December 21, 2009

Did you know? Wisconsin

On August 15, 1914, one of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's recently hired domestic workers, Julian Carlton, murdered Wright's mistress Mamah Borthwick, her two children, three of Wright's associates, and a son of one of the associates. Carlton set fire to one wing of Taliesin, Wright's house at Spring Green, Wisconsin, and then he hacked the seven people with an ax while it burned. At the time, Frank Lloyd Wright was in Chicago overseeing a construction project.
I did not know that.

20 comments:

capper said...

You're forgiven. After all, you're a furrenur, and can't be expected to know all about this great state.

illusory tenant said...

I've been to Spring Green a couple of times, but not toured Taliesin. I expect this is not something that's emphasized on the tour (much like the front desk at the Ambassador Hotel refused to tell me which room was Jeffrey Dahmer's).

capper said...

No, it's not one of their bragging rights.

If your a good little tenant, perhaps we can do a road trip out there. I have been there in many years, and I don't think my wife has ever been.

illusory tenant said...

Only if the House on the Rock is on the itinerary.

capper said...

Hell, we could make it a weekend and hit the Cave of the Mounds and the Mustard Museum.

illusory tenant said...

Oh man you'd never get me out of the Mustard Museum.

capper said...

I still have my "Poupon U." t-shirt from there.

They have a cranberry mustard that is exquisite on a cold pork roast sammich.

illusory tenant said...

For me to Poupon.

Jim Bouman said...

Were you a listener to "Chapter A Day" on WHAD-Delafield several months back, you could have heard the entire story read aloud in 30 minute segments over a three week period. The book is "Death in a Prairie House"--a grisly account.

"A list of books read on the program dating back to 1939 does exist, meaning that Chapter a Day may well qualify as the longest running regularly scheduled radio program in the history of radio in the United States." (Wikipedia)

Jim Fleming is retiring soon after a twenty year career with Chapter a Day on WHAD.

illusory tenant said...

Thanks, Mr. B. I've listened to Chapter A Day plenty, but missed that. I'll check it out.

AutismNewsBeat said...

I toured Taliesin a few years back. That's when I first heard the story. It wasn't the only fire at Taliesin. Wright himself burned down one of the building by accident. I think he was barbecuing something.

capper said...

For me to Poupon.

Sorry, but that gets the horseradish.

illusory tenant said...

I think he was barbecuing something.

Probably Le Corbusier.

Ordinary Jill said...

Didn't the Mustard Museum move to Middleton recently? I guess you could still make it a stop on your way west to Spring Green.

I heard that House on the Rock was meant to be Alex Jordan's revenge on Frank Lloyd Wright for not letting him work with him.

The whole sordid story of Wright's affair with Mamah Borthwick and the tragic murders at Taliesin was made into an opera, called Shining Brow (the English translation of the Welsh name Taliesin). It has the distinction of being the only opera to have its world premiere in Madison (back in the early 90s).

illusory tenant said...

Thanks, Jill. This is getting pretty edumacational.

Jay Bullock said...

The WPR people tell me that Flemming's reading of Death in a etc. is now available as a 4-CD audiobook. To order, call 1-800-747-7444.

John Foust said...

Your Poupon reference doesn't escape me. As he put it, "In the early days of television, you see, you couldn't say "poop." For years, I used, "...for me to relieve myself on." It didn't have the same kick."

I keep telling the other Frank we've got to turn his site into a TV show and/or book.

Barry Levenson's little mustard shop was in flux and did move to Middleton.

illusory tenant said...

I guess I'm not yet full-Sconnie, because when I hear 'Middleton' I think Rick Middleton.

Anonymous said...

Even I, one of your better friends, could have filled you in on this bit of history after a recent reading of "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan.

illusory tenant said...

Hmm a mystery poster.