Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Oh my goodness! I just don't know what to do! I am speechless! We received today, by certified mail no less, from the City of Wichita, Central Inspection department a notice that we are in "violation of the Neighborhood Nuisance Code." INSIDE OUR FENCE!!!! Oh my, our many flowers have offended someone! Apparently, thou shall not have "grass, weeds or unkempt vegetation in excess of 12" inches."

 My call to the department could not give me a definition of "inside the fence," or what vegetation standard they have. But they're quite willing to come over, mow everything down, (inside my fence) and then charge me for it! WHAT? And I have less then ten days to cut them down. This includes alleys, around structures and fence lines. And it also includes trees! Well, I don't know too many trees that grow only inches tall. How about prairie grasses that grow 4' tall and are neat and orderly? Flowers? Do flowers only grow to ground cover height? I don't think so.

We've tried hard over the past six years to landscape and develop our yard (inside the fence) into a cottage garden. A garden befitting the era of our historic house. Too bad the city doesn't see this. But wait! What about all the older homes in the Riverside and College Hill areas that have landscaped cottage gardens? What about them? I have seen many flowers, grasses, flowering bushes and trees well above the 12" limit! Oh, the horror!

 While I don't know if someone in the neighborhood complained, or if the city personnel are so bored out of their minds that they must make criminals out of its citizens. What we have here is an unnecessary intrusion into our lives. Flowers as a problem? There is not one, NOT ONE weed in my yard! My little flower gardens offend? I don't see it. I don't expect everyone to love flowers, but a nuisance? In my own yard? How dare the city infringe upon law abiding, tax paying citizens in this manner? Maybe they should go across the street, to the two empty houses that do indeed have two foot tall weeds? I just took the pictures to prove it. Oh, my city councilman will hear from me!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Open House for Delano Bed and Breakfast

We decided to have our Delano Bed and Breakfast open house along with the Christmas in Delano event. With all the good press we have received lately, it seemed a good time and perfect fit.

We participated in the historic home tour, the trolley came by on Saturday and dropped loads of people off who were determined to get out and brave the rainy, cold weather. Despite the dreadful weather we had a large crowd all day and evening on both Saturday and Sunday.

We received nothing but good comments and encouraging words of welcome on our Bed & Breakfast in the neighborhood.

Please enjoy some of the photographs of the green room. We've been working hard to complete this room for our future guests.

Christmas in Delano

Brent and I participated in the Christmas in Delano historic home tour over the weekend. It was a lot of work decorating the house and yard for the holiday season, but we met a lot of wonderful people and had a great time.

Here are a few pictures of the event.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Delano Bed and Breakfast

Wow! What a fantastic article in our local newspaper a couple of weeks ago. Word leaked out that we're turning our bungalow into a bed and breakfast. We weren't quite ready to go public. We've been testing our recipes and stays with friends and family, and we're almost finished outfitting the smaller bedroom. I'll be posting photographs soon. Thanks, Carrie, for the great press.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


This summer has been so difficult on everyone, and that includes the flowers. It was still cold in May so I couldn't even plant out the flowers that had been growing in the greenhouse until late in the season, and as soon as I did, it got hot! June isn't supposed to be hot. We hardly had a spring at all. We lost many flowers and even some trees. It's so very sad.

But now I have a few photographs to share of the yard. What has done really well in this heat have been the sweet potato vine, roses, datura, morning glory, and 4 o'clocks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Master Bedroom Update

Brent and I have been trying to complete this room. With stripped walls and floors completely re-done (oh, and the ceiling too!) we're almost done with the room, but not quite. We still have trim on the walls by the ceiling and the fireplace mantel to install. But for what it is worth, here is what we have so far. We think it will make a nice bed and breakfast room. Eventually.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Amazing Datura.

I started about a dozen Datura from seed earlier this summer. It's about the only thing in bloom right now. It's amazing, with silvery-grey leaves, thick stems and flowers that bloom at dusk and releases a heavenly honey scent all across the yard. Ahhhh.... These photgraphs in sequence were taking over several days.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bathroom Remodel Continued

Here are a few additional shots. Brent is working on the floor trim. We've added a couple of nice touches (at least we think so) with new light fixtures and iron light switch plates.

We'll need a shower door, but will probably start with a shower curtain until we can figure out the best way. Might have to do a custom door because the shower seems to be an odd size. Hmmm. Imagine that!

Next we'll put the original medicine cabinet back on the wall. And we're going to have the wood frame (in one of the photographs) used as a mirror, by having a mirror cut to size. That should look nice, since it matches the wood work perfectly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Brent's Been Busy...

Brent has been putting in some sweat equity by working on the bathroom by the parlor. We have done nothing to this room for the past five years since we've lived here. It's kind of become the overflow room, a place to store our tools, paint, and ladders while working on other house projects.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Master Bedroom

Brent and I haven't worked on the house together for a long time. Or so it seems! We spent a good part of the day sanding down the wood floors. It's interesting that so much of the room has a white/opaque substance on the floor, part of the wood itself. Strange.So, we have an antique head/footboard from the Delano Antique Mall and it will look nice in this room once it's complete

. Once we sanded the floor, cleaned that up, then applied oil to the floor. Clearly not all done, but made good progress.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Master Bedroom

Progress continues to be made. Everything is now out of this room and Brent is busy on the floor. We'll need a new rug of course. But with the old wood bed frame he got today at the Delano Antique store, it will look fabulous in no time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

House History, Continued


The people who built the house, which according to the Sedgwick County Register of Deeds was built in 1914, were Morris H. Schollenberger and his wife Pearl Craig Schollenberger. Mr. Schollenberger was originally from Pennsylvania and Pearl was from Kentucky.

My research indicates that Pearl and Morris were married in Sedgwick County, Kansas in June of 1900. They had two children, Ruth and Morris, who were born in Kansas.

There were three Schollenberger brothers who owned and operated a bicycle shop located at 230 N Main in Wichita. The brothers names were Morris H., George H., and Harvey H. Schollenberger. The "H" in the brothers' middle name "High" reflected their mother, Catherine's maiden name. The name of their bicycle shop was Schollenberger & Company and was started in late 1890's as a bicycle repair shop.

Morris, Harvey and George Schollenberger are credited for bringing the first exclusive gasoline engine automobile to Wichita, Kansas. They sold their bicyle shop in 1900 and started what they called the Wichita Automobile Company. In 1901 they sold one car. In 1903 they had sold five automobiles. According to the Tihen Notes, the Sedgwick County treasurer reported there were 17,000 cars in 1922. Morris Schollenberger was president of the company and George was manager. I cannot find what position Harvey held prior to his death.

The Wichita Automobile Company that the Schollenberger's owned and operated were agents for the Oldsmobile manufacturer. They did not stock the cars. When a customer wanted a car, they ordered one. That changed in 1903 when they began to stock cars in their dealership. In 1906 there were selling the Maxwell cars. In 1908 they moved the dealership to Market and English streets. In 1909 the Schollenberger's purchased the "old Carey homestead at the southeast corner of Lawrence (now Broadway) and English..." (the Wichita Beacon, Monday, April 13, 1908). They started construction on a new building for their dealership.

Harvey Schollenberger died in the flu epidemic of 1917-1920. I have found conflicting dates from the Wichita Beacon newspaper and the Tihen Notes from Wichita State University. I have found several references that he died Feb. 3, 1920. Harvey was the younger of the three brothers. His widow, Maude Gowen Schollenberger went on to start what would become the Wichita Center for the Arts.

In November 1925, Morris H Schollenberger died. From all accounts the Wichita Automobile Company was in financial constraints. I have located several notations and articles about the "unexpected" death of Mr. Schollenberger. Morris's death was due to suicide from cyanide poisoning, "resulting from the deep financial troubles of his company." (Wichita Beacon, November 18, 1925.

In 1926 The Wichita Reo Motor Company took over the business of the Wichita Automobile Company from bankruptcy. George H Schollenberger stayed on with Reo Motor Company as General Manager. George died in 1961.

To be continued...

Monday, February 7, 2011

My House Research

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog about the history of the house. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last several years doing research on who built the house, who lived in the house, trying to learn a bit more.

We know the Good family lived here, but we were given inaccurate information from Bishop Gerber at the signing when we purchased the house. He said the Goods were the only owners of the house. That turns out not to be the case.

After spending time researching online, at the Wichita Public Library, Wichita State University, Skyways, Midwest Historical & Genealogical Society, and Sedgwick County Courthouse, I have a LOT more information! If only these walls could talk! That would make it a lot easier.


There were many speculators buying land on the west side of the Arkansas River, in the Delano area. This house is listed as being constructed in 1914. Now, I do not know exactly what that means. Is the house considered built when construction started? Or when the very last nail is set in place? When a city inspector gives the final ok? I don't know.

Here is what I have learned from the Sedgwick County Register of Deeds office: Going through big, heavy, old volumes of record books, this lot was granted to H. Smithson from the Junction Township in 1886. It then went from Smithson to Jasper Seiner in 1887. From Seiner it was deeded to W.S. Smithson that same year, just a few months later. At this point, Sedgwick County became involved (the area west of the river was not part of Wichita at this time). Sedgwick County deeds the land to Hutchinson & Smithson in 1895. Then J.S. Hutchinson deeds it to E. S. Hutchinson in 1898. E.S. Hutchinson deeds it to R.A. Sankey in 1901. Sankey deeds it to V.M. Dadisman in 1902. And finally, Dadisman deeds it to Pearl C. Schollenberger in 1908. Whew. It would be interesting to learn how long the Schollenberger's had the land before they started building.

To continue, the Schollenberger's had the home until 1926, at which time Pearl deeded the house to Citizens State Bank. Citizens State Bank deeded the house to Fammie & Floyd Brown Life Insurance Company in 1931. Then in 1933, the life insurance company sold the house to Fred J Friess. Mr. Friess was Mary Good's father, who deeded the house to his daughter Mary, in 1934. The Good Family lived in the house for many years. Then in 1979 Mary Good set up a revocable trust Mary Good died in 1990 and in 1991 the house went to Frederick, Bernice Stavniak (son and daughter of Dr. Fridolin and Mary Good). It appears that the house ownership was transferred to several of the children over time. The house remained in the Good family until Edna Good, one of the daughters, willed the house to St. Joseph Catholic Church in November 2005. Edna passed away in January of 2006. Brent and I bought the house in July that same year. So there we have it! The time-line of the house.

I also have learned that this lot, which is listed as three (3) city lots, were the last ones on this block to be purchased. This surprised me. I suspected that these lots would have been one of the first to be sold and built on because the house is the largest on the block. But it was the opposite of what I had thought.


It's been an amazing adventure to learn about the Schollenberger's. I've consulted in a variety of areas to ascertain this information. I was very curious to learn about this house being in a woman's name. Pearl Craig Schollenberger. Not Morris H. Schollenberger, but his wife's name. I'd love to know the reasons behind this. I'm thinking that for a woman to own property would be unusual for the time period.

To Be Continued.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bird Visitors

With all the snow from the big blizzard I've been wondering about my little birdie friends. Each mornning we sit by the big window in the dining room and watch our feathered visitors. I have wrapped myself up in scarf and gloves every morning and braved the winter chill to give them fresh water and seed.

We have tried really hard to create a bird sanctuary on the south side of the yard, fully visable from the dining room. We need to provide more shelter for them. They seem to love the lilac and crabapple bushes. But I think we need some evergreens nearby. I'd love to plant some cedars, but that will cause the crabapple to die so, we can't do that.

We've had two types of Flickers as regular visitors this winter. We love to watch the Dark-Eyed Juncos and Chickadee's. We only have one pair of Cardinals. And a pair of Carolina Wrens call our sweet autumn clamatis home. It is hard to discern the Downy Woodpecker from the Hairy Woodpecker. Found a little dove shivering in the snow the other morning, trying to keep warm. To our horror we have noticed a regular visitor, a huge, fat Sharp-Shined Hawk high in the trees, who are known for stalking backyard small birds.

They are so much fun to watch. Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Projects

Ok, so we have secrets that we can't give up yet, big things in store for the house in 2011. We'll be busy re-painting the little bedroom on the main floor. Just never really liked the pale wheat color walls. We need color! I think I'll Laura Ashley this room up right.

So, my latest little project was to paint the interior closet of the master bedroom one day while Brent was away. It's not very exciting. Several years ago I painted it some bold yellow/gold shade, I think because I had the paint. Since then the bedroom walls have been painted a lovely dark shade that is hard to describe and the two kind of clash. Anyway, I got half of it done. At least now this will make a nice place to store the two window air conditioners without having to haul them down and up and back down again, from the basement twice a year!

We're finally going to get the master bedroom completly done. We did take down the heavy drapes, that do look period, from the dining room and installed them in this bedroom. A perfect match with the plum/eggplant shade on the walls. But what I really need is a rug, period accent pieces, lamps, bedding, sheets, pillow, reading chair. And I need it stylish, and comfortable, and it has to have a total and complete look to it!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wood Burning Stove

Check out the woodburing stove that we've added to the big greenhouse. This is the first winter for the big greenhouse and the little electric heater that had been used for heating the small greenhouse just wasn't going to do the job.

Poor Brent. He's outside several times a week chopping wood. It's his workout program.

But it's nice and toasty in there and the flowers don't seem to mind.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Biergarten

Brent spruces up the biergarten to get ready for our annual event. With the help of his father he added an arbor by the entry. We hauled in new gravel and timbers were layed out by the flower beds.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Staining the Kitchen Floor

Remember when we bought the house? The kitchen was disgusting. There was yellow/black carpet in there. We lived in this house without a working kitchen for the first nine months, packed on a few extra pounds that neither of us can seem to get rid of regardless of the work we've done on this house, scraping, sanding and peeling the layers off.

Brent has never been happy with the original wood floor in the kitchen (once we found it, that is). And no matter how we cleaned it, what we cleaned it with, or how often we cleaned it, it never seemed to LOOK clean.

So for some time now Brent has wanted to re-do this floor. I didn't think it would be a huge ordeal, but still after four years of working on this house, I should have known better. Everything takes twice as long as I think it should. Drives me crazy.

We removed everything out of the way, rented a sander, and Brent spent two whole nights sanding the floor, especially the corners and areas close to the wall. One coat of stain, let dry overnight, sand down, another coat of stain, let dry. Maybe we can actually use the kitchen again in another day or so.