Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sketching in 1890

On Saturday Tina and I joined the Tacoma Urban Sketchers for a special visit to the Meeker Mansion in Puyallup.  This historic (1890) home was built by Ezra Meeker,"The Hop King", whose main passion (other than making piles of money growing hops) was the history of the Oregon Trail.  He wrote 12 books on this topic. Busy guy.

While open to the public the rest of the year, the mansion is open by appointment only during the Winter months.  The group arranged for a private sketch viewing so we had the place just for us.

The drive down turned quite foggy:

There were fifteen rooms we could check out on two floors:

I drew a view of this room (see sketch farther down):

There was cool stuff to look at everywhere, even on the ceilings:

Many sketchers were attracted to this stove:

And lots of people drew this case of children's shoes:

We gathered around an antique pool table in the games room to share our work:

Here is the first view I drew:

The rooms and their furnishings were rather complex, so I searched out a simpler scene -- these dresses were in the master bedroom closet:

I also did several small ink sketches in the pantry, which are not that exciting and are not appearing here.

Finally, we managed to all pose on the staircase for the group photo (for anyone who doesn't know me, I'm second row right behind the woman in the red hat):

Great outing in a fabulous location.

Because we drove for an hour to get there, we decided to make the most of our outing by going to another spot on our own afterwards.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the Bass Pro sporting goods store (yes, it's a good place to draw stuff...wait and see why!).


  1. This looks like a great place, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the sketches. I've been in a slump the last couple of weeks but always follow your blog. How's retirement?

    1. Day 4 of retirement verdict: Not bored yet! Even if I'm just hanging at home with Truman, not doing much of anything, it's so much better than being at the office. I sure don't miss the bus commute, either. Thank you for following my "adventures" here!

  2. What an amazing home! I simply love those old houses. I just finished watching "Rehab Addict" which I'm not sure you are familiar with. Nicole Curtis restores old homes that are (usually) slated for demolition. She just finished the Ransom-Gillis mansion in Detroit which was built in 1876 and my goodness it was a gorgeous transformation. The stained glass in your photos reminded me of the stained glass in the Detroit house. Beautiful stuff. You've been hitting some mighty awesome locations lately!