The Elmwood Estate – Restoring the Wetlands and Touring the Mansion
I would like to share with you my experiences on what I have learned and seen while volunteering at EKU for Elmwood Student Service Day.
- How to Restore Wetlands from Invasive Species
- The 10,000 sq. ft. Mansion and 20-Acre Estate.
- Planting Oak Trees
Restoring the Wetland
Restoring the wetland was such an interesting task. The place was invaded with the invasive species called the Winter Creepers. One might think that the solution would be to either spray them or to pull their roots. This process wouldn’t be as effective because they will end up growing again in the future. The perfect solution was to use cardboard to cover the area invaded with the Winter Creepers and to then cover the cardboard with mulch. The invasive species will diminish completely since they won’t be receiving CO2 nor water. The cardboard will also decompose after many years. After helping out with restoring the wetland, I planted two of the eleven Oak trees. I may not see them when they are fully grown, since it will be after about 75 years, but I wish that the environment and our next generation will benefit from them. Other volunteers helped out by cutting unused, broken wood that were piled in a stack so the woods can be used to make mulch. The machine that makes them is called a mulcher chipper.
The Elmwood Mansion
- The Estate property was built by William Walker Watts in 1887 for the unheard sum of $35,000.
- The three story, (10,000 square feet), mansion is on a twenty-acre wooded estate.
- Samuel des Jardins, a Cincinnati-French Canadiam architect, built and designed the mansion.
- It is divided into fifteen rooms.
- “Chateauque” is the design plan.
The residents of the house had only one child, Emma Parkes Watts. Miss Watts ruled Elmwood until her death in 1972.
The mansion had copious amounts of antique collections from the 1880’s: newspaper, books, sewing machine, clothes, wooden leather treasure chests, lamps, telephone, piano, rusty gas chandeliers, and a drop front desk. The squeaky wooden floors originally came from London. They had a library with a nice view from the window. The electrical wall outlets were installed all the way at the bottom of the wall. That’s dangerous! In the wooden leather treasure chest was small box that had sewing threads by the “Clark’s O.N.T Spool Cotton” Company. That company was established by George A. Clark in 1812.The handmade wooden stair rails were truly a masterpiece. Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Miss Emma’s Mansion as well. Although the mansion did seem like it was haunted with ghosts, I absolutely enjoyed the tour because I love observing live historic places.