Needful Things

22 04 2009


When I was a child, one of my favorite weekend activities was visiting the Sunrise Museums in Charleston, WV. One was a children’s science museum and the other focused on art. They were housed in a pair of absolutely stunning stone mansions that had once been home to former WV Governor William McCorkle and his son.


Pictured above, the Children’s Museum, and below, the Art Museum (which, I might note, was home to an annual display of artistic Christmas trees)


Several years ago, the museums moved to the Clay Center. Governor McCorkle’s mansion, with it’s sweeping views of Charleston, is now home to the Farmer, Cline, and Campbell law firm. His son’s mansion, the former art museum, is now home to some very lucky homeowners.  Now, as much as I would love to have a house like either one of the Museums, the real point of this post is something once sold in their gift shops.

Along with gyroscopes (I still have one from there), astronaut ice cream (yummy!), and semi-precious stones and crystals, the gift shops sold gorgeous kaleidoscopes. The selection varied, some were cased in exotic wood, others in polished brass, but they were all exquisite. And they were all quite outside the reach of a 10 year old’s allowance.

I may not be able to buy one from the lobby of the Sunrise mansions anymore, but I still see the sort of elegant kaleidoscopes I longed for as a child from time to time. One of these days, I’ll break down and buy one.





13 responses

22 04 2009
The Incredible Woody

I had no idea. I’ve never seen such a cool kaleidoscope!

22 04 2009
The Vinyl Villager

they are so cool! I need to figure out a place to buy one now…

23 04 2009
Noe Noe Girl

I have a friend who collects kaleidoscopes. They are the coolest.

23 04 2009

Astronaut ice cream!!! When I was a kid we’d go to the Boston Museum of Science every year for a field trip and I’d always look forward to getting the astronaut ice cream in their gift shop. YUM!

Kaleidoscopes ARE cool! There are some cool ones here:

I always resort to Etsy ^ for anything that might potentially be sold by an enterprising craftsman.

23 04 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Noe Noe….oh I’d love to see that collection.

Amanda…what an awesome site! Thanks! Theirs are totally reasonable too

23 04 2009

I want one too! I so need to visit West Virginia again. Those homes are incredible…

23 04 2009
Big Hair Envy

If you have Space Ice Cream and a Kaleidoscope, why would you even NEED that big old drafty mansion??

23 04 2009

Wow! All I ever had was one of those cardboard kind that broke after about the third use. *sigh*

Now I feel all deprived.

23 04 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Liz…WV gets a bad rap, most of it is really beautiful.

Big Hair…you are so right. I mean, who wants to walk through 40 rooms to get to the pantry where the astro ice cream is stored?

MJ–I had those too!

23 04 2009
The Predo

Wow! I can stare for hours!!!!! Very nice!

24 04 2009

Yanno, not to be a downer or anything, but what are you waiting for..? Like I said in a post the other day – or maybe a comment, I don’t remember, CRS* yanno I seem to be running out of “one of these days'” Aren’t we all..?
*Can’t Remember Shit

25 04 2009

Hey, I’m blogging for a worthy cause this weekend. Mind stopping by?

25 04 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Predo—they are very cool. Ive gotta find one now.

Dawtch—well other than being unexpectedly broke (post on why coming soon) I cant think of a reason–Ill be getting one soon!

MJ–of course! Everyone else should stop by too…and help a worthy cause if you can!

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