Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gamble Plantation, Ellenton, Florida

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Note:  This post is a bit graphics heavy.  Hope you will enjoy despite that fact. 

On the urging of several friends, before we left East Tampa, we drove down to the Gamble Plantation in Ellenton.  It was a drippy day, but, not that cool, and since when do a few rain drops rain on our parade? Deluge maybe, drippy, nope.

The Gamble Plantation is believed to be the only surviving plantation house in South Florida.  That alone is enough draw for me. Add to that some good ole Civil War history, yep, it was interesting.

There is a lovely visitors center with a nice display.  And, there is the plantation home.  The furnishings, are not Gamble family heirlooms.  There is additional history here.

They have furnished the home with period pieces.  And, I must say, it is a wonderful collection.  There were a number of pieces I had not seen before.  What fun.  So, I have picked out some of the unusual pieces to share here today.

Below, tea time.  Pot, creamer, sugar bowl. and this wonderful tea box.  It was lockable.  The tea was very valuable.  The docent explained that this box would not be sitting out on a table like this, but would most likely be locked up in another cupboard.

On this mantle is a stunning blue and white vase and two asparagus vases. I had never seen an asparagus vase, have you??

Below:  on the far right, that is a bone bowl.  I was able to find one web page that described it, I note, they say it should be to the left of the place setting.  It was used, according to this article, to discard fish bones.

I love this desk.  It reminds me of mine back at home.  The flooring with the yellowish band with the leaf silhouette is painted floor cloth.  The inside of the floor cloth was painted a dark color, greenish in tone I believe.

On the table is an iron.  That thing looked like it weighed a ton!  On the left side of this photo is a spinning wheel with a really neat little add on.  Someone built a counter into this spinning wheel, so the lady spinning could visit with her family and/or friends and not have to count how many time she had "spun" the yarn.  One must have their skeins the correct size, right?  Hard to do, if you loose count.  How ingenious is that?

Same room, a bathtub in the corner, candle molds on top of the chest on the right side of the photo. A better shot of the iron, they would place charcoal in the bottom, to provide the heat.

OK, have you ever seen one of these??  I had not.  It is a coffee roaster.  Note the handle to spin the coffee beans so they do not burn.

While going to the second floor of the home, you get a very good view of the cistern system, and yes, water still runs through it.  At the far right of this photo you will see a diagonal structure resembling a stick, it is actually a method to get water off the roof of the house and into the cistern.  It is a gutter!

I love bottles, and this is a fine collection.

A lovely wardrobe in one of the bedrooms, looking through the bedposts.

The bed.

Another bedroom.  I had never seen the blanket treatment on the foot board.

Here is a side view of that same foot board. See how the blanket is rolled up?  You could unroll it for a quick nap and then roll it up again.  Rather clever, eh?

The Gamble Plantation is now a Florida State Park, the fee for the house tour was modest, and it sure was interesting.  We had a fantastic docent, who could enunciate and project her voice wonderfully.  Man and I both understood each word (not that we remembered EVERYTHING she told us, but, we heard and understand the words).  It has been many years since we have enjoyed listening to a docent that much.  She receives the nomination for docent of the decade.  Yea, she was that good.

Even with the less than perfect weather we had a delightful visit and highly recommend this as someplace you might want to add to your personal bucket list.


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