Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Paine Mansion

 In last week's travel post, I shared our visit to The Paine Art Center and Gardens.  In that post, I only covered the beautiful gardens on the property.  In today's post, I'm going to show you the inside of this beautiful mansion.

I already gave a brief history of the mansion in my previous post, but for any new readers, I'll do another quick summary.

The mansion was built by Nathan and Jesse Paine.  Nathan was a wealthy lumber company owner in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The Paine's wanted to create an estate that reflected their English heritage in the architecture, art, interior design, and nature.  They asked Bryant Flemming, from Ithaca, New York to design their dream home.  Construction on the estate began in 1927 but The Great Depression brought it to a halt.  In 1946 Nathan and Jessie established the estate as a museum.  They never lived in the home.

Although Nathan and Jessie's art collection is visible in the rooms throughout the mansion, there is one room that is reserved specifically as an art gallery.  The art gallery is for special exhibits.  When we were there, the special exhibit was The Louis Comfort Tiffany Treasures from the Driehaus Collection;  and I could not have been happier about that as I love stained glass!

After looking at the Tiffany Glass Special Exhibit, we then headed to Nathan's Paine office to watch a short video about the history of the property.  I highly recommend doing this first, as it will enhance your experience there.

After the video we then began our tour.  Starting on the main level, right next to the art gallery, is this beautiful library!  Wow!  Stunning isn't it?  Gorgeous, intricate warm woodwork made of oak and walnut, covers many of the walls in the home.  

The Tiffany Glass Special Exhibit also showcased some of their pieces in the rooms such as the two Tiffany Lamps in this library.

This is the Breakfast Room.  It has a lovely view of the gardens.  I loved the tinted glass.  The panes had different colors, and varying bubbles and streaks, to make it look like they were as if they were hundreds of years old.

The Dining Room was one of my favorites.  I loved the gorgeous carved plaster ceiling, all the beautiful, warm walnut paneling, and the large windows with views of the gardens.

A painting of George Washington was just outside the Dining Room hung on more warm wood walls.

The most impressive room in the mansion is The Great Hall.  It is the mansion's "Living Room".  Haha!  Quite the living room, isn't it?  My favorite features in this room are the curved wooden ceiling, the chandeliers, and of course that massive fireplace.

What struck my husband and I the most when we first entered the mansion, was the stonework.  At first, we thought it was marble.  But we later learned it is Kasota Limestone, quarried in Minnesota.

This is a hallway on the main floor.  I loved the wood beam ceilings and the chandelier, and just look at that stone arch!

Before I leave the main floor it should be noted that the first floor furniture and decor was chosen by the Paine's along with their architect.  The second floor was not completed during their lifetimes.

The staircase to the upstairs is spectacular.  I love the gorgeous stone steps and the intricate wood carvings of the staircase railing and banister.

Another gorgeous chandelier hangs above the staircase.

The next two pictures show the second floor landing:  more gorgeous warm paneling, made even warmer by the beautiful sunlight brought in by the large staircase window.

 The Guest Bedroom.

 Mrs. Paine's Dressing Room.  My husband loved the fainting couch!

The Bathroom.  Loved the windows and the the stone walls.

The Belter Sitting Room.

The Master Bedroom.

And finally, The Gothic Gallery.  This room was originally designed to amplify the sound of the pipe organ in the Great Hall below.  When we were in the room, it had a beautiful echo when we spoke.   Now the room is used as a gallery and held a few items behind glass for viewing.  I think I remember reading that the family crest is in the round stain glass medallion too.  That is a beautiful work of art!

If you'd like to visit The Paine Art Center and Gardens they are open every day from 10 to 4 June 23 to September 23.  The cost is only $12.00 for an adult.  See their website for more information.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. Oh this is an amazing house! The woodwork, the stone, windows, furnishings, - all so tasteful yet so liveable and the style endures to today. Thanks for sharing, Any. Hugs x

  2. Fabulous! We love to visit mansions and castles in the UK. They always have great stories with it.

    1. Nancy, you are so lucky as there are so many great castles and homes in the UK to visit.

  3. I love to visit historical sites. Sometimes it's overwhelming with text to get through it but with being able to visit a location and see things for yourself helps make sense of the history. These are beautiful pictures and sounds like a wonderful place to visit! That fanning couch is awesome. I totally forgot in the Philippines we have handheld fans and we totally fanned ourselves senseless when it was hot!

    Maureen |

    1. Yes, I'm usually overwhelmed too if there's too much to read at a historical site. I prefer just watching a video when I get to a historical site, and then just reading items that really interest me rather than trying to read it all. That's so interesting about the fans, I guess that means there is not a lot of air conditioning in the Philippines.

  4. It's beautiful! I love the Victorian furniture, reminds me of some castles in Germany. The video before the tour is a great idea. This year when we visited a German castle, I felt so rushed by the tour soon as she was done talking it was time to move to the next room, meaning you could either listen to her or look around. Too many tourists and they had to keep the groups moving, just glad hubby and I had seen this castle before it was so "extremely" touristy.

    1. You know, my husband and I always prefer self tours over group tours for just that reason. They always rush us through the rooms, and half the time you can't see everything because people are blocking your way. And it's hard to listen to the tour guide and look at the same time. Every mansion/castle/home, should just do a video explaining the history and highlights of the home, and let people self tour; just my opinion.

  5. What a beautiful house! I love the art gallery, like you, I love stained glass! shared x4 Thanks for linking up with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty


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