*|MC:SUBJECT|*
October 2017 
L'Hesperian Monthly

Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion
October 2017 Newsletter


It is finally Fall! Soon our grounds will be as beautiful as they are in Spring, only with flashes of orange, red, and yellow! Be sure to come by.
With the coming of October, we are gearing up for the big holiday season. Check out our gift shop for some spooky items! We will also be decorating part of the mansion in traditional Victorian funerary decor. In this month of L'Hesperian Monthly, we will learn about Victorian Mourning traditions, yoga, damage to the Mansion, and the DeMenil Curse! 

Yoga at the DeMenil

We have some VERY exciting news to share! The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion has paired up with Indigo Massage and Wellness to hold yoga and meditation classes right here at the mansion! 
Yoga classes are scheduled for Thursdays from 11am-12:15 pm. Classes are only $15 or less if you have an Indigo membership card! Part of the proceeds will benefit the mansion and help us continue to be the beautiful and historic place you know us to be! 

Contact Indigo for pre-registration! 
http://indigomassagetherapy.com/
314-276-9882

info@indigomassagetherapy.com.

Rest In Peace

Mourning traditions have vastly changed since the time of the DeMenil's occupancy of the Mansion. Did you know that the piano in our double parlor was not meant to be played, but for display and holding the casket during a mourning wake? 
After the death of a relative, the Victorians would dress in traditional mourning clothing. Men typically wore black suits and women wore black dresses. The length of time that the mourning clothing was to be worn varied depending on the relative, anywhere from six months up to two years for Widows! 
In addition to clothing, the Victorians would drape black fabric on all mirrors and pictures around the home. The belief was that it would prevent the spirit of the deceased from becoming trapped in the mirrors/pictures. Sometimes they were covered to prevent the evil of vanity from entering the house as death was associated with the coming of evil. It depended on their belief system. 
Mementos would often be kept in the form of hair of the deceased. Often times it was crafted into decorative wall art as a way to remember the loved one.
To learn more about the Victorian mourning process, come by the DeMenil for a tour and to see our examples of these practices! 
 

History Corner: The DeMenil Curse

In 1907 Henry DeMenil was in the Yunan province of China to possibly to teach. He was given two guides/guards to escort him through the province.

According to Henry's diary, he began to have mental problems and to act erratically.  

Henry fired two warning shots to “motivate” one of the guards that he believed wasn't walking fast enough. He fired one shot up and to the right, and another shot up and to the left.  A Buddhist priest (lama) was walking up over a hill and one of Henry's shots struck him in the right eye and killed him.

Because of the extraterritoriality treaty, Henry, as an American citizen, was tried in an American court and not a Chinese court.  The closest American Court for China was in Shanghai. On the way to Shanghai to stand trial, Henry stopped at the dead lama’s parents home.  Henry promised them that he would take care of them now that their son was dead.

The judge of the American court was Judge Lebbeus Redman Wilfey, who had been a resident of St. Louis.  He even wrote in his decision that he knew the DeMenil family.

Henry was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, and released.  Henry immediately left China.

In Yunan Province, there is an ancient tradition that predated both Islam and Buddhism, whereby a person could go to a practitioner of the “black arts” and for a fee, have a curse placed on individuals and their families.  We think that the Buddhist priest's parents may have done this on Henry, his family, and Lebbeus Wilfey.  As far as we know, Henry never did send them money or provide any other support.  

The first person to feel the curse was Judge Wilfey.  He was accused of financial improprieties, recalled to washington, and was tried by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Though acquitted, he lost his judgeship.

Next came Henry.  He died of a sudden, massive heart attack in December, 1924 in front of his wife and kids at the VFW family Christmas party.

His father Alexander died of a sudden massive stroke on Thanksgiving Day, 1928.

His brother George and his wife Ida were only able to live in the beautiful mansion for a few months before they had to leave.  The brewery next door had become a shoe factory, and they tanned leather on site.

We also have a sneaking suspicion that this could be the cause of the mysterious damage to our front steps!

