The Beginning

The Beginning...

When we purchased our house in March of 2020, we decided to honor the Victorian tradition and name our home. In brainstorming, we believed a family name should not be attached to it, as so many have lived here over the past 125 years, and many more for generations to come.

I researched Victorian house names, created a list of contenders, and we voted unanimously as a family to call our home :
Sunnyside Manor

As a result, you will see my referring to Sunnyside, meaning the home Miles McNair built in 1896

Below is a photo of Sunnyside in its original glory. Note the 3rd floor turret still intact. The turret was taken down due to wood rot, and not replaced because of material rations during WWII. My dream is to one day restore this missing feature.


The Lore

The little I initially knew of the house and the man who built it is based on word of mouth. We understood Miles McNair to have owned the local lumberyard, which explains the extensive and intricate woodwork throughout our home.

I also heard a tale that Miles was so frugal, that when his wife had their child and was returning home from the hospital, in lieu of paying for a cab ... he picked up his wife and newborn from the train station down the road with a wheelbarrow.

Other that those few scraps of information, I could find little on the man, the original history of the home, or his family. However, through my research, my love and fascination for Brodhead grew with all I unearthed in my quest to learn about Miles.

From the Pearl Rush of the Sugar River to Brodhead's founding entrepreneurs, from generational craftsman to local Suffragettes, I started documenting my findings in Google documents.

As more information, and more mysteries, grew in my research, I decided to leverage what I know ... blogging ... in hopes to centralize my documentation.

Lap of Legends

Through my research, I discovered that Grace Elizabeth McNair, daughter of the Miles, was a fascinating and well educated woman. The name of this blog is inspired from her University of Wisconsin yearbook byline: 
"In lap of legends old."

This quote is from a John Keats' poem, "The Eve of St. Agnes," which is a beautiful and romantic story of a love so strong, it is literally a heavenly experience.

I was also delighted to learn about Grace, as most preserved history is exactly that ... his-story. My hope is to capture and preserve the facts of stories of both the men and women that make Brodhead's history.

Thank you for taking time to explore the Lap of Legends blog. I look forward to sharing with you my discoveries, red herrings, and inevitable rabbit holes of discovery, as I continue researching.

Photo Credits 

(top to bottom)