Christian's Journal

one cool kid's very ex"site"ing blog

The Green Carpet of the Wetmore House

The Green Carpet of the Wetmore House

The green carpet from the living room of the Wetmore house, like the house itself, has a unique history.  It was originally designed for the Wade Opera House in San Francisco.
It was Dr. Wade Thomas`s idea to build the finest opera house in the United States in the city of San Francisco.  The construction started on Mission Street in 1873 and continued on and off until completion due to some large gaps in funding.  Finally, the opera house opened in January 17,1876 with Madame Inez Fabbri starring in Snow Flake! And The Seven Pigmies.  The pigmies names were Blick, Pick, Dick, Klick, Knick, Slick, and Strick.
For the opera house,  an art gallery was built over the entrance.  The central corridor ended in a large vestibule with a crystal fountain spouting cologne water.  Later , the opera house`s name was changed to The Grand Opera House. It could seat 2,400 people, but was rumoured to have occupied more than 4,000. The opera house was still running in 1884, but later burned down.
Wade ordered the green carpet for the opera house from France.  When it was completed it was prepared for its long sea voyage around the tip of South America to San Francisco. But when the carpet arrived, the opera house had already burned to the ground. Wade`s wife did not want to see it being wasted, so she used it in the family’s house.
Thomas Wade died on April 8, 1886.  A few months later on September 23 two of his children died.  When his wife died in 1910 she passed it to their daughter Lizzie Wade Mathews. She put the carpet in her double parlor. Her house is where the Oakland Public Library is today.
When Lizzie died in 1940 she passed it to her sister Lettie Wade Holland.  She never used the carpet.  When Lettie died in 1952 she passed it to her daughter Loie Erskine .  She never used the carpet either and none in her family was that interested in it,  so Loie and her husband Hubert, gave it to Alice Erskine.  For many years it sat in a basement until she found someone who could piece it all together and now it sits in the living room of the Wetmore house.


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