Katharine’s Healthy Habits

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hi this is Barry Helms for not as director of archives and library but on a had such a fresh Airy atmosphere that one doesn't typically think of germs but you should germs are certainly on Catherine's mind when she designed Wynalda like many in the 19th century Catherine Reynolds was no stranger to illness a childhood case of rheumatic fever likely caused lifelong weakness in her heart and it is a young college student at the North Carolina State Normal and industrial school she had her Higher Education frequently interrupted by sickness the most significant event happening in the fall of her junior year in October 1899 Catherine along with several other students came down with malaria Catherine's possessing the resources to return home left for Mount Airy to recuperate the students remaining on campus grew thicker and thicker a typhoid epidemic struck the entire campus in November killing 13 students and closing the school for two months one student recalled that it was a common and depressing occurrence to see the hearse driving by the dormitories throughout her life captain stayed current on all things scientific she was a member of the first generation to understand and accept germ theory she even owned her own copy of the story of germ life published in 1912 her underlying passages suggest that it was a book reference frequently during the planning for Renaldo's harm and daring Catherine also saw firsthand the effects of tuberculosis disease that plagued the South in the early 20th century catherine washes her own mother became ill and frail with the disease and she would have seen how it ran rampant in the tobacco factories downtown catherine knew that clean air clean water and clean streets are essential in creating a germ-free healthy environment a Rinaldi Catherine created a model farm dairy where her family had access to fresh fruit vegetables milk she made room for extensive outdoor recreational facilities so that her family can be outdoors golfing swimming and riding horses even the design of her home was dictated by her search for open air Catherine removes the newly fashionable bungalow style because its open floor plans permitted ventilation from room to room inside the home technologies like a stationary vacuum cleaner and air wash kept the interiors free of dust and germs at the far end of the West Wing plans called for a hospital room with a separate sleeping forge kitchen and dumbwaiter during the global flu pandemic of 1918 what's in Salem was stricken with this own outbreak in October barely three months after RJ's death captain eight-year-old daughter Nancy came ill the family's usual nurse 3 out of 18 burg second charge of the black emergency hospital at least in Salem one in the best care for her family Katherine sent for Jessie Hill RJ's former nurse from Philadelphia Jessie Hill traveled to Renaldo the contracted the flu and the train down and died herself within days of arriving Katherine found herself I haven't consoled the hill family as well as her own while also having to quarantine her entire household to contain the disease we're not his remote setting away from town likely help spirit from further tragedy

Whether you’re near or far, our hotlines are blinging with our curators and staff members ready to share more Reynolda stories with you. In this Call-a-Curator, Director of Archives & Library Bari Helms looks at the timely circumstances that led to Katharine’s vision of her estate.

You may not know it, but germs were one of the main influences on how Reynolda came to be. Having experienced and witnessed the toll of various illnesses, Katharine Reynolds set out to create a place where her family could have healthy habits.

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