At the Clarke Museum, we have a permanent exhibit called the Victorian Room, which gives an example of how some of the wealthier Victorians in Eureka may have decorated their homes. You'll notice that the room contains a plethora of reflective crystal glassware, ornate paintings, and beautiful wooden furniture, giving a glimpse into what a Victorian bedroom and parlor may have looked like.
Its story begins with a trip around the horn of South America in 1853. In 1891, it was given as a wedding gift to John and Maggie Livingston, along with a duplex constructed for the couple and Maggie's sister's family.
The set then traveled down to Santa Rosa with the family for many years before returning to Eureka and arriving at the Museum.
You'll notice that the Victorian Room is full of ornate crystal glasses, dishes, chandeliers and bottles, along with trinkets from worldly travels. Hanging on the walls are also interesting framed flower wreaths that, upon closer look, are made of hair, which was from family members or loved ones. If you are observant, you may be able to spot a basket made from an armadillo in the room. Items like these would be in the parlor of the house, a room meant for entertaining guests during the day and playing games or music with the family.
The home was an expressive place for the upper middle classes in Victorian Eureka as many people entertained guests in their parlors where many of these interesting items would be on display. They were meant to inspire awe in the viewer and respect for the owner.