Thursday, September 5, 2013

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 106

 Rosario Resort, Orcas Island, Washington, 2013

The postcard this week is from Rosario Resort on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington.  John Kaiser took the photo and the card was distributed by Smith-Western Co. of Tacoma, Washington.  The mansion was formerly the home of shipbuilder Robert Moran and currently serves as the centerpiece for the Rosario Resort. 

Bob and I took a short vacation trip to Orcas Island (before the broken leg incident) and toured the mansion museum, attended an piano and organ concert there, and also ate a couple of wonderfully delicious meals in the resort restaurant.   While there I picked up this card and also bought a book, Rosario Yesterdays by Christopher Peacock.  The book has early history together with photographs of the Moran family and the mansion.  Christopher Peacock was the musician who performed at the concert.   He also narrated the history of Rosario complete with photos that were displayed on a large screen while he played the piano and organ.  Many of the pictures used in the book and for the slideshow were taken by Moran who was an amateur photographer.  Upstairs in the mansion museum there is a library, living quarters and one room had examples of his photographic equipment.

Robert Moran and his brothers, Frank, William and Sherman, were born in the mid-1800s in New York and headed west at a young age.  Robert became a wealthy shipbuilder.  When he was in his 40s he became seriously ill and was not expected to live.  He left his business interests to his brothers and bought land on Orcas Island then built this beautiful home.  His health improved and he lived into his 80s, almost twice as long as the doctors expected. 

The interior of the home has beautiful woodwork throughout.  Everything from the floors to the custom closets were designed and made the way a quality shipbuilder would do things.  The architecture is unusual and the size staggering.   It is sometimes called the “Show Place of the San Juan’s.”  The attention to every detail is amazing.  I did not take many pictures but here are a few illustrations of the quality and grandeur of the mansion interior as well as one photo of one of the beautiful hanging planters filled with colorful flowers that were everywhere outside.

Hanging flower planter

Light fixture in the music room

The music room with the organ pipes and grand piano.  
There were two organs upstairs.  One was a "player" organ similar to a player piano that had music rolls but no longer worked as a player instrument.  This was the organ that Christopher Peacock played for the concert.  The other organ was a smaller pump organ. 

Closer view of some of the organ pipes and a little of the woodwork

There are 2,000 pipes for the large organ but these shown in the photo that are visible in the music room are actually just decoration and cover the working pipes that are housed behind them.

Stained or leaded glass window in the music room.

Moran owned a large parcel of land that later became Moran State Park.  While we were visiting the island we went to Mount Constitution located within the park.  A future post will have a little more information about the park and some photos of the views.

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