Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yours Truly, Bush '82

From A. N. Bush to Edward "Shang" Draper, August 15, 1940:

"Seventy years ago Saturday night was bath time. I used to busy those nights with the hounds in the forests after red bellied foxes to protect the chickens and the lambs. The baths those days were in a washtub, the water heated on the stove. The youngest went first; when it came my turn I would be called by a tooter, made of a cow's horn, coming over the forest -- none too welcome if the trail was hot."

From A.N. Bush to Faye Bush, September 20, 1940:

"At ten, Father told me I was a prospective defender of my country and gave me a lesson in firearms. I am still that and will go when I am needed. However at ten, I needed not lessons in the use of firearms. I knew it all but still took the lessons and kept my mouth shut. My eyesight now would be a drawback."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Veterans' Day Salute

Asahel "Ace" Bush V, pictured above, was the elder son of Asahel Bush IV and his wife, Margaret Boot Bush. Born in December 1912, Ace knew his great grandfather, Asahel Bush II, who built and lived in the Bush House. After graduating from Amherst College in 1933, Ace became a newspaper reporter in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He later worked for the Associated Press in Salt Lake City and San Francisco. In 1934, Ace met and married Faye Cornish; their daughter Jody was born in 1936.

In 1943, Ace signed on as a war correspondent and was attached to General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters in the Pacific Theater. For the next year he covered "nearly every operation launched by Gen. MacArthur." He is pictured below, back row, on the left.

Ace Bush was killed by a Japanese bomb on October 25, 1944, on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. He was 31 years old, and was survived by his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

On this Veterans' Day we salute Ace and other veterans who have served our country through the years.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Did you know that, once upon a time, Asahel Bush II raised prizewinning cattle in the pasture beside his home? Here's the proof:

Aren't you glad you don't have to dodge the cows when you park your car in the parking lot on Mission Street?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sally Bush: Woman Ending Hunger

On October 29, the Bush House Museum celebrates the 150th birthday of Sally Bush. The second daughter of Asahel Bush II, Miss Sally returned to Salem after completing her education and lived in the family home on Mission Street for the rest of her life. She is remembered for her appreciation of gardens and her devotion to animals, especially her beloved cats.

Miss Sally was a kind, generous, and compassionate woman, always prepared to assist families in need of food or clothing. In her honor, the Museum is planning the 2nd Annual Sally Bush Memorial Food Drive in partnership with Marion-Polk Food Share's Women Ending Hunger campaign.

On Friday, October 29, admission to the Bush House Museum is FREE with a donation of canned or packaged food. The Museum and the Bush Barn Art Center will continue to accept food donations through Sunday, November 7.

Although many of these items weren't available to Miss Sally, we encourage you to consider this list of the "10 Most Wanted" foods when making your donation:

Canned soup
Canned chili
Boxed macaroni and cheese
Breakfast cereal
Peanut butter
Canned tuna
Canned fruit
Canned vegetables
Pasta sauce

Even if you don't plan to tour the Museum, please consider making a donation to help the hungry in our community, in the spirit of Miss Sally Bush.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dinner at Bush House

Ever wonder what it might be like to be a guest at the Bush House? Salem landscape architect Elizabeth Lord (1887-1976) was a friend and neighbor of the Bush family who wrote down her memories of their hospitality. Thanks to Museum Assistant Brooke Serres for recommending this item.

Dinner at Bush House was always a special treat, beginning with the announcement of “Dinner is served” by playing of the wonderful old Music Box which stood on a table in the Hall near the Dining Room.

Upon entering the Dining Room, an air of hospitality greeted the guests - and guests were very frequent. The table setting was of the finest linens, the silverware and china, all of the simplest patterns - rich in quality. All the linens were purchased from the famous “House of Linens” McCutcheon of New York City. The patterned designs of the collection of table cloths and arrangement of flowers always graced the center of the table, tho’ no color scheme was planned, the first spring blossoms, summer flowers, and the rich colors of autumn all came from the gardens which surrounded the house. The Green House, still in use (NB: Now under construction!), supplied the charming winter bouquets. Fuchsias, lacey long-stemmed Green House begonias, cyclamen and greenery of smilax and tropical maiden-hair ferns intermingled with the exotic collection brought forth exclamations of surprise from the guests.

While Miss Sally was a complete vegetarian, her Father enjoyed the best of meats, the wild game of Oregon and the seafood of the Pacific. Only the lightest wines were served with dinner, no hard liquors were in the house and Mr. Bush was fond of apple cider. After Mr. Bush passed away, Miss Sally discontinued all liquor, and only coffee, tea and milk were on the menu.

Miss Sally was a most thoughtful hostess and always listened to those who gathered around her table. Food was lavish and the cooking of the best and delightfully served. Although Miss Sally never ate meat, fowl, or fish she did not deny her guests the main course of dinner. Quantities of vegetables were served for those to make a choice. Corn was her favorite vegetable - the late, long ear white corn called “Country Gentlemen” which we now seldom see. Every variety of vegetable grew on the hillside south of the Green House. The big, long asparagus bed, planted along the now parking strip, extended to the bottom of the hill. Asparagus by the basketful came to the kitchen every morning during the growing season.

Jersey cows supplied all the milk, cream and butter. After the milking, the buckets of milk were brought to the basement and poured in the regular milk pans and placed on the shelves in the milk room, which was situated at the north end of the basement. Cream was so thick and heavy it had to be taken off with a special skimmer with perforated holes in the center in order to allow the milk to separate from the cream (NB: Still on display in the Kitchen!). The cream was then put into a wide open crockery pitcher for this facilitated dipping the cream out of the pitcher. Butter was churned in the kitchen in the same wooden receptacle we display in the kitchen (NB: Also still on display, now in the pantry!). Those were the days before the milk separators were invented and after this mechanical device became in use, Miss Sally lost her interest in the Jersey Cow room. In fact she did not consider the cream worth using. Many a delicious dessert was served at her table, but with it all, Miss Sally remained the slender wisp like figure during her lifetime.

Miss Sally loved company in her home and guests at her table, but she had no concern about the welfare as the house was run to perfection. Hazel and Teresa were wonderful cooks and they had everything to cook with. And Velma, who gave so many devoted years of service to Miss Sally, was the mainstay of running the home with the assistance of Ollie. They made everyone who entered the big house on the hill feel very welcome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Look What's Happening!

The bids are in for the Historic Bush Conservatory Restoration Project, the contract is signed, and work is underway!

Gardeners have temporarily relocated some of the plantings in front of the Conservatory so they don't get munched in the construction process.

All of the plants have been moved out of the Conservatory, and tables and shelves are being dismantled.

Check out the crusty old radiators that were hidden under the benches!

As work continues, you can visit the Friends of Bush Gardens website for more information.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sneak Preview

We have wangled the loan of some lovely quilts from a private collection for this year's exhibit, Vintage Quilts: A Garden of Applique. The quilts date to the 19th century, and they are beautiful. The one pictured above, in Mr. Bush's Bedroom, was made circa 1876 to commemorate the nation's centennial. It is even more amazing in person.

Vintage Quilts: A Garden of Applique opens Tuesday, August 24 and continues through Sunday, October 31.