Ursula Kremer, Media Production Intern
*The views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not of the Barker Mansion*
As some may now notice, this blog post is authored by a new member of the Barker Mansion team. My name is Ursula Kremer and I am serving as an intern here at the Mansion, with a focus on media production. I’ll be here at the Mansion for the next few months and hosting some of the podcasts and writing for the blog during that time. To provide a little introduction to myself: I am a student at Hanover College pursuing a degree in English and Creative Writing. While not a history major, I enjoy the study of it and have a particular affection for the 19th and 20th centuries. The Barker Mansion in itself is a wonderful resource and also houses extensive records that I look forward to utilizing. Some topics that I hope to research in the coming weeks include: the types of and preparation needed for meals eaten by the family, symbolism and meaning of the beds of the family and guests, the mythology found carved on various pieces throughout the Mansion, a more in-depth look at the lives, expectations, and realities of the women living in the Mansion, and the experience of the wealthy children living in the Gilded Age, especially young Catherine Barker.
For those of you who have yet to visit the Barker Mansion, it is a truly spectacular and beautiful place. As a writer interested in historical fiction and the time periods in connection with the house, inspiration comes seeping up through the pine wood floorboards. I often feel like I am able to live my childhood fantasies of exploring and feeling at home in a massive, mysterious, old house. Now I just need to find my magical wardrobe. Having now become a member of the Barker Mansion staff, I also have an even stronger appreciation for the work put into preserving the integrity and the beauty of the house and gardens. Ranging from tough physical labor (our hard-working director, herself, vacuumed out the garden fountain yesterday) to in-depth research on the Barker family, the home, and the related time periods, the realities of being one of those entrusted with such a wonderful piece of history does hold a solemn weight. However, it is no less magical.
I look forward to the next few months that I have at the Barker Mansion and the future research and writing that will stem from that. Be sure to check out past blog posts written by the fabulous heritage interpreters of the Barker Mansion staff, as well as the Baker Mansion podcast. The next episode comes out on Friday. See you all next week!
Ursula Kremer 7.2.19