Mary White’s Bedroom

The William Allen White family lived in a handsome home in Emporia, Kansas in the early 1900s. He was a noted newspaper editor, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and famous people, even presidents, came to visit him.

His daughter, Mary White, was an active teen who loved to gallop across the open prairie with her pony. The bedroom shown here is Mary‘s.

Mary White's bedroom

Mary White’s bedroom (photo by Virginia Allain)

It’s a simple room with a wood floor and an oriental patterned rug. There are windows on two sides making it a bright and cheery space. Venetian blinds cover the windows.

Mary White's bedroom at Red Rock in Emporia, Kansas

Mary White’s bedroom at Red Rock in Emporia, Kansas

A plain woven coverlet adorns the simple bed. There’s little excess space in the room, just enough to walk around the bed and room to dress. A radiator provides the heat.

Mary White's bedroom

For school work, writing, or reading a basic table and chair took little space in the small room.

Mary White died young from an accident with her horse. Her father wrote her obituary which I found quite touching in the way it was worded and the insight into her life that it gave.

The room has stayed the same over the years and the house is now a museum that you can visit. It gives you an appreciation of what a house from 1921 looks like inside.

(This post was written by Virginia Allain after a visit with her sister to the White family home, named Red Rock.)

Learn More:

YouTube – Movie Trailer for Mary White 1.27 minutes
YouTube – Brief video about the death of Mary White 3 minutes

Mom And Tiny Houses

On a rainy day last week, I got out my miniature birdhouses and decorated them with paint. It’s the sort of project that Mom would have had a lot of fun with. Gail Martin was an excellent crafter and there are many memories of her sharing her talent by teaching her children and later the grandchildren.

Last year, I’d picked up some miniature unpainted birdhouses from Michael’s for $1 each. What a bargain. This seemed the perfect time to pretty them up. I already had a stash of leftover oil paints from a paint-by-number kit. Remember those? That gave me a variety of colors to use on the tiny houses.



Here’s my first attempt, using some red fabric to cover the roof and adding some heart-shaped flowers. I’ll spray this with a sealant and hope it holds up for a summer outside if I put it in a sheltered area.

The second one ended up with a birch bark theme. It was a sheet of bark that I found in the woods last year. I’m such a packrat, but now I had a use for it.


I was surprised at how easy it was to cut the bark with ordinary scissors. My glue gun worked fine for securing the bark to the walls of the faux birdhouse. Do you think it looks OK with a white roof or should I paint that?

These are going into my planting areas to add a little color in a few spots too shady for most plants. I’ll tuck in some moss and a little fern for a fairy garden. That’s a huge gardening trend the last few years. I haven’t seen any fairies but maybe the availability of houses will attract some.

Fairy Garden with plants and little house

The plants are mouse-ear hawkweed, red crest lichen (also called British Soldiers), and a cutting from another plant with purple flowers.

I’m sure that if fairy gardening had been thought of in the 1950s and 1960s, Gail would have loved the concept and set her children to collecting pebbles and moss to make our own miniature gardens somewhere in the yard.

You can read more about fairy gardening online. Perhaps your grandchildren would like to create one the next time they visit. They could make little houses out of bark, collect stones for a path, make a little fence out of twigs. It’s great fun for kids or even grown-ups. Don’t wait for a rainy day.

Tiny fairy house

The round fairy house needs a few more plants and some moss to go with the fern.

August Memory Joggers

August Memories
It is county fair time in my part of the world and soon the State Fair in Hutchinson will be entertaining crowds of people of all shapes and sizes. Do you have memories of going to or of entering something in your local county or state fair? If you entered did you save your red, white blue or purple ribbons? What did you enjoy most at the fair? This year Pepsi cans in our area have the Kansas State Fair advertised on the side.

Did you ever go to carnivals, the zoo, rodeos, or the circus? Were you ever in a parade or enjoy watching them?

As a kid did you play baseball or softball or go roller skating?

How did you earn money to spend while at the fair? Did you get an allowance from your parents or did you do odd jobs in the neighborhood? Maybe some of you might remember having a lemonade stand or having a paper route.

Did you walk or ride a bike? When did you get your first bike?


Grandpa Clyde helping his granddaughter learn to ride a bike.

Did you ever have a nickname? I was called Fibber or just plain McGhee all because of my last name and the radio show Fibber McGhee & Molly.

Did you or your parents like to do crossword or jigsaw puzzles? What do you remember your grandparents doing in their spare time?