This space now serves as the front desk for Homer Watson House & Gallery (HWHG), but when I lived here, my wife Roxanna, and I used it as a small sitting room to welcome guests. On the wall, there are 6 panels sharing the stories of all the people who owned this house. You can see a photo of me in my gallery on the 3rd panel.
How many of my paintings can you see on the wall in the picture on the 3rd panel?
Welcome to my Gallery! I added this section to my house in 1906 to display my paintings. Look up! You may have noticed that instead of windows, this room has a large skylight.
Why do you think there are almost no windows on the walls in this room?
Answer: Since the walls have no windows, I had lots of space to hang my paintings. The skylight allows light into the room without taking up any wall space.
This picture is a detail of something in this room, can you find it?
Answer: This radiator uses hot water to heat the room. Before we had radiators like this, the room was kept warm using the fireplace on the other side of the room.
Can you spot this item in the room?
Answer: This black box is called a pest trap. The team at Homer Watson House & Gallery use traps to see if the building has any bugs that might damage the artwork and collection. This photo shows a trap with a silverfish on it! Silverfishes like to munch on paper and can do lots of damage to books, drawings on paper and historic documents.
Cayley & Ferrie Galleries
These rooms are now called the Cayley & Ferrie Galleries, but when I lived here, the room closer to the front door was my parlour (a fancy sitting room) and the other room was my bedroom. There was no doorway between the two rooms, which were entered from the hallway.
Can you spot these items in the Cayley and Ferrie Galleries?
Answer: This photo shows a detail on the original cast iron fireplace. When I was young, fireplaces were in most rooms to keep them warm in the winter.
Answer: Did you notice this strange bubble in the glass on the window? Historic glass, like the glass on these windows, was hand-blown and sometimes bubbles got in!
Welcome to my painting studio. I added this studio to my house in 1893 to 1894. I used to paint in a room upstairs, but I ran out of space!
In this room, you can see lots of the paintings I created in my lifetime. I was most famous for my paintings of trees and mills, but I also liked to paint animals!
Can you spot all these animals in the room? For an extra challenge, try to count how many of each animal you can find.
Did you enjoy looking for the animals? Here are some more things you can spot in my studio:
- A moon
- A golden leaf
- A Ghostly message from my wife, Roxa
- My initials “HW”
- 2 hats
- Some very large names
Did you spot the very large names on my frieze? I painted this border in my studio after it was completed. The names are all famous European artists that I admired. On top of each name, you can see a few small paintings, these paintings are copies of paintings by each artist or pictures inspired by their style.
How many of the letter “S” can you count on the frieze
Did you notice the display case with painted dishes in it? These items were all painted by my talented sister, Phoebe. My sister and I were very close, and she was one of the biggest supporters of my art career. My sister was also an artist, she did pottery painting, wood burning, watercolour, oil painting and so much more! Here are some photos of more of her work.
What do you think each piece was used for?
Can you spot this item?
Answer: Light switches
This is how I turned on the lights in his house! Instead of switches, they are two buttons, one to turn the lights on and one to turn them off. These switches still work and some of them still have the original mother of pearl decorations on them! Did you know that this house only got electricity in 1915? That means I lived here for 32 years without electricity! Before then, we used gas lanterns to light up the house.
We are now coming to the end of the tour. You may have noticed that we didn’t visit a room that is in most houses. Can you guess what that room is?
That brings us to the end of my tour! Thanks for visiting my house, I hope you enjoyed it!
If you want to learn more, check out our comic book “Tea with Phoebe” available in our Gift Shop, or try some of our other walking tours here.