I’m sure there are a lot of complex psychological reasons behind my need to torture myself with things I’ll never afford, but now is not the time for that! Now is the time for pretty, pretty pictures of pretty, pretty houses. That some guy lived in a long time ago. I think his name was Flavel?
Ah yes! The Flavel House Museum, in Astoria, Oregon, which is a good place to learn about history and architecture and also a nice place to go if you’re bored and it’s too hot in Portland. I day-tripped out there a couple weeks ago with my sister lovely Yean for some fresh sea air and fresh sea…food, which they also have a lot of. I’ve got a general Astoria post in the works but first I’ll talk about the highlight of our trip, the Flavel House (which I think is pronounced flah-VELL, even though I’ve been rhyming it with “waffle.”)
Yean’s a sucker for old-timey home decor, and I’m a sucker for old-timey kitchens and also possibly haunted places, so we ended up having a blast despite our shared fear of breaking something expensive. Plus we’d both just read Victorian-era romance novels and now we want a historical romance set on the West Coast. He would be a rich frontier businessman and she would be the heiress to a cannery. Someone could even get shanghaied. Think of the fish-related shananigans!
Literary cliches aside, the Flavel House has been lovingly restored, with original fireplaces and woodwork shining like new and period-appropriate furniture adorning the massive rooms. Compared to wealthier towns it’s rather modest, but for 19th century Astoria, this place was the shit.
This little gem was in one of the guest rooms, next to a diorama of stuffed dead birds and dried flowers under glass. I’m not entirely sure what was up with the hair wreath. Maybe people were just thriftier with their hairballs back in the day. Modern crafters have felt and faux fur and baby alpaca yarn to work with…these people had hair. Go fig.
I was probably more enchanted with the kitchen than I should have been. But hey, I’d just read Sherry Thomas’ Delicious and I was imagining it as the Kitchen Of Magical Sexing.
I wish I’d gotten more pictures, but it was quite dark inside to protect the furniture and flash photography wasn’t allowed. We got a dollar off the ticket price for having a AAA card, so for four bucks each it’s not a bad way to spend the afternoon. I’d say it’s worth it just to pace in front of the massive fireplaces pretending to be a brooding man of the house, which I totally did. Also the Historical Society must have figured that after all these roped off rooms and no-touchy rules, people, especially kids, would need a place to go nuts, so they dedicated the nursery to being the interactive learning room. I thought it was a nice way to sidestep the creepier aspects of antique toys, but clearly there was some sort of supernatural force at work anyway. Look what it did to Yean:
I don’t think that chair is period appropriate. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw it at Fred Meyer last week.Flavel House Museum corner of 8th and Duane st. Astoria, OR 97103 503-325-2203