The Governor's Residence is a short walk from the Deer Park on the south side of the Main Campus. As a special guest, you are invited to see the interior of the Governor's Residence. Next to the Governor's Residence is the residence of the Treasurer and a duplex for the Secretary and Steward.
Three story frame S barracks line the West Side of the Main Campus, with the avenue ending at the Treasurer's Residence. There are no partitions inside the barracks to interfere with the natural ventilation. Each floor accommodates about 40 men. We recently replaced bed sacks with wire mattresses, upon which the Veterans place three of the older, worn blankets. