“The Voices of the Brown Mansion” performance

Westchester Museum

Step back in time to October 15, 1889, with a visit to a living history performance at the Westchester Township History Museum. “The Voices of the Brown Mansion” production will take place on May 1 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Each performance will be followed by tea, coffee and refreshment of the period. The interactive “Voices of the Brown Mansion” performances will introduce visitors to four characters located throughout the 1885 home.

In the parlor guests will meet with Charity Charter, who, with her husband George, built the Brown Mansion after the couple moved  from their large farm in Jackson Township. Visitors will learn about the Brown family and about the role of women in Victorian domestic life.

A visit with George Brown in his home office will introduce visitors to this strong-minded and successful farmer and land speculator. He will explain how he built his fortune and discuss his views on innovations in farming technology, politics and the future of Chesterton.

Arthur Bowser, the Chesterton Tribune’s first owner/editor, will greet visitors on the second floor of the Brown Mansion. Although he never actually had an office in the Brown’s home, the museum’s workroom has been reconfigured to represent his 1889 office, which was then on west Porter Ave. He will talk with visitors about the Chesterton Tribune and the growth of the town. Visitors who are not able to ascend to the second floor will be able to view a video of Arthur Bowser’s presentation downstairs.

Hilda, the Browns’ fictional Swedish cook, will entertain guests on the porch off the kitchen where visitors will find her cooling off after a busy morning baking. Actually standing in the “Westchester room” between the museum store and exhibit gallery, Hilda will discuss Victorian menu planning, cooking and the Browns’ favorite foods. She’ll also give her own views on the family and on domestic amusements of the day.

After meeting the four characters, guests will adjourn to the exhibit gallery where they will be served coffee, tea from Molly Bea’s Ingredients, and pastries from the period provided by Tonya’s Patisserie.

Funds raised by the “Voices” production will be used to preserve four original Brown family photographs, which the museum recently acquired. The photographs need to be cleaned and re-backed with acid free material. Because of space limitations, only 24 tickets will be sold for each performance, for a total of 48 guests. Guests will be divided into four groups of six to ease movement through the house. Tickets are $15 and are currently on sale at the museum.

For more information, please call the museum at 983-9715.





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