Saturday, January 19, 2013

Early Goodwood

ca. 1911,  before the Tiers renovation.
Detail of the porch ironwork
Side view of home before 1911 renovation.  This is the side which now has
the glassed in porch.  Where the Butler's Pantry is today appears to be a
closed in veranda.  Note the original square cupola.
Excerpts from Susan Hopkins' niece, Susan Bradford Eppes' diary, Through Some Eventful Years, published in 1926.

1860:  Mr. Hopkins was par excellence, the merchant prince of Tallahassee; his income was large and his heart was ever open to the call of any who wished assistance. He carried a stock of goods which in richness and elegance surpassed anything ever seen in Tallahassee before or since.His home "Goodwood" was a model of beauty and comfort and was the centre of all social activities.  Mrs. Hopkins was the youngest daughter of Governor John Branch and had been a belle in Washington society. She had a delightful voice and was an accomplished performer on the piano, the harp and the guitar. Her husband had a splendid baritone voice and the music they made was worth going far to hear.

1865:  Aunt Sue is giving a large party; "the gem of the season," we say, for everybody knows the entertainments at Goodwood are not quite equalled anywhere else. There is one thing about this particular party that I dread; uncle Arvah has invited General Foster and his family and the officers in his command. I see Uncle Arvah's side and he is right, but it will be painful to meet our conquerors. So far I have met only one and I cannot hope they will all be like him. To meet these blue-coats socially! Will I have the strength of mind to do it? Not much time for you my diary. It is not difficult to get a dress now, but there are a thousand and one things to get through before tonight. Aunt Sue likes to have help in arranging flowers in the different rooms and the table in the dining room, which she has already dressed, is a dream of beauty

I866:  Again I am at Goodwood. Uncle Arvah is having a card party and I was sent for; you see, he taught me to play whist and he says he is proud of his pupil. I have not played at a regular card party before but often Judge Love comes to Goodwood and we play, Aunt Sue and the Judge against Uncle Arvah and myself. This, however, is a large party. General and Mrs. Foster are coming and many others; we have put three tables in the library and in the double parlors several more are placed. We have dressed the whole of the first floor, and the dining room is a dream. The chandelier is an immense shell of bronze, in it are waterlilies of mother-of-pearl. Six arms of bronze curve upward from this shell with its fluted edges, lighting the room beautifully and bringing out the pearly, pink tints of the lilies. The chandelier is supported by a figure of Neptune holding his tripod. It is the handsomest I ever saw and Mr. Croom, the former owner, brought it from Italy. He also brought over an artist from Rome who frescoed the ceilings of this lovely home. The mantel-pieces are of Italian marble, and all this is not in the downstairs rooms, for show, but each room is fitted up in the same way. Uncle Arvah and Aunt Sue are the very ones to have this spacious mansion for they love to entertain and indulge in a princely hospitality, which all enjoy.

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