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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

House Day 61 - We Took A Field Trip Today To Inspect Bellevue - The Catherine Murat Plantation House

Josh Wells - Gary Wayne Shiver - Joe Shiver - Gary Shiver. You remember Josh from the day he drove a nail into his leg bone. 

My builders have been doing an outstanding job working on our new home. So today we went out to lunch and then took a field trip. 

All morning they were working putting the Nichiboard Concrete siding on. At 11:30 - it was lunch time. We piled into our motorhome and headed to Hot Dog Et Al on South Monroe Street. I eat there often - they make fantastic hot dogs with about 20 different fresh condiments.

After we ate - it was back into the camper to the Tallahassee Museum. They used to call it the Junior Museum - many still only recognize it by that name. It is half Florida animal zoo and half historic Florida buildings. 

About 2 weeks ago Lulu and I bought an annual pass because the family is coming here for the holidays. This is already the 3rd visit I have made with the pass. You are allowed to bring 2 guests every time you visit.

There is a house in the museum that used to be west of Tallahassee on Jackson Bluff Road. It was owned by Princess Catherine Murat - widow of Prince Achille Murat. Murat was the nephew of Napoleon. During the early 1800s when Napoleon was in power - he made Murat's father the prince in charge of an area in Italy that included Naples. Catherine sat at the Prince's side in the good life. Then Napoleon met his Waterloo - and Prince Murat came to Tallahassee in the territory of Florida. There was a large French influence in this area. Catherine was a local - and when the Prince died - she bought Bellevue. She was much younger than the Prince - just like Lulu is 6 years younger than me. 

I wanted my builders to take a good look at Bellevue. Lulu and I designed our home as a Florida Cracker Plantation Home. When we visited the museum we were astonished how much our new home was like Bellevue. We decided to include many of the details of the Murat House into our home. 

When we were interviewing builders - two things that made Gary stand out. He had come highly recommended - but without even knowing about our interest in the Murat House - he told us about how he used to play in that house before it was in the museum. The other thing was that he said he was not one of those fancy builders that was always driving around in a new truck and could not be found. We have since built a strong respect and trust for Gary - even though he bought a new truck after driving his old one for 20 years. We must pay pretty well :-) 

Gary still shows up every day before 7 AM.

Time flies - we were back on the road. It felt so much like the old days when I took students on trips in my green bus. Before I knew it - I was back wet mopping the floors - cleaning up the mess of the plaster job. The rest of the afternoon had my builders installing siding on the north and west side of Seminole View. 

My builders on the porch of the Catherine Murat Plantation this afternoon. 

Applying Nichiboard siding on the north side of our new home. Nichiboard it made of concrete. It is really tough - hard to cut with a saw - it is impervious to rot and insects.

Josh and Gary Wayne do the high wire work. Joe and Gary do the ground work. 

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