Annual fundraiser held for Oliver House

Monday, May 7, 2012
Cathi, top, and Stephanie Stoverink head to the upstairs of the Oliver House in Jackson Sunday during the 3rd annual Wine Tasting and Tours. The fundraising event featured wine samples from wineries around our region. (Laura Simon)

The Jackson Heritage Association welcomed dozens of visitors during its third annual Wine Tasting and Tours fundraiser at the Oliver House Museum in Jackson on Sunday.

The Oliver House is a museum decorated in a late 19th-century style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes.

Sunday's event consisted of visitors touring the house and spending time in "Marie's Garden" -- named for one-time resident Marie Oliver -- listening to live music, tasting wine from local Cape Girardeau and Perryville county wineries, and eating appetizers, some of which were donated by the Gordonville Grill.

The proceeds from the wine tasting will be used to maintain the house, according to association member Stewart MacIntosh.

The association tries "to keep in the time period of the house, which means upkeep is expensive," he said.

Ronnie Maxwell, vice president of the Oliver House, said the association wants to "get people to come to the house" and Sunday's wine tasting was just one way to do that, he said. Other events held at the house include a murder mystery play, a trivia night, story times and Santa Clause at Christmas, Maxwell said.

The house originated as a log cabin and was remodeled in the mid-1800s by the Ferguson family, said association board member Kyle Mabuse.

The Oliver family lived in the home from 1900 to the 1930s, after which other owners ran it as a boarding house until it was purchased by the Jackson Heritage Association in the 1980s.

Robert B. Oliver, a Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney before becoming a Missouri State Senator, lived in the house with his wife, Marie.

Marie Oliver is credited with designing the original Missouri State Flag. But "this is not exactly what the Missouri flag looks like today, Mabuse said. "In the original design the bears are facing out. In the flag today, the bears are looking profile at each other."

Mabuse said his favorite piece in the house is a piano from the late 1800s, which was given to the association for display in the house, and was originally purchased by George Fredrick Bollinger for his daughter Sarah in 1798 at the cost of $1,000.

During a tour of the house, association member Vicki Lane talked of other items in the house also from the same time period, and how many of the items also are on loan for display. She talked of the Eastlake Victorian-style furniture found throughout the house and she showed the original sewing chest that belonged to Marie Oliver with original sewing items still in it.

Pertinent address:

224 East Adams St., Jackson, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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