|We were able to tour 2 mansions in Beaumont to see how the upper-middle class and the rich lived back in the early 1900's. We first toured the Chambers House which was owned by the Chambers Family for nearly 100 years. The house was built in 1904 and purchased by the Chambers in 1914. Mr. Chambers had been a traveling hardware salesman when he married his wife, Edith Fuller. The Fuller family purchased a hardware store for their daughter and her new husband because they didn't want her married to a traveling salesman. The Chambers had 2 daughters, neither of which ever married and both continued to live in the house until their deaths...the last one passing in 2004. THe girls never made any changes to the house in all the years they lived in it. Mr. Chambers was a thrifty fellow but wanted others to believe he had a lot of money so in areas of the home that would have visitors, he installed oak floors but left the pine in the rest of the house. The doors that opened into the living room, dining room and any other areas that were visible to guests, the door knobs were all brass but on the backsides they were the standard knobs for the time. There were homes built on both sides of their house that had grand porches. Not wanting to be outdone when passersby went down the street, he added an addition to the front porch to make it look more grand the the two houses on either side. There were servants quarters in back of the house but he refused to pay them so they had no servants. Everything in the house, including all the furnishings, are the same as they were in the days they lived there. Then it was on to the McFadden-Ward House, a Beaux-Arts Colonial style home, which was owned by a rich family who had made their money in cattle, rice farming, fur trapping and real estate. However, they also owned part interest in the land where the Spindletop oil gusher hit which made them much wealthier. Everything in the home is very opulent and stands as it was when the family lived in the home. The McFadden's had a son and a daughter. When the daughter married, her husband Carroll Ward moved into the house with the McFadden's and they lived in the home until death. There are no photographs allowed inside the home. It was fun to see the difference in how the two classes of people lived.