ADDRESS: 1500 N. Liberty St., Independence PHONE: 816-325-7230 WEB: www.vailemansion.org HOURS: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. M-Sat.; 1-4 p.m. Sun..; Closed Nov., Jan-Mar.
TICKETS: $6 adults; $3 age 6 to 16; under 6 free.
What you’ll see: Built in 1881 by local entrepreneur and U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile, this 31-room mansion is one of the finest examples of Second-Empire Victorian architecture in the country. The home is embellished with hand-painted murals and lavish furnishings.
What you’ll learn: The mansion has served in many capacities since the death of Harvey Vaile in 1883. It was first converted to an inn, then functioned as The Vaile Pure Water Co. During the early 1900s, the home was an asylum and sanitarium; and later, for more than a half century was utilized as a nursing home.
What’s new: The Vaile Victorian Society is responsible for furnishing the mansion in the splendor and style of the Victorian Era. To that end, the society continues its efforts to collect furnishing from individual donations. Refurnishing is an on-going process as new pieces are found that are more authentic and allow for replacing those damaged by deterioration.
Special dates: Nov. 28 – Dec. 30: Victorian Christmas Magic – Vaile Mansion Christmas Tours: “Victorian Christmas Magic” Nov. 28 -Dec. 30, Mon.-Sat. 10 to 4, Sun. 1 to 4, Adults $6. Tour the elegant rooms with marble fireplaces and crystal chandeliers decorated with elves, pixies, snowmen, and fairies, in a magical setting. Dec. 6: Champagne and Chandeliers – 5:30 to 8 p.m. $35 per person. Guests will have a special mystery to solve.
– Emily Crawford, Independence Tourism