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tv   Edward Ivinson Early Laramie  CSPAN  November 9, 2019 6:49pm-7:01pm EST

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>> i was wondering, the taking was it moren, important from a militarily or cultural perspective? >> when we are still targeting cities, it is not the confederate capital, but many blame charleston as starting the whole mess in december of 1860 and the outspoken secessionist movement before that. charleston would have been a crippling psychological impact to the confederate effort. [applause] learn more about the people, and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction, every saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern, only in american history tv on c-span3. >> this year, c-span is touring
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cities across the country, exploring american history. a look at our recent visit to laramie, wyoming. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, and c-span3. -- on c-span3. >> we are in that mansion that edward iversen built and it is now the home of that laramie plains museum, and it has been restored because for about 10 years, it was vacant and people broken and vandalized the building, and it has been a very long and fruitful effort to make it into this wonderful museum that we have here that highlights not only the ivinson family, but issues from the past in laramie, wyoming as well. so
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edward was actually of all the places, was born down in the caribbean. he lived there for seven years. his father move they to manage a sugarcane plantation and he wound up in new york city in about 1852. while he was there, he met a young woman. she was 16 and he was 23, and they ran away to get married and they, like a lot of young folks, moved west to make their fame and fortune and wound up in laramie, wyoming. the family had been living in tennessee, and he decided to move the family to california. the way he got -- the way he thought he would get to california, he had a dry goods store and he sold all of it and got freight cars and put his stuff in them. as the union pacific was built across the right planes, he followed right along and had a rolling store. in the winter of 1867, he learns that the union pacific railroad is going to have a facility and
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-- in what would become laramie. he came over before the railroad in 1868 and built a log building in downtown laramie and started selling things to people awaiting the arrival of the railway would and as i said earlier, they ran the store for three years. then he starts a banking career. let me say this as well. he was an astute merchant, and so his bank, he made a lot of money. he was criticized for the way he made the money, with high interest rates and foreclosed mortgages at the drop of a hat. the good news is, when he turned 80, he decided to give his money away and almost all of it came back here to our town. the year after his wife died, now back in 1916, he gave $50,000 cash and city lots to the county which paid for the construction of our
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first hospital. he also gave a bunch of property to the church to fund an orphanage. he built our world war i memorial, he gave away a $1.5 million in cash to friends and family members. he structured his will that upon his death, his estate would go into a trust fund used to build a building for this home trail that is still in use today. when he died, there was money in his estate, so $8-$10 million's today, and it built a facility, 28 rooms for single ladies. there was no charge for room or board, and because he built the hospital, the ladies got free medical care. it is still there and it is still gorgeous. despite being criticized early for his lifestyle, it all came
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back to us here and we are still experiencing the benefits from his life as a merchant and a banker. we are proud of the fact that he decided at the age of 80 to do what was right for our community. if it was not for the railroad, they may probably would not be here. the railway act gave all of this land in the west to the union pacific including the mile where we are right now. the first thing is we opened the front door and we have a little thing i like to do. we have the doorknob to the original front door, which is a beautiful doorknob. it is interesting because it came to us in a box in the mail maybe five years ago with a note from a guy who said i was a student at the university of wyoming and i stole this from the mansion. that is a good icebreaker for the people coming in and then i take them into the foyer. really
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the first important stop is into jane's drawing room where the intention was she could do entertainment for her lady friends. then we go into the smoking room and i draw the contrast between the nice bright light drawing room and the darker smoking room. the dining room is nice because there we have some nice artifacts belonging to the ivinsons. right now we have oyster plates they had made on one of their trips they made to europe. we have this beautiful stemware that they had made for them. we have a punch bowl that was given to his son-in-law in san diego. then we changed from the formal rooms of the first floor into the working part, and it is easy to draw the contrast. we have
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all of this dutiful hardwood in the formal rooms, and there we have pine and linoleum on the floor. we go upstairs into the bedrooms, which are quite large, not unusual for a house of this size in the 1890's. then into the master bathroom where we have this really cool shower that cost $334 in 1892, so maybe $8,000 today. that is really interesting. it is a walk-in shower. it is built out of brass that is nickel plated good it's got a showerhead up above and on either side. it's got all of these little tubes. it looks like a cage when you look at it, but the tubes have tiny holes in them. you don't even have to turn around to take a shower. i had a person come to the other
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day that said kind of like going into a cotton wash. we are in what we call the library. we are pretty sure that the bookcases in here were put in the boarding school because the girls use this as a study hall. i like to point out that we just have one piece of furniture in the house that belonged to edward, and it is this table out of one of the buildings he owned in town. there are several examples of what we learned from visitors because we get some amazing people that come through and talk about the elegant woodwork. there's all of this different type of hardwood that edward had installed here that really is amazing 1892 pocket doors. i had a guy come through three years ago who is just closed up his woodworking business in montana, and he said i could build one of those pocket doors for you or about $7,000. those are the kinds of things that are fun to learn. his whole life is a
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fascinating story. he was born on a plantation and he winds up in new york with no money. we know he didn't have any because he recently received a letter from his father that said we are -- we know you are without a position. he winds up in little old laramie, wyoming, at the time 800 people in 1870. he amasses this fortune and builds this building. i think it is fair to say he was a critical part of the evolution of laramie from 1868 all the way through 1928 when he passed away. for both jane and edward, what i want people to walk away from after they see this house that cost a lot of money to build, that maybe the money was at least early on made from the people of laramie in not the best way, when they leave they understand what they did for our community, whether it was the early actions with the school and the church and the suffrage
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act or especially his philanthropy that resulted in all of these great things for our community. that's what i would like for them to walk away from because you can see fancy homes, and this is an and elegant home, but it's important that people understand that making his money off the community, that money came back to us for that what i really hope they walk away with. > our cities tour staff recently traveled to laramie, wyoming, to learn about its rich history. to learn more about their me and other stops on our tour, visit
7:00 pm tour. you are watching american history tv, or weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. >> today's the 30th anniversary of the follow the berlin wall in american history tv and c-span's washington journal were lower this morning with three hours of interviews nv recalls from the museum in washington dc. authorsus was -- were christopherson of the newseum. that's next. east berlin tonight, tens of thousands of people crossing into west berlin, pouring through the berlin wall, which opened today. not waiting for officials or even daybreak, they are still coming.
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host: those are the words and images that nbc used to


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