The dining room was used for all family meals, while the help ate in the kitchen.
The mantel is oak and its incised carvings show Eastlake influence. It also is machine made and was ordered from a catalogue.
Anecdote: After the house was purchased by the City and before restoration began, security was a great problem. A man was hired to come by and check on the house at odd hours, day and night. One day he arrived and found this mantel sitting by the front door in the entry. It had been carefully pried away from the wall, and evidentially the thief had gone off to find a truck. The mantel was replaced in the dining room and security measures increased.
The coal basket in the fireplace is on wheels and can be rolled out for cleaning.
This might be a good place to point out the very wide baseboards and moldings and the picture rail, as two paintings in this room are hung properly from it.
The most unique feature of the room is the original wallpaper still in use. It has an overall floral pattern of peonies, and the pattern conveys the same impression as the hall paper. It was no doubt much lighter to begin with, but years of coal fires and gas and kerosene lamps have darkened it. It has held up very well. The only thing that will ruin it is the oil from people’s hands that can't resist touching it.
The three-sided bay adds interest to the shape of the room.