Hunter-Dawson house gets new coat of paint

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Standard Democrat

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- It is a white Christmas for the Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site. The house is sporting a brand-new coat of white paint over most of its exterior just in time for the annual holiday open house at New Madrid's three historic spots on Dec. 7 and 8.

Site administrator Mike Comer said the new exterior paint is just one of several changes visitors will find at the house during the annual free tours. The tours are offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the candlelight tours set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8.

But it will take a careful observer to catch the new look.

"They are not great changes because for the most part the house is pretty correct," said Comer.

He explained that a paint analysis of the rooms was completed, prompting some repainting.

The fireplace mantles in the upstairs bedrooms are now painted their original black to give them the appearance of black basalt, which is the look the Hunter family had used. The mantles in the formal parlors will be painted to recreate the look of marble, just as they did originally. Also the paint analysis prompted a darker brown paint for the staircase with white spindles and trim.

Preparations for Christmas began at the Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site before Thanksgiving.

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