Wallpaper installed on muslin over planks

 By

 Historic Wallpaper Specialties

Emit, Oklahoma

Once considered a mansion on the frontier it was home to Governor Douglas Henry Johnson and his family from 1898 to 1971. Located in Emit, OK, the house itself is a 1-1/2 story wood frame building constructed in 1895. The main rooms of the

eight-room structure were built with sixteen-foot ceilings and, at one time, featured linen covered cotton padding layered between the walls and the detailed wallpaper. Cherry wood mantels and facings for the two ornate fireplaces were shipped from Chattanooga, TN. Imported walnut also went into the ornamental woodwork on the encircling front porch. Ceramic tiles with coordinated color schemes finished out the fireplaces in both rooms.

The main center section of the house was four rooms in a south-to-north row: the sun-lit parlor (music room), the sitting room (library), the state dining room and the kitchen. Each room featured long sliding partitions separating the parlor, library and dining room and could be opened for a large space to accommodate a dance floor. A two-room wing flanked each side, with an open breezeway separating the west wing (Governor Johnston's bedroom) from the sitting room. Construction of the house was changed slightly shortly after the family took occupancy in 1898. An addition was also added to the north side of the east wing in order to provide an office for Governor Johnston and an extra bedroom. The bedroom space was later converted to a bathroom and the adjoining office used as a dressing room. Probably at this time, a children's bedroom was added to the north side of the west bedroom, later converted to a shower and dressing room. Shortly before statehood (1904-1907), the breezeway was enclosed and a stairway installed from it to the attic, where a bedroom and bathroom were added. The bathroom, including a tin tub with a wood rim, is believed to have been the first in a private home in the Chickasaw Nation. Lighting was originally provided by hanging and standing coal lamps, later converted to carbide lights, and eventually to electricity.

 

The following photos are from phase one in September 2005 which saw the completion of the parlor. The original walls and ceiling are wooden planks which were covered with muslin then wallpapered. For more information please visit the Chickasaw White House. Reproduction wallpapers by Carter & Co.

The wallpaper installation took place in September 2005.

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