DeMenil Needs Your Help!

On Wednesday, June 14th, our senior interpreter, Kevin O'Neil, discovered large cracks in the front steps on the DeMenil (East side facing I-55, shown above). Upon further inspection, the step above it had also sustained damage and was buckling in the middle. The next day the damage was visibly worsening. The same day it was also noted that the cracks in the floor of the West porch (DeMenil Place side) had widened and raised on one side. 

As of right now, we do not know the cause of the damage, but it is there none the less. We need your help. As a historic site and old house, we have several repairs that happen on an almost monthly basis. However, this is an extreme case and will likely cost the foundation a large chunk of our yearly budget.

We need your help. As a nonprofit, we rely solely on the generosity of others and revenue from our events, however, that does not talk into consideration a project like repairing 130-year-old steps. Your support would ensure that the DeMenil can repair the damage done to the Mansion and continue to educate as a historic landmark in St. Louis. 
Donate

Become a supporting member today! 


The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion could not do what we do if it wasn't for our gracious donors. As a non-profit, we rely on our donors and our rentals to keep the doors open and continue to educate our visitors on the vast history within our walls and of St. Louis. 
Please, consider becoming a member. Each member receives a discount in our gift shop, free historical tours of the mansion, and is invited to our annual Members Holiday Party each year. Along with that, donations are tax deductible! 


Want to Volunteer?

We also owe great thanks to our volunteers here at the mansion. Without our volunteers, we would struggle to keep our events running smoothly. 
We are always looking for volunteers to help around the mansion or help run events. With a small staff and many events held here, we need your help. All volunteers become members of the Mansion and thus receive invites to our events, free tours, and 10% off of gift shop items! Sign up today! 

Reenact? 

Along with volunteers, we are always in need of historical reenactors! If you or someone you know does historical re-enactments, please contact us, as we would love to work with you! 
Become a Member!
Volunteer
Share
Tweet
Forward
Pin
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
3352 DeMenil Pl. St. Louis, MO 63118
Phone:
314-771-5828

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

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*|MC:SUBJECT|*
October 2017 
L'Hesperian Monthly

Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion
October 2017 Newsletter


It is finally Fall! Soon our grounds will be as beautiful as they are in Spring, only with flashes of orange, red, and yellow! Be sure to come by.
With the coming of October, we are gearing up for the big holiday season. Check out our gift shop for some spooky items! We will also be decorating part of the mansion in traditional Victorian funerary decor. In this month of L'Hesperian Monthly, we will learn about Victorian Mourning traditions, yoga, damage to the Mansion, and the DeMenil Curse! 

Yoga at the DeMenil

We have some VERY exciting news to share! The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion has paired up with Indigo Massage and Wellness to hold yoga and meditation classes right here at the mansion! 
Yoga classes are scheduled for Thursdays from 11am-12:15 pm. Classes are only $15 or less if you have an Indigo membership card! Part of the proceeds will benefit the mansion and help us continue to be the beautiful and historic place you know us to be! 

Contact Indigo for pre-registration! 
http://indigomassagetherapy.com/
314-276-9882

info@indigomassagetherapy.com.

Rest In Peace

Mourning traditions have vastly changed since the time of the DeMenil's occupancy of the Mansion. Did you know that the piano in our double parlor was not meant to be played, but for display and holding the casket during a mourning wake? 
After the death of a relative, the Victorians would dress in traditional mourning clothing. Men typically wore black suits and women wore black dresses. The length of time that the mourning clothing was to be worn varied depending on the relative, anywhere from six months up to two years for Widows! 
In addition to clothing, the Victorians would drape black fabric on all mirrors and pictures around the home. The belief was that it would prevent the spirit of the deceased from becoming trapped in the mirrors/pictures. Sometimes they were covered to prevent the evil of vanity from entering the house as death was associated with the coming of evil. It depended on their belief system. 
Mementos would often be kept in the form of hair of the deceased. Often times it was crafted into decorative wall art as a way to remember the loved one.
To learn more about the Victorian mourning process, come by the DeMenil for a tour and to see our examples of these practices! 
 

History Corner: The DeMenil Curse

In 1907 Henry DeMenil was in the Yunan province of China to possibly to teach. He was given two guides/guards to escort him through the province.

According to Henry's diary, he began to have mental problems and to act erratically.  

Henry fired two warning shots to “motivate” one of the guards that he believed wasn't walking fast enough. He fired one shot up and to the right, and another shot up and to the left.  A Buddhist priest (lama) was walking up over a hill and one of Henry's shots struck him in the right eye and killed him.

Because of the extraterritoriality treaty, Henry, as an American citizen, was tried in an American court and not a Chinese court.  The closest American Court for China was in Shanghai. On the way to Shanghai to stand trial, Henry stopped at the dead lama’s parents home.  Henry promised them that he would take care of them now that their son was dead.

The judge of the American court was Judge Lebbeus Redman Wilfey, who had been a resident of St. Louis.  He even wrote in his decision that he knew the DeMenil family.

Henry was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, and released.  Henry immediately left China.

In Yunan Province, there is an ancient tradition that predated both Islam and Buddhism, whereby a person could go to a practitioner of the “black arts” and for a fee, have a curse placed on individuals and their families.  We think that the Buddhist priest's parents may have done this on Henry, his family, and Lebbeus Wilfey.  As far as we know, Henry never did send them money or provide any other support.  

The first person to feel the curse was Judge Wilfey.  He was accused of financial improprieties, recalled to washington, and was tried by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Though acquitted, he lost his judgeship.

Next came Henry.  He died of a sudden, massive heart attack in December, 1924 in front of his wife and kids at the VFW family Christmas party.

His father Alexander died of a sudden massive stroke on Thanksgiving Day, 1928.

His brother George and his wife Ida were only able to live in the beautiful mansion for a few months before they had to leave.  The brewery next door had become a shoe factory, and they tanned leather on site.

We also have a sneaking suspicion that this could be the cause of the mysterious damage to our front steps!

DeMenil Needs Your Help!

On Wednesday, June 14th, our senior interpreter, Kevin O'Neil, discovered large cracks in the front steps on the DeMenil (East side facing I-55, shown above). Upon further inspection, the step above it had also sustained damage and was buckling in the middle. The next day the damage was visibly worsening. The same day it was also noted that the cracks in the floor of the West porch (DeMenil Place side) had widened and raised on one side. 

As of right now, we do not know the cause of the damage, but it is there none the less. We need your help. As a historic site and old house, we have several repairs that happen on an almost monthly basis. However, this is an extreme case and will likely cost the foundation a large chunk of our yearly budget.

We need your help. As a nonprofit, we rely solely on the generosity of others and revenue from our events, however, that does not talk into consideration a project like repairing 130-year-old steps. Your support would ensure that the DeMenil can repair the damage done to the Mansion and continue to educate as a historic landmark in St. Louis. 
Donate

Become a supporting member today! 


The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion could not do what we do if it wasn't for our gracious donors. As a non-profit, we rely on our donors and our rentals to keep the doors open and continue to educate our visitors on the vast history within our walls and of St. Louis. 
Please, consider becoming a member. Each member receives a discount in our gift shop, free historical tours of the mansion, and is invited to our annual Members Holiday Party each year. Along with that, donations are tax deductible! 


Want to Volunteer?

We also owe great thanks to our volunteers here at the mansion. Without our volunteers, we would struggle to keep our events running smoothly. 
We are always looking for volunteers to help around the mansion or help run events. With a small staff and many events held here, we need your help. All volunteers become members of the Mansion and thus receive invites to our events, free tours, and 10% off of gift shop items! Sign up today! 

Reenact? 

Along with volunteers, we are always in need of historical reenactors! If you or someone you know does historical re-enactments, please contact us, as we would love to work with you! 
Become a Member!
Volunteer
Share
Tweet
Forward
Pin
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
3352 DeMenil Pl. St. Louis, MO 63118
Phone:
314-771-5828

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*