MANSION OF DREAMS A Story of Dreamers Who Made History

MERLE BUTLER VAHSHOLTZ dreamed of owning a fine old mansion, where she'd entertain guests with a glass of lemonade on the porch. But dreams must be set aside for the realities of earning a living. On retirement though, husband Fred told her she could have her mansion.

They bought the historic Lebold Mansion, a run-down old boarding house in the Old West town of Abilene, Kansas. Contractors shook their heads, saying it was beyond saving. In less than two years, Fred and Merle restored it to its original state, filled it with antiques and Merle began giving tours.She did so for the rest of her life.

Like many others, Carolyn McKinney, a Pennsylvania author, kept returning and asked Merle if she could write the old mansion's story. Merle declined, but when her son Bob agreed to co-author, the project was on. Noted Abilene photographer Robert Paull contributed two-dozen color photographs. This book sold out long ago and has become a collector's item, (Google it--we just found a used copy for $58.75). A few copies remain from the original printing.

Published 1997, 200 pages (8 color plates), 5.5 x 8.5, with historic photos and illustrations, $25, plus $7 shipping and handling.
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