Illustration by Lois Lenski © HarperPerennial ModernClassics

Illustration by Lois Lenski
© HarperPerennial ModernClassics

Betsy followed her mother into the front bedroom. It was a small room with low tentlike walls. There was a single window at the front looking across to Tacy’s house and the trees and the sunsets behind it. The big bed for Julia and Betsy, the small bed for Margaret, the chest of drawers, and the commode for the wash bowl and pitcher filled the room. From Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

This spring the Betsy-Tacy Society received a grant from the City of Mankato to begin restoration on the second floor of Betsy’s house.

Doug and Candy Laven (BTS restoration committee members) began the project this summer. It was a hot, dirty and dusty job working upstairs with no air conditioning during the summer months. Their progress can be seen in these pictures.


Maud (Betsy) shared the upstairs front bedroom with her older sister Kathleen (Julia). The window in her bedroom faced Center Street from which she could see Bick’s (Tacy’s) house. In fact, she could see Bick’s upstairs bedroom window which also faced Center Street.

The Hart’s upstairs back bedroom is located at the top of the stairs that ascend from just off the kitchen. This room was used by the Hart’s hired girl (Rena).

The Lavens found evidence that Maud’s bedroom had always been a shade of blue or had a blue motif in the wallpaper. The back bedroom used shades of yellow/beige and pink with blue wallpaper and trim. The floors had been painted several shades of brown or gray. These samples will be used to match new paint and similar wallpaper designs to finish the bedrooms.

Once the rooms have been painted and wallpapered, they will be furnished to the 1900 era. Items the BTS will need for Betsy’s room include a double or ¾ bed, single bed, night stand, wash stand, chest of drawers, rugs, curtains, period clothes for the closet, and toys. Stay tuned for more progress updates.