FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Right in the middle of Downtown Fresno is a house that pays tribute to the Victorian era.
The moment you take one step inside the Meux Home Museum, you will travel back over one hundred years to the Victorian era.
The house was built by Dr. Thomas Richard Meux.
“We’re excited for them to see what life was like back in the 1800s. It wasn’t like what we have today,” said Quintin Hoskins of The Meux Home Museum.
Dr. Meux made this Victorian mansion a home for his family in 1888 when they moved to Fresno from Tennessee.
For 80 years a member of the family occupied the home. Dr. Meux’s daughter, Anne, lived in the house until her death in 1970.
A few years later the home was gifted to the city of Fresno, preserved and restored, then turned into a museum.
“As the homes and the styles feel out of favor by people, people wanted more modern, ranch homes, things of that nature. They started dwindling down,” said Hoskins.
But The Meux Home Museum kept up the true style of the Victorian era in each of the 16 rooms, no part of a wall or ceiling is left undecorated.
Especially in the dining room. Dinner was the most elaborate meal. During that era, it would take three hours to complete.
Hoskins pointed out, “They ate in courses. Everything had its separate thing. You had separate dishes for each course. You had separate flatware for each course. You had separate glassware.”
Proper etiquette was a must in the dining room and the bathroom.
Guests were encouraged to use only a square at a time in the water closet and the toilet paper must hang in the “over” position.
The Meux family enjoyed some of the greatest technology of the Victorian era, including an Edison Phonograph. The device played music by a spinning cylinder.
Clothing in the 19th century was not purchased, it was hand-made for the most part. Each of the three hundred dresses and seventy-five suits on display in The Meux Home were carefully crafted.
“Back then you were learning how to make things. If you had lace or trim on your dresses or suits or anything. That all had to be hand made,” said Hoskins
Even playing the piano was hard labor. Visitors will see pump piano in the main hallway of the home. The instrument is played by movement mostly of your knees and feet instead of your fingers.
After touring The Meux Home, you will appreciate how most things are easier today.
For more information to The Meux Home Museum, visit their website.