The middle child, Mary Meux was 8 years old when the family moved into the house. After graduating from high school in Fresno she attended Anna Head School in Berkeley. As a young woman she was active in the Fresno social scene and at the age of 25 married a young attorney, Henry Barbour, who had come to Fresno from Ogdensburg, New York. Mary and Henry were married in the parlor in a lovely ceremony extensively covered in the local newspaper. Dr. Meux arranged to build them a house on T Street as a wedding gift. It had not been completed when their first child was due so Mary gave birth to her son Jack in her pink and green bedroom at the family home. A second son Richard was born to the couple six years later. Henry Barbour was elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives and served seven terms from 1919 to 1933. Mary's social life travels abroad and fourteen years as a Congressional wife in Washington, D.C, made her life a contrast to that of her sister Anne, who stayed at home caring for her parents and never moved away from the family home.
The three-sided bay provides a lovely quality of light in the room - a much nicer light quality that a flat wall with three windows would give. Also the huge avocado tree just outside gives the visitor the feeling of being in a leafy bower. The coal grate set into the simple painted mantel provided the only heat in the room before the furnace was installed. There are no base plugs in the room, so until 1970 any electric accessory; was operated by an extension cord to the ceiling fixture. The light fixture is all electric with no gas connection. All the woodwork is painted. Note the transom above the door, the white ceramic doorknobs and the fancy cast metal hinges. The closet is very shallow for clothing was hung on hooks instead of on a rod. The lovely Swiss lace panels are reproductions of Victorian patterns. The carpeting deserves special mention for the V'Soske Company had to reproduce not only the body of the carpet but a special boarder. Note the complexity of the carpet layers' job as the border had to be cut and mitered around the projecting hearth and bay.
A framed pastel drawing of roses done by Annie Taylor Burt hangs above Mary Meux's high school graduation photo (January 28, 1898.) A fashion print from an 1859 French ladies' magazine, Mary Meux's wedding photo (1907) and a tinted etching of a scene of U.C. Berkeley hang by the bed. The latter is labeled on the back "cluster of 4 University buildings, with the large corps of professors afford facilities for 1,000 students - University library, art gallery, gymnasium, great observatory on Mt. Hamilton are some of the accessories."
The three-piece oak bedroom set was popular and common at the time. A similar set was included in the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalogue for $29. On the oak commode are various celluloid dresser accessories, and on the towel bar some embroidered huck towels and a combing cape.
The hand knitted bedspread always attracts interest of anyone who appreciates fine needlework. Laura Amanda Stevens who came to Fresno in 1874 knit it in squares with fine needles and fine thread over 100 years ago.
Mary's high school diploma is dated January 28, 1898 and states she is graduating from the "grammar course" although she was 17 years old. Morris Daly was the Supt. and F.M. Lane her teacher.
Nearby are other framed pictures - Berkeley from the hills with the Golden Gate in the distance, an early view of Mills College, and a tinted drawing from a drawing by A. I. Keller.
Above the marble topped corner sink is a painting on watered Silk - an arts and crafts fad.
Two oak side chairs with caned seats are similar to chairs for sale through the 1897 Sears catalogue for 90 cents each.
The White treadle sewing machine would certainly have been common in a home of this sort. This particular model's patent runs from 1872 to 1881. On it is a balsa wood pin pad in a beaded holder and Anne Meux's own green Silk workbag.
On the oak table with casters in the bay are various items: a lovely Battenberg cloth; a Silver plated vase of peacock feathers; a carved mother-of-pearl calling card holder, Mary's book "Sweethearts and Beaux" by Minna Thomas Antrim published in 1906 and perhaps given to her when she was engaged, (it contains pithy sayings for those in love); a catalogue for the Monticello Ladies Seminary 1900-1901 which her sister Anne attended; a tiny buttonhook for glove buttons near a pair a of long formal kid Gloves; a mother-of-pearl and paper fan; a homemade fan perhaps of turkey feathers and stays decorated with a butterfly and a spray of flowers done in glue and gilt no doubt made by a lady of modest means emulating fashion of the times; a scrapbook with a red cover that belonged to Mary about 1895 and containing pictures, newspaper clippings, poetry, advertising giveaways, mementos and all the things that a teen age girl would treasure; 1897 Ladies Home Journal (10 cents) and an eyelet embroidery parasol with a bamboo handle.
In embroidered red velvet frame (patented 1897) is a photo of Mary as a new Congressional wife.
Note the complex curves on the beveled mirror of the dresser. Remember that this was common furniture - today, replacing the mirror would cost a fortune. On the dresser are the following: a pressed glass kerosene lamp, covered dresser jars; a lace trimmed Silk handkerchief embroidered "Souvenir of France, 1919;) a tortoise shell comb decorated with green stones; ecru colored crocheted handkerchief case with pink ribbon trim; celluloid frame (family unknown;) green china shoe; a three piece Art Nouveau Silver dresser set of button hook, brush and mirror; hat pins; and a cut glass dresser jar with a Silver cover.
On the mantel are a pair of green opaque glass vases with ruffled tops; a large china shoe; Several books - Works of Longfellow, (1882) Works of Shakespeare, (1888), By England's Aid, inscribed "M.D. Meux 1901;) a fashion picture torn out of a magazine and tucked up on the mirror to hide a broken corner; a beaded love letter holder made to hold a most treasured missive; a photo of Mary as a small baby in a red velvet standing frame; and a pale green art glass vase decorated with painted gold flowers. On the hearth is a Silver buttonhook by a pair of brown kid shoes decorated with cut steel beads from the Neil White and Co. Shoe Store in Fresno. Floy Long wore them in 1907. She did much of the lovely embroidery work in the house.