Sunday, October 12, 2014

History Day at J D Grant County Park


Yesterday we celebrated History Day here at the Park,  The Ranch House was open from 1:00 until 4:00, so that people could just wander about.  We had several Volunteers available for Q&A’s and to monitor the comings and goings and of course to watch over the house and contents.

As far as Park Staff, it took time to prepare.  Earlier in the week I spent 5 hours just de-webbing, dusting and dry mopping in the house.  Then on Friday I swept all the brick patios and walkways and de-webbing the outside of the buildings (as far as I could reach, I just wasn’t tall enough to reach the second story windows, lol )  The bucket is filled with lavender.  Lisa asked me to make up some bags with the petals.  Easy task, except I was a little sore from leaning over the bucket while stripping the stalks and it was the task that took the longest. 

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On Saturday after doing my morning rounds, I had breakfast and did nothing more until I headed to the Ranch House.  On my way there, I went through the CGs to remind everyone of the event.  My duties were quite simple.  I was the Grisly Bear Guard, and just sat or visited with people when they wandered about the first floor.  i also took pictures of all the open rooms.

So here’s a tour of the J D Grant Ranch House.

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                    On the left is JD Grant  and on the right is the family tree.

When you first walk in to the right is Grant’s office.  It is very small.  I was backed up against the window when I took this.  Before Grant added to the house, this was the Parlor.


Stepping out of the office is the entry hall and the stairway to the second floor.


To the left is the living room and sitting room.  Double Doors separate them.  Both were added by Grant.


In front of the desk is the Grisly Bear that I guarded.  People want to touch or lay on it (so I was told, but no one tried or asked).  When the original owner was still in the house, there were Grisly Bears all over and he had several run ins with them.  This particular bear came from somewhere other than this ranch.  It was quite dangerous to have a ranch at that time.

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Going back out into the entryway and to the left is Bedroom where President Herbert Hoover stayed, before and during his presidency.  He and Grant were personal friends and hunted and fished together.  (side story:  on the hearth is a hand print that just appeared one day while a tour was being given.  They tell me that it comes and goes, Scary! )


Just out the door and to the left is a porch that was converted into a small kitchen.  You will notice that there is no dining room, as all of their meals were taken in the Cookhouse.  I forgot to take pictures in there, but there were displays set up as well as a Power Point Slide Show.  There were also someone from Lick’s Observatory with a presentation.


Going back out into the entryway and to the left again is Josephine Grant’s bedroom.  In the near right corner of the picture, that box is an Antique Victrola Phonograph Talking Machine.  When asked I would show how you would wind it and the play the records.  If you wanted it louder, you would just open the doors below.  The kids think it’s cool, because there’s nothing to plug in.  Then through that back door is her dressing room.

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There were all modern conveniences, through that back door in the dressing room is the toilet, bathtub and shower.

Going back out and up the stairs is the landing, through the open doorway are three bedrooms.


The first on the left is the maid’s room.


Next is the Master Bedroom.


The next is another Bedroom.  (I don’t know who it was for) with it’s own bath.  Those double doors lead out onto the roof.  (I guess that we would call it an upper deck.)


As you can see,, there are a lot of windows. It was light and airy, however there was a fireplace in most of the rooms, so it was really cold in the winter.

Below is a short history of the Ranch House and Floor Plan.

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Between the Ranch House and the Cook House is this Water Tower.  They pumped water from the spring.  That’s what supplied their water for the ranch. 


In an earlier post there are pictures of the Carriage House which was also open.

In the courtyard someone from the observatory had a solar scope.  Below is a (not too great) picture of the sun taken with my I Phone camera through the scope.  If you enlarge it, (just click on it), you can see a small solar flare,(bottom right of the sun).


When it was all over, for the rest of the day I relaxed except for one more run to replenish TP in the restrooms.

I hope that you enjoyed the “tour”.  There is more to see, if you have the chance, visit the Park.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_0995 I’m just sulking, ‘cause Mom didn’t take me with her.

Susan and Angel


  1. Thanks for the great tour. I especially enjoyed the photo of the sun flare.

  2. Great tour. Something new to add to your resume - grizzly bear guard. I like that.