No Place Like Home

strasburg-mansion-flowers1

This local home is one I have always considered to be a true masterpiece. It was built in 1905 by Benjamin Gonder and the architectural detailing is magnificent. I was driving by recently and noticed this patch of flowers along the driveway entrance. The blooms were calling out to me,so I bravely knocked at the door and was met by the owner who graciously allowed me on the property. I said I wanted to snap a few flower pictures and as usual I spent more than an hour at it.

Whenever you meet someone new like this,there is always a bit of uncertainty on their part about who this person is and are they legit. The owner came out after an hour because they wondered how long a snapshot takes? I reassured her that with me,it can be pretty involved to get it all right. She then offered to allow me to go take a peek out back and possibly shoot the rose garden,which was absolutely stunning and that will be a post for another day. For this image,I waited till dusk for the interior light to show,and then lit the plants with flash. As I recall, the owners referred to themselves as the caretakers,which I took to meaning that some homes are so special that they are really something unto themselves and are not owned but cared for, but I might have that all wrong too.

The Wrap around porch

This lovely home is known as the Gonder Mansion, and is included on a local ghost tour in the area. It is a Victorian era Queen Anne style mansion built in 1905 by big wheel Benjamin Gonder, and was the home for him and his wife mary. It’s said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who committed suicide – Annie, Benjamin’s loco sister who lived on the grounds but was shunned by the rest of the family because of her mental condition.  It’s reported that the sounds of music and crazed laughter can be heard throughout the home, and her misty form has been reported haunting its corridors. She moved into the mansion in death after being forbidden to step inside the home during life. I did a small bit of light painting to highlight the gate,wall,and bushes at dusk to add my own touch to the beautiful home. The wrap around porch looks like a great place to sip cold lemonade on a summer day. I shot this from my truck roof using my laptop in the hopes of offering a better perspective.