Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The National Trust Opens More Doors to Historic Mansions for You! -- Part 2

Good morning, Happy Mansion Lovers!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

Before getting into the substance of this post, let me remind you of my teaching plans for this month in the Boston area:

In Brookline, Massachusetts (617-730-2700)

Course V267: Raising Capital for Your New Business on September 20 and 27 (this is the expanded version of my popular course on starting a small business and can save you a fortune in capital costs!)

Course V268: Franchising Opportunities to Start a New Business on September 21 and 28 (this is a new course to help you find the right franchise operation for you) -- This course is almost sold out!

In Newton, Massachusetts (617-559-6999)

B 2172: The 2,000 Percent Solution (creating ways to accomplish 20 times as much with the same time and resources: It's like cloning yourself 20 times! -- see for background)

I also offer individual tutorials and seminars on these subjects year around.


Yesterday, many people delighted in the list I outlined for new partners for the National Trust. Today, I've decided to add more suggestions to that list. Enjoy!

The ambitious Partner Places Program at The National Trust (see has recently made dozens of new sites available for free or with a reduced admission.

As I've told you before, if you like mansions, you must join the National Trust! An individual can join for $20 a year while a whole family is only $30. It's a better bargain than you will find at Wal-mart!


The Partner Places Program doesn't only include mansions and estates, it also has many wonderful theaters and other public places you'll love.

But for today, I want to introduce more mansions and estates to start your thinking:

1. The Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut -- Ms. Griswold's home became the center of the American Impressionism movement when Ms. Griswold turned it into a boarding house for artists and was featured in some paintings. President Woodrow Wilson stayed in the home. This lovely mansion is now an art museum. See

2. Hagley House Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware -- This site features a mansion lived in by the du Pont family and overlooks the Brandywine River on 235 acres of lush grounds. Inside the museum are kept materials about the history of American enterprise. You will also see rooms restored to their original glory. See

3. The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee -- This was the home of President Andrew Jackson. More than 14 million people have visited this well-preserved site which includes more than 1,000 acres originally owned by President Jackson, another mansion and a historic church. No visit to Nashville is complete without seeing The Hermitage. See

4. Hildene, Manchester, Vermont -- This was the impressive summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham Lincoln to survive into adulthood. It is located on a gorgeous overview of the surrounding valley and contains many artifacts from President Lincoln's time in office. See

5. Honolulu House, Marshall, Michigan -- This home was built in 1860 for Judge Abner Pratt who had previously served as U.S. consul to the Sandwich (Hawaiian Islands). The home combines Italian, Gothic Revival and Polynesian influences and was designed to resemble the executive mansion that Judge Pratt lived in in Honolulu in the late 1850s. See

6. Johnston-Felton-Hay House, Macon, Georgia -- This is a true palace, designed and executed in Italian Renaissance Revival style. The home has more than 18,000 square feet over four levels and features a three-story cupola. See

7. Laura, Vacherie, Louisiana -- This 24,000 square foot home was built in the early 19th century on a sugar plantation. The home and grounds have been restored to capture the vivacity of Creole culture in Louisiana. The Web site reports that the home and grounds survived Hurricane Katrina just fine and that restoration on the properties continues. See

8. Marston House, San Diego, California -- This is one of the first mansions built in San Diego and dates back to 1905. The home sits in beautiful Balboa Park on five acres that combine English Romantic landscaping with California influences. See

9. The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts -- This was the summer home of Edith Wharton and was designed by her as well. The gardens are as beautiful as the home, and most of the home has been restored. Period furniture is being placed in the rooms gradually so many of the rooms have modern furniture in them now. But you can see where Ms. Wharton wrote while she was there in splendid isolation from the rigors of New York Society. See I have written about this home before in the American Authoress Homes post on August 19.

10. Rhodes Hall, Atlanta, Georgia -- This Romanesque-style castle is one of Georgia's most unique structures both for its style and opulence. See

11. Stan Hywet Hall, Akron, Ohio -- This is one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in the U.S. It was built between 1912 and 1915 by one of the founders of Goodyear. Its 65 rooms are nestled on 70 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds. It's a knockout! See

12. Tudor Place, Washington, D.C. -- This was the home of Thomas Peter (son of the first mayor of Georgetown) and Martha Custis (granddaugher of Martha Washington) and was built in 1805. The mansion has a fine collection of decorative arts. See

13. 1812 Wickham House, Richmond, Virginia -- This Federal style mansion is one of Richmond's finest. The home has a terrific cafe in the courtyard where you can lounge and enjoy lunch or a snack on a lovely fall afternoon. See

14. Victoria Mansion, Portland, Maine -- This beautiful 19th century home has some of the best Victorian interiors you will ever see. Go to

15. Villa Montezuma, San Diego, California -- This is one of the most important examples of Queen Anne style in the United States and is well worth a visit when you are in the area. For a great discussion of the home's architecture and past, see the special magazine issue articles at

Well, what are you waiting for? Get going!

Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

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If you are visiting today because someone invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

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May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell