Tag Archives: Beckwith Mansion

2017 Eclipse

2017 Eclipse

In case you missed it, here is the 2017 Eclipse…

2017 Eclipse

Its aura was a beautiful orange color.

On the serious side…

The 2017 Eclipse was like the other partial eclipses I’ve seen.  This time, I used my pinhole lens to take a picture…

copyright 2017 db walton 2017 eclipse

Eclipse as Seen Through a Pinhole Camera

After spending time looking at the eclipse through my special sunglasses (made especially for viewing eclipses), I made a decision.  The next time, I don’t bother unless it is totality.

Guess what?

The next full eclipse is in 2024.  Totality will pass over Palmyra, New York.

Rooms at the Beckwith Mansion the night before and after are $50,000 each.  (Okay… they probably won’t be that much, but there is this thing called supply and demand.)


I picked a good peck of tomatoes today.  The last 2 days many ripened.  Elizabethe is turning them in to tomato sauce with herbs for pizza and stuff like that.  (She cooks it down so it is nice and thick.)

Our home teacher (John Harmer) told us about cucumber spiced apple slices.  Elizabeth researched and found a recipe and is making a batch.  She’s doing this to the huge cucumbers that went hidden until they got too big for much of anything else.



Busloads of people come to Palmyra, New York, each year.  It’s not just during Hill Cumorah Pageant, but all year long.  The busiest time, of course, is during Hill Cumorah Pageant, but next to that April through October is also an extended busy time.  Of course, the best Palmyra NY lodging is here – at the Beckwith Mansion… but then, I’m biased.

I’ll admit that it is an old house, and with old houses comes some caveats like no air conditioning, elevators, and modern comforts like that.  On the other hand, it has history, character and charm.

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The Beckwith Mansion


Busloads at the Temple

We had a busy night at the temple.  Someone commented it must have been the largest sessions I’ve officiated over.  Well, not quite, but close.  I believe I counted 30 guests.

We also had a couple of groups in the baptistry.  One was a group of about a dozen people from Pleasant Grove, Utah.  The other was a couple from Syracuse.  The first group came on a big bus.

Studio Cleaning

In cleaning my studio today I discovered all sorts of dead ants.  These are those big black ones.  They are dead because I bug-bombed the studio a few days ago.  (I do this each spring because if I don’t, the bugs overrun the place.)  It’s nothing the vacuum cleaner can’t take care off, but it is still disgusting.  I hate ants, hornets, wasps and squirrels.




I heard complaints about sidewalks not being cleared as early as 6:45am this morning. It got me thinking… let’s see… 1st-4th grades I walked to school because both parents worked and the only alternative was to hide somewhere outside and wait until school let out. (No thanks… it was cold in Idaho.) We had no bus service, and my neighbors didn’t shovel sidewalks, and the city didn’t plow our streets. I had nobody to walk to school with because I was the only kid on our 3-house street who went to public school. (We lived on the edge of town — the end of civilization as I knew it.) But, walking home was an adventure when it snowed, because you never knew what snowball fight you’d happen upon.

We (because I wasn’t the only one who did this) would cut through yards and fields to make the path to school more direct. I recall two barbed-wire fences to cross, and one irrigation ditch. Nobody called the cops on us as long as we didn’t stop to mess with the irrigation ditch, and even then, I think the farmer was scarier than the police ever were.

When the snow would start to melt, by morning, the sidewalks were icy. I didn’t care. I’d run and slide to the other end. If I fell, so what? It was no use crying because nobody was around to garner sympathy from. You just got up, brush yourself off, and continue on to school.


Years ago I took my younger children to see my childhood home in what is now Chubbuck, Idaho. I told them I would show them the route I took to school. After a bit of driving, my youngest daughter, Crystali, said, “Dad, I think you’re lost.” I assured her I knew the way as I probably walked it a few hundred times. Sure enough, I hadn’t forgot.

She was very surprised at the distance. (Of course, we stuck to the roads, and as a child I cut through the fields, but it really didn’t make it that much shorter… it only seemed that way.)

I’ll be the first to admit the world is a scarier place than it was in the early 1960s. But, to coddle a child because there’s snow on the sidewalks? Please, you’re not getting any sympathy from me.


I got out at the crack of dawn, and I measured the depth.  21 inches with zero deviation.  That’s official.  The Beckwith Mansion official snowfall for this storm – 21″ exactly.

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Studio in the Snow

I even made a path to the studio.  It’s the Grand Canyon of the Beckwith.

It took me nearly 4 hours to clear the driveway and sidewalks, but it’s done.  Nobody can complain about their precious child having to walk through the snow.  (Okay, I’m being sarcastic.  I probably shouldn’t be so sarcastic.  I did it for those who might be in a wheelchair, using a walker, or have other mobility issues.)

copyright 2017 db walton - Sidewalks

Sidewalk Cleared





When the kid at the shoe store doesn’t know what a shoehorn is, you’re old.  But, when the shoe store doesn’t carry shoehorns, something’s wrong.

That’s how it was today.  I have a hard time finding decent shoes.  My feet are sensitive and I would rather spend a lot of money on a shoe that feels good on my feet than I would any other article of clothing.

I found a nice pair of Perry Ellis shoes.   They are kind of like a desert boot, but with a smooth finish and a narrower toe.  In fact, these could be worn with a suit.

Because of the height around the ankle, it is difficult to get past the heal.  So, I went up to the clerk and asked, “Where can I find shoehorns?”

He looked at me as if to ask, “Why would you want a shoehorn?  What is a shoehorn anyway?”

“We don’t sell shoehorns,” was his response.

In my brain I was silently playing smartalec as I wanted to respond with, “Wait… didn’t the sign outside say shoe store?”

Those words didn’t leave my mount as I realized this kid is in the generation that walks around with the heal of their shoe smashed down as if the shoes were meant to be worn like flip-flops.  He’s probably never worn a Florsheim wingtip in his life, and has never had to deal with a very stiff leather shoe that requires that tool known as a shoehorn to preserve the integrity of the shoe.

It’s time to go on Amazon and see if I can find shoehorns.    In the meantime, I’ve got to nearly unlace these things to put them on.

Mexican Food

We found a place that serves authentic Mexican food!  It’s in Waterloo near the corner of the 5&20 and Route 96.  We’ll be back.

copyright 2016 db walton

Waterloo, New York

Canal Ride

I took my canal ride down to where they are building the bridge on Canandaigua Road and back.  It was the perfect day for it.  Along the bike trail it was quiet and peaceful and very bucolic.

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Canal Bridge Painting

I stopped to capture a picture, and came straight home and painted it.  I must admit, this is the first time I’ve painted while dripping in sweat wearing cycling clothes.  I’m not 100% pleased with it and might work on it some more, but for 3 hours of work… you can at least tell what it is.



Imagine sitting in a restaurant while demolition is going on… on the restaurant itself.  Yeah, it was actually kind of comical.  They are remodeling the Burger King in Williamson.  There I saw with my friend Tom while just outside a guy was breaking the outer wall of the building with a sledge hammer.

Tom and I got quite a laugh out of it.  I commented that I was glad they were using a sledge hammer and not a wrecking ball.  I was also impressed that the guy never once hit the window, yet he was striking just inches below the bottom of the window.

It’s not often lunch at Burger King comes with entertainment…. even if it is demolition of the building you’re sitting in.

The first day of June, 2016.  Time is flying too quickly.  To think the year is approaching that 1/2 way point.

Early this morning I got a heads-up call that they were raising the lighting towers on Hill Cumorah.  I shot out there to get a picture of the big crane holding a tower.

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Hill Cumorah Lighting Going UP

Palmyra New York Lodging

And, if you are looking for lodging during Hill Cumorah Pageant, try the Beckwith Mansion and Estate here in Palmyra.  It’s an 1830’s Federalist Greek Revival Colonial located right on Main Street, Palmyra.  It is walking distance from the Grandin Press building, Alvin Smith’s grave, several bookstores (including an LDS book store), and a few restaurants.

Palmyra New York lodging is scarce during Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Call us soon to get your reservation.  If you go to our web site you can see the rooms and prices.




Well, the Grand Ol’ Party is no longer grand.  May they rest in peace.  With the withdrawal of Cruz and Kasich from the nominations, it only leaves Donald Trump.  RIP GOP.

I’ve noticed a few friends have aimed their support at various Libertarian Party candidates.  The problem I have with most of them is they are off base on one or two issues.  I call them liberal libertarians.  What we need are conservative libertarians.  In any case, it boils down to inequity having overtaken politics and voting.

I think the death knell for the GOP was when they tried so hard since the late 1980s to be centrists and please both sides.  While I think centrism is fine for some things, it doesn’t mix with morals.  In fact, if you want to be a centrist, then join the Democratic Party.

While I will continue to write my representatives and vote my conscience, I will no longer align myself with any particular party.  My only alliance will be based on the issues.

It took me 5 hours to mow the lawn today.  The grass was so moist it kept clogging the shoot and I had to keep stopping and clearing the grass catcher shoot.

copyright 2016 db walton

Beckwith Mansion Spring 2016

Canal Connection Tonight

Canal Connection Tonight

The Canal Connection tonight had their Business After Hours at the Beckwith Mansion.  Several representatives from several local businesses came and toured the Beckwith Mansion.  (Those interested in joining the local Chamber of Commerce should click here.)

My day was quite full, and this open house for the Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for all of Elizabethe’s hard work.

We had a lot of cookies left over after the Business After Hours event.  That was after several members were invited to take some with them.  I guess we could always send any leftovers home with the missionaries comes Sunday.

Tomorrow is “date night”, and I’ve been trying to think of what to do.  Okay, let me reword that, I’ve been trying to think of what I would like to do, and what Elizabethe would enjoy too.  Heck, for me, I could find enjoyment going to Best Buy and looking at computer stuff, but that isn’t what Elizabethe would enjoy doing.  Well, comes tomorrow I’m sure I will think of something.



Canal Trail

Canal Trail

The Erie Canal Trail goes behind the Beckwith Mansion (but, because of an old section of the canal you can’t get there from here).  You can see the mansion from the trail this time of year because of the lack of leaves on the trees.

copyright 2015 db walton

Erie Canal Trail Palmyra New York

The cool thing about this trail is that it goes from Niagara Falls, New York, to the Hudson River.  It’s about 400 miles long.  One could literally walk from Niagara Falls to the Hudson, and from there catch public transportation to NYC.  (Yeah, that would take a while.)

My only complaint about the trail system is there are very few restrooms along the trail.  There are some places where it passes through villages (like Palmyra) where you could deture to use a restroom, but, for example, going from Palmyra to Newark would probably be a day trip and that’s a long time to hold it.

Cars are not allowed on the trail, but bicycles (non-powered) are.  The trail is very smooth (at least the portions I’m familiar with) and paved in places.  And, because it follows the canal, it is relatively flat with a few minor elevation changes.

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A Small Elevation Change

New York State Route 31 follows the canal for quite aways.  (The above photo is north of NY SR 31 just east of the Village of Palmyra.)  For cyclist this is great because you can have your support vehicle follow on Route 31 and meet you at some of the bridge crossings.  (Visit www.GetItDoneOn31.biz )


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Milkweed Pod

It is a beautiful trail.  Even the weeds are pretty.  You might even see deer and other wildlife along the canal.

Anyone interested in a tutorial photo-walk along the canal trail should contact Brent.


Looks like I will be accompanying the missionaries on Sunday as well as being the organist in stake conference.  The missionary conducting the choir dropped off the music today.  I’ve got some practicing to do.  The ones from the hymn book are no big deal — I play those all the time.  It’s the sheet music number that I have to figure out.

It will be fun to be part of the missionary musical number.

Lavender Paint

Lavender Paint

I opened what I thought was a can of dark purple paint, about 1/2 full, and added some pink paint, only to discover the purple pigment had floated to the top.  It was actually a light lavender paint and adding the pink didn’t have much impact.

Hmmm… I stood there thinking.  What a waste.

Ah, I got it!

I pulled out my acrylic paints and put some red, blue and crimson in it, got the drill mixer and ta-da!  A darker lavender paint.

copyright 2015 db walton

Studio Outdoor Door Wall (photography by db walton llc)

This is what the door looks like after painting.  The doors on the sides are yet to be painted.  The colors will be bright, a little bolder than a pastel, colors.  I still have a couple of doors that need to be mounted to the wall.

copyright 2015 db walton

Chipped Paint Removed from Door

Here’s the paint that came off that center door…

Such a mess.  The paint literally fell off when I looked cross-eyed at the door.  Okay, I’m just joking, but it came off pretty easily.

Since I had paint out, I figured I could handle working until noon today.  (Slowly working my way up.)  I took out some paint and started touching up the studio.

copyright 2015 db walton

Studio Painting Started

The green on the window sashes still needs to be painted, and the ribs on the green house windows need to be painted too.

I took a walk around the yard and the trees have buds, but no leaves yet.

copyright 2015 db walton

The Beckwith Mansion Spring 2015

The tulips and daffodils are in full bloom, and we’re starting to get grape hyacinths blooming as well as a few other flowers.

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Daffodils Blooming

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Tulips at the Beckwith Mansion

The elders came over and helped move my exercise bicycle in to the bedroom.  This way, I’ll remember to ride it.

Preparations for the Cold

Preparations for the Cold

Wait.  It is late April.  Why are we making preparations for the cold?  Because they say it is going to snow tonight.

Elizabethe spent a good portion of the day making coverings for her seedlings in the garden.  The sister missionaries came over and helped scraped some paint inside and then took a tour of the garden and back yard.

copyright 2015 db walton

Sisters Jones and Petersen

We want the place to look nice as tourist begin to arrive.  Here at the Beckwith Mansion we get a lot of guest, especially during Hill Cumorah Pageant.  (Hill Cumorah Pageant brings tens of thousands of people each day to Palmyra, New York.  It is held mid-July.  Those wanting to visit during pageant should make their room reservations NOW.  We happen to have a couple of openings due to some schedule changes, so call us before the word makes its way around!)

It’s been too cold to do any painting.  I’m anxious to get some of the weather beaten paint touched up.  Also, I’m going to repaint my door wall.  One of the doors is almost down to the bare wood after this winter.  And, I have another door that needs to be mounted to the wall.

The Beckwith Mansion and Estate is a Tourist Home.  (A Tourist Home is like a Bed and Breakfast, only we do not serve breakfast.  We offer a clean room and linens when you check in and access to the kitchen and laundry facilities.  We cannot, offer any hospitality services by law.  This, however, allows us to keep rates lower than motels, hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns.