The word "Victorian" refers roughly to the period of time between 1850 and 1900, when Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire. Because of its many colonies, English rule extended around the globe, giving rise to the saying that the sun never sat on the British Empire. The furnishings in this room date from that period, and reflect the ornate style popular then. The outside of the house would be just as ornamented and complicated as the interior. Large covered porches with fancy trim, spindles and brackets, tall windows with stained glass: all these were desirable features on a Victorian house.
The word "Parlor" comes from the French word "parler", which means to speak. This parlor would be a nice place to sit and talk. Reading was another possibility, and the tall bookcase in the corner is filled with books written by La Porte County authors. Also prominent in this room is the bronze statue holding a clock over her head, made in France around 1865.
A tall table in the middle of the room was typical of Victorian parlors because it helped the kerosene lamp to shed its light over a wider area.
This mahogany slant-front desk captures the Victorian style at its peak. Notice the drawer handles carved as monster heads, the elaborately decorated sides and the brass mounts and rail around the top. Inside, carved pigeonholes conceal a secret compartment for valuables.