September 14, 2018 -- Seelye Mansion
The Georgian style Seelye Mansion in Abilene, Kansas is like a time capsule. Most of the home's furnishings were purchased at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair and are still in place. The furnishings alone cost more than the 55,000-dollars spent building the 11,000 square feet home. It’s currently a “living museum” where the current owner lives & conducts daily tours.
The 25 room Seelye Mansion was built in 1905 for Dr. A. B. Seelye who made his fortune in patent medicine with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. The Patent Medicine Museum occupies a former Seelye laboratory which has been moved to the rear of the mansion. The A.B. Seelye Medical Company, Founded in 1890, produced more than 100 products that were sold over a 14-state area. Best known cure-alls included Wasa-Tusa, Fro-zona, and Ner-vena....... products that today would be referred to as "snake oil". 😎
The electrical fixtures & appliances and most of the furniture & decorative elements are still original. Other items are only 80 years old, added when Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the Seelye Mansion's interior in the 1920s. Original Edison light fixtures and old Edison music machines fill the house, and there’s even a lever operated bowling alley (in the basement) which was also purchased at the 1904 World's Fair.
The home was featured in the History Channel's Mysteries at the Mansion. The episode Book Thief, Bigamist Duchess, Patent-ly Absurd premiered on February 20, 2015 and one of the three segments is about "the owner of an opulent Kansas mansion who concocts a supposed wonder drug." The mansion was also featured on the HGTV Special "Christmas Castles" in 2000.