Get the latest news and happenings from Innkeepers Chuck, Helen & Dixon Dedman!
Also see: 2012 & 2013 Blog | 2010 & 2011 Blog
July 18, 2014: Garden Update
By Helen Dedman
Well, it has been an interesting year for the gardens! Early in the Spring Chuck contracted with a gentleman to plow the garden plots, going deeper than the usual tilling. I warned him to make sure he did not plow the butterfly garden that I put in last year. Remember? I was so proud and excited to see what plants made it through the winter and if by chance we had any butterflies. You guessed it; Chuck did not catch him in time. The whole thing plowed under, even the garden butterfly ornament our good friends, Mark File and David Soyars gave us! GONE! I was so devastated I couldn’t even cry or get mad. Chuck felt really bad. Fortunately, I kept the list of plants and the plotting so off to Shooting Star Nursery I went. I replanted and Chuck mulched it—the hard part was his peace offering. But interestingly enough, I think it is even better this year. Lots of milkweed (crucial element for Monarch Way station) came up voluntarily as did a huge gourd plant. The butterfly ornament never showed up, but maybe the butterflies will!
I got two hives of bees this spring! Queen Adelina and Queen Beatrice are doing very well. Beatrice has already filled the first box with brood and I had to put a super on her hive. Adelina hasn’t filled her hive yet but almost. If it sounds like I know what I am doing it is because I have wonderful, patient mentors who have taught me so much. Bees are amazing. I probably won’t get honey this year but maybe next fall. I think the bees are helping the garden!
Now the vegetable garden. Our spring was very wet and cold so we didn’t really start planting until mid May—tomatoes, squash, green beans, cucumbers. More to add later such as okra, radishes, more squash. Oh, the plans we made, but then I fell and broke my elbow. (Fell on the tennis court, am healing nicely, but not in the plan.) Chuck tills and I plant. So the garden is scaled back a bit, but it is producing. We are harvesting cucumbers, green beans and squash. Tomatoes are on the vine and okra plants are coming up.
Come see the gardens! And while you are out there notice the large concrete pig behind the green building. My mother-in-law collected pigs and her good friend, Ralph Anderson bought her this large 2 ton pig for her collection which she named Prudice. At one time it “lived” in her back yard along with little concrete piglets. After her death, we thought it appropriate to move Prudice to her new home, which is behind the ham house. But recently I found out that Prudice has another name, The Pig of Shame! At the doctor’s office one of the receptionists asked the story of the pig because she and her family like to go look at the sunflowers, passing by Prudice on the way. During one special birthday celebration as they went out to the gardens, it was decided that the birthday boy should have picture made on the Pig of Shame. Now it is a tradition! Love it! I knew about tradition of picture taking on the tree out front but the pig is a new one. Do you have a Beaumont Inn tradition? We’d love to hear about it.
Hope to see you soon along with the butterflies and the bees.
July 1, 2014: Kentucky Owl Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
By Dixon Dedman
Those familiar with the history of Beaumont Inn know my name is Samuel Dixon Dedman and I am the fifth generation of my family to serve as Innkeeper in this family business. What many of you do not know is that around the same time period that my great-great grandmother, Annie Bell Goddard, was purchasing these thirty-some acres and three story 1845 structure to convert it from a college for women to it’s present state as a full-service country inn, my great-great grandfather Charles Mortimer Dedman and his son, Thomas Curry Dedman, Sr., were dealing with the Act of Prohibition and the subsequent closure of their distillery, Kentucky Owl. We are ecstatic to announce that Kentucky Owl Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is alive once again, and we are all very, very excited about its potential! Read more about it.
January 30, 2014: Treasured Gifts
By Helen Dedman
Beaumont Inn and the Dedman family have been very fortunate to have been recipients of many gifts over the years. A few of our favorites:
Last fall a good friend of ours, Anne Shannon McClellan Williams, called me with the message, “Katie needs to come home.” Anne’s husband was the great grandson of John Augustus Williams, founder of Daughter’s College, now Beaumont Inn. John Augustus and his father, Dr. Charles E. Williams, bought the Greenville Institute in 1845, upgraded and changed the name to Daughter’s College. John wanted to teach and counsel the young ladies as if they were his own daughters. John Augustus and his wife, Mary Hathaway, had 6 children, Augustus Edwin, 1854-1916; Mary Belle, 1850-1851; Mary Augustus, 1852-1853; Katie Burnett, 1856-1859; Guy Bowman, 1864-1898; Lee Price, 1868-1892. None of the girls lived longer than 3 years. Katie was born in Missouri and died in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Before she died, an early photograph was taken of her. Years later a Civil War soldier came to “collect his daughter” who had been at Daughters College for safe keeping and educating during the war. Unfortunately, this survivor did not have the means to pay for his daughter’s education, so he painted this pastel portrait of Katie from the photograph for payment. Her new home is the front parlor of Beaumont Inn. She is home and we will take very good care of her. What a wonderful gift!
A few summers ago a former employee and Dedman family friend, Billie Ruth Hendren, moved from her Harrodsburg home to an assisted living facility. As she was relocating to a more institutional setting, she wanted to “return home” a beautiful table that had once graced her great aunt’s home. Well, that great aunt was Mrs. Grover Kyle, who built Greystone, now one of the four buildings that make up Beaumont Inn. Mrs. Kyle was the niece of Eli Lilly, pharmaceutical giant founder of Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Kyle, from Harrodsburg, went to work as a chemist for the company in Indianapolis. There he met his bride and brought her back to Harrodsburg, where they lived on a beautiful farm in the county. After Mr. Kyle died and the Lilly stock became very profitable, Mrs. Kyle decided to move into town with her 3 children. She built Greystone in 1931 for $30,000, employing well known architect Hugh Meriwether for design. Stone masons (from WPA project) crafted the beautiful building from Kentucky limestone quarried in Wilmore, Kentucky. The house and furnishings were sold at auction in the 1950s when Mrs. Kyle died. After several owners, the Dedman family purchased the property in the early 60s, incorporating the four large upstairs bedrooms for guest rooms and opening an antique shop in the spacious downstairs. Now, the table. Billie Ruth had always been instructed by her aunt that when she downsized or moved, the table must return home to Beaumont Inn/Greystone. And now it has! This beautiful hallway table, vintage 1930’s, now graces the foyer of Greystone which may very well have been exactly where Mrs. Kyle placed it years ago.
One other treasure, the Baby (Cleopatra) Clock is located in the main hallway of Beaumont Inn. This beautiful Victorian clock illustrating the newly developed gold gilding process was part of the French exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Evidently a good friend and frequent visitor of Pauline Goddard Dedman’s (second generation innkeeper), bought the clock after the fair. When she later became a widow, her downsizing from the large family home to apartment life compelled her to gift her treasured clock to a more public venue where this beautiful piece could be enjoyed by others. She could think of no better place for display than Pauline’s Beaumont Inn. In talking with my friend, antique dealer Jerry Sampson, I found out this gold gilding process makes the gold brighter, less flaking and better to withstand age. But mercury was used in the process. As many of the craftsmen died of mercury poisoning, the process was outlawed. Wow! Hopefully, someday we will rediscover the name of Pauline’s generous friend in order to give proper recognition!
There are many more gifts that grace the halls of our buildings which I will share at another time. We are so fortunate!
Read Blog features from 2012 & 2013