A visit to the Seelye Mansion and the Brookville Hotel

 Just a quick reminder, we have started a YouTube channel. It’s certainly in its infancy stage for sure and will be going through some growing pains but go check it out and we would appreciate it if you would subscribe while there. Here is a link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWqRmO1rO4cu3rFANF1iG6Q

In our last update we mentioned that New Horizons had another outing planned so let’s talk about that a bit.

 After a day of meetings we all scurried off to our homes and got ready for a late afternoon tour at the Seelye Mansion in Abilene which was a 25 mile drive west of the New Horizon factory.

 New Horizons had booked the entire place for our tour and it was very very interesting.

The 25 room Seelye Mansion was built in 1905 for Dr. A. B. Seelye who made his fortune in patent medicine with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company

When he played you should have seen his feet dancing on those pedals.
The guy at the piano owns the house and actually lives in it.

Most of the home’s furnishings were purchased at the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair

 Dr. Seelye’s daughters, Helen and Marion, were little girls when the home was built. They never married and lived in the home into their 90s leaving almost everything right where their mother had placed it. The current owner purchased the mansion in 1981 while they were still alive and shared the Seelye Mansion with them for several years.

A OLD Nutcracker assortment.
Some people find old dolls creepy.

The electrical fixtures & appliances and most of the furniture & decorations are still original. Other items are only 80 years old, added when Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the Seelye Mansion’s interior in the 1920s. Even the wiring and light switches are original.

Although no longer used, the Seelye mansion has 70 original Edison light bulbs and some are still functional.   

 There were a number old Edison music machines that fill the house.

 And check out this old iron and how they rigged it to be screwed into a fuse socket for power, I love it!!! And I love the rest of the old irons they ad sitting around.

Check out he cord how it has a screw in fuse at the end.

And holy cow the old lever operated bowling alley which was also purchased at the World’s Fair was a huge hit. AND everyone that wanted to got to try it out!!!

Diane is about to try her luck!!

The Box Ball Alley was produced by American Box Ball in 1905 and only 4 if I remember correctly remain in existence and this particular one supposed to be in the best shape of any and is valued at 1 cool million dollars if my memory serves me (that’s a problem with getting behind on the blog) so we were amazed that they let people try it, what a once in a lifetime experience. Well unless you do multiple tours LOL!!!

 After we all finished at the Seelye Mansion we made our way to the Brookville Hotel were we had reservations for dinner.

The Brookville Hotel traces its roots back to the 1870’s when the railroad started laying their tracks out across the prairie to meet the expected rush of Longhorn cattle coming up from Texas along the Chisholm Trail.

 Originally known as the Cowtown Cafe, the hotel was one of three to spring up in what was expected to be a railroad divisional center. Brookville suffered greatly when the Union Pacific Railroad relocated its round house to Junction City. Despite the steady decrease in population, the Brookville Hotel continued to do business in the small town.

In 1915 the first Family Style Chicken Dinner was served at the Brookville Hotel and it has been famous for their Chicken Dinners ever since so of course it made sense that it is what was arraigned to be served. Along with Sweet-Sour Cole-Slaw (Family Pennsylvania Recipe), Mashed Potatoes w/ Cream Gravy, Cream-Style Corn, Baking Powder Biscuits and then it was all topped off with a bowl of home Style Ice Cream, mmmm, mm.

 A sad note, while doing this update I referred to the Brookville Hotels website for some information and ran across this very sad note.

 **It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce that the Covid, and the lack of traffic has forced us to close.

We hung on as long as we could , but the writing was on the wall.

We would like to thank everyone for your patronage of the Brookville Hotel over the last 125 years that the Martin family has operated it.

Mark is grieving over this decision and the fate of our employees. Please keep him and them in your prayers.

We have been a part of so many family celebrations over the years and we will miss you all.

Thank you for making us part of your families.

Peace and Grace

Mark and Connie**

 That’s so sad but it makes us even that much more thankful that we were able to experience it before this happened. We wish them well.

 On that sad note I guess we will call it good on this update. It may seem odd to say that we had a good time sitting in a parking lot but our warrantee work experience was pretty painless and we certainly had a great time at the Ambassadors event once again and the folks at New Horizons took great care of us through it all.

 Ok that’s it for this update and that’s it for this visit to New Horizon. The Rally ended Friday night, we hung around through Saturday just because and Sunday we lifted our jacks and made a move. You will have to come back to see where we went next and what cool stuff we came across there.   

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5 Responses to A visit to the Seelye Mansion and the Brookville Hotel

  1. Mark Hamilton says:

    Really enjoyed your post! I have been to Abilene years ago…family members from my Mother’s side all were born and lived working large farmsteads about 30 miles South of Abilene!
    Mark

    • Dave & Diane says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Mark. Abilene really is a nice town and we have visited before a couple years ago. There certainly is enough to keep a visitor busy for a while if traveling through.

  2. Jim and Barb says:

    That Seelye house is amazing, so cool to see it as it was in the early 1900’s

  3. Helen says:

    So sad for the Martin family “the end of an era”. We watched so many very long time small businesses and mines shut down, in our home town Cornwall UK in the late 70’s & 80’s, with the arrival of Big box stores and then technology. Sad to see their demise, as they were the folks that always had a few minutes to pass the time of day with you and knew you by name.

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