By Mary Sheldon
The May-Stringer House is adorned with three distinct newel posts on its main staircase. The newel post is the solid anchor of each set of balustrades. The post keeps the spindles and handrails straight and sturdy.
The posts on the main and second floors are about six inch square and are painted white. Each has similar, but varied decorations. Each post has a knob (Latin origin for newel) on top that has felt the hands of many residents and guests of the house over the years.
The newel post on the third floor, however, is very different. It is a four inch square post with beveled edges. Although just as solid as the larger posts, it served an area of the house that was usually reserved for family and household help, so it was plainer and utilitarian. This post and balustrades are stained and varnished rather than painted. Also, it lacks the sphere atop. The hands that grasped this post belonged to those seeking the refuge of the tower gallery or for access to the attic.
The newel post in the foyer was a statement to arriving guests: Welcome to this home that is beautiful and above average in elegance.
The Museums are open!
The May-Stringer Tours Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 3pm 352-799-0129
The 1885 Depot Tours Wednesday, Friday & Saturday Noon - 3pm 352-799-4766
The Countryman One Room Schoolhouse Closed for the summer 352-515-3054