SECOND BEST PARLOR



Purpose of the Room: This is the second most formal and decorative room in the house and was probably used for entertaining visitors on a more informal level or gathering place for the family. It is located on the first floor in the southeast sector and is one of the sunniest and warmest rooms in the house. This would have been the perfect place for the women to gather to do needle work as the abundance of natural light in this room would have lent itself to that enterprise.

Dimensions: 16' x 16' 11"; ceiling height 7' 9 1/2"

Architectural Features:

1. The ceiling has molded plaster affixed to it and this encircles the entire perimeter of the ceiling area.

2. The fireplace consists of ornate carving of stylized leaves and pilasters. There are three (3) fireplaces in Helme House, all on the south side of the house, apparently all of which had the decorative details created by the same carver as there are similarities in the design.

3. The floor was replaced by Arthur Lambert in 1957.

4. The base molding in this room and the Best Parlor are distinctive, 7" high and probably the work of the same craftsman.

Color: The earliest paint color found by either scratching an area or actual sample reveals the following:

1. Walls - pale yellow and very similar to the background color on this page.

2. Trim - oyster white milk paint

Collections:

A Regency secretary is purported to have been made for the recessed space in which it has been placed along side the fireplace. The original doors to the upper bookcase portion are missing and the hardware is not original to the piece. It's appearance is that of a provincial piece and one can only speculate if this piece was made on the grounds by a slave or local craftsman.

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