The Grand Dining Room
The large dining room in The Caldwell House was built to accommodate big family gatherings of the Caldwell family. Meals were prepared by the family cook, Gussie, and her helpers. Gussie wore a uniform and a white chef's hat to prepare the meals. She was considered by some to be the best cook in Abbeville at the time. The original dining room table was massive and built to open all the way from the back windows to the side hallway. This would accommodate the adults, but the children had to sit on a separate table near the entrance to the kitchen, and the oldest female grandchild was responsible for the youngsters. After the meal, only after being excused by the adults, the young ones would race outside to play. The men would grab a toothpick, get up from the table, slip the cooks a sum of money, then retire to the front sitting room for cigars. The women remained at the dining room table, chatting over cups of coffee. Sunday dinners were a family tradition and not to be rushed. Members of The Caldwell family have fond memories of those special times.
The most notable feature of the dining room at this time is the light fixture in the center of the pressed tile ceiling, which is made from crushed eggs. This was not the original light fixture, long gone by now.
The dining room serves as an elegant breakfast setting for current overnight house guests. During an event, its spaciousness provides adequate room for chaffing dishes even for extensive meals, yet still provides space for guests to dine.
The original wainscoting still remains, painted a deep burgundy. The original pressed tile ceiling and wood flooring is part of the room's current decor.