Edited by Site Superintendent Cynde Georgen; from Trail End Notes, March 2001
As Trail End was being built, John and Eula Kendrick dealt with dozens of manufacturers and retailers across the country. One of these was an Omaha firm specializing in furniture, carpets and draperies, called Miller, Stewart & Beaton (later changed to Beaton & Laier). From the spring of 1911 to the summer of 1913, correspondence flew between Omaha and Sheridan regarding rugs, window coverings and furnishings.
Excerpted here are references to all of Trail End’s rugs: from carpets to stair runners. These letters are part of the Construction Era Documents Collection, housed at the Wyoming State Archives, with copies on file at the Trail End State Historic Site.
24 APRIL 1911 - [We] beg to apologize for not replying promptly to your [letter] wherein you indicate your decision on the Oriental rug, in which we are very much elated, both from the fact that we get the order for one of the finest, largest and highest priced rugs sold in this city, and that you are getting, without question, a most unusual, exclusive and pleasing rug … We are all very much interested in the decorating of your home, and are all taking interest in same, and it will be our desire to make it the prize of our efforts.
4 APRIL 1912 - We have the estimate for the Decorations, the Stucco Work and the Draperies, but up to the present we have not received a satisfactory reply from the Bed Room Rugs … consequently [we] have to write to New York again in regard to same.
2 MAY 1912 - You suggested in your letter that you had forgotten the decorative scheme of your own bed room. The color scheme is as follows: The walls are to be blended from the base up in a soft old silvery rose with a two-toned Cameo effect decoration in the frieze, and the ceiling to harmonize with same. You will remember that the draperies for this room is a two toned indistinct pattern of old rose suggesting the Adams period with a rug to harmonize with same … I fully realize as you do that the rugs for the bed rooms are more expensive than you anticipated … [In] the other stock rugs we could not get the color design nor the sizes … the seams will show and [you] would be compelled to take colors that would not harmonize with the delineations of the respective rooms.
21 MAY 1912 - Thank you for your esteemed order for the carpets and assure you that they will be placed at once, with instructions to push them as rapidly as possible without injuring the fabric. As you know some of the drawings of the rugs have got to be revised and I am working upon the same now. We will submit them to you in a day or so.
20 JUNE 1912 - I have placed the order for the rugs for the Dining Room and Living Room, but cannot place the order for the stair runners in the hall until you make a final selection for the Draperies in the hall.
13 AUGUST 1912 - In regard to the Hall and Stair Rugs, the order has been placed for the same along with the Dining Room and Library, but have reserved the measurements for the stair runners, which I want to get more exact than the plans give.
14 OCTOBER 1912 - We are very pleased to announce to you that all the rugs for the Bed Rooms are here, and have been for some little time. We do not expect the rugs for the down stairs until later in the fall, as the order for those was placed later, and further more it takes longer to weave those rugs. We are very pleased both with the color scheme and the workmanship and are sure you will be when you see them.
15 MAY 1913 - We have ordered the carpet for your backstair, 1st and 2nd floor, and for the entire floor covering of the 3rd floor hall. We interpret that this is what you want from your letter.
5 JUNE 1913 - We would suggest that if you will be ready in about two weeks, that we get your furniture and rugs in shape and ship them by freight now so that they will be sure to be there by the time your hangings, etc., are ready.
30 JUNE 1913 - The hand Tufted and Oriental Rugs were all gone over before they were packed and they are in perfect condition. There was a small space in an Oriental Rug that was mended. This was an old mark and one that you had talked over, as you remember, with Mr. Stewart.
13 AUGUST 1913 - In reply to your letter … we are very glad to learn that you are well pleased with your furnishings. From all the reports that we get it is the finest home ever furnished in your section of the country.
(Archival Collection, TESHS)
State Historic Site