The frontier Millers, William and Emma, died in 1899. The Victorian era ended in 1901. Millermore survived to find new meanings in the 20th and 21st centuries. It was occupied by daughter Minnie Miller Miller and her husband Barry Miller. (so many Millers!) At 58 years old, Millermore had not reached the status of “This Old House,” but was just an old house. Minnie helped it survive the crisis of middle age with a new Colonial Revival porch complete with columns. Her daughter Evelyn filled it with happy laughter, judging by her memoir, Texas Childhood. (/images/postimages/texas-childhood0001.jpg) This slim book, published in 1941, presents a rather idealized childhood. Christmas is delightful, in part because Evelyn gets every single toy she asked Santa to brin ..
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Millermore’s close brush with destruction and rebirth as the first building in our museum, I contemplate what this house means. It means more than will fit in one blog. Millermore has been gathering layers of meaning for 160 years. It took the first 7 years to build the container for those meanings. For William Brown Miller and his (/images/postimages/cabin-interior.jpg) The Miller cabin was cozy but cramped. family in a lonely young settlement, that big house finished in 1861 was a mark on the land, signifying their success. Have you seen their cabin? It is smaller than one room in the new house! It is made of logs, a frontier embarrassment for respectable people who thought they should live in a refined manner. Or m ..