Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Brief Look at Abilene's Historic Buildings: the Seelye Mansion

The Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum recently featured the exhibit City on the Plains: A Look at Abilene Architecture. The following is a brief look at the legendary Seelye Mansion. (Photograph courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum.)

This enormous home was once said to be “the finest home between Topeka, Kansas, and Denver.”  To this day, the mansion is a testament to the fantastic wealth of A.B. and Jennie Seelye.  Built in 1905, the Seelye Mansion was state of the art at the time of its construction.  The family visited the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis to view many amenities and features that would later become a part of their house.  Thomas Edison’s original fixtures and light bulbs were used throughout the mansion.  The home also boasted six telephones, with additional telephones in the carriage house and garage.  This was very uncommon for a home, considering that many homes in Abilene did not have a single telephone.

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