become a pen for the person who has everything. Dan calls it gator jaw, because it is acrylic mixed with an actual alligator jaw. “I like odd stuff,” he laughs. “Stuff you don’t see everywhere.” For the winner of the best decorated haunted house, Dan told the Harris-Kemper neighborhood committee that he would donate one of his wooden urns. Of course, the group thought it was perfect. But once you see them, you forget about anything morbid, because they are so beautiful. “We actually buried his

mom in one,” Denise says. “(Dan) had made one, and the minute she saw it, she said she wanted to be buried in one.” His pens seem to have the same effect. One of the most expensive pens Dan has turned to date (around $200)

was made out of alabaster. His father is buried with it. “He loved that pen,” Dan says, “so when he passed away, I put it in his pocket.” Learning about woodturning never stops, so Dan is hoping to start a

woodturning group to share his experiences and learn from others. Anyone interested can call him at 855-8048. Sylvia Anderson can be reached at sylvia.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPAnderson.

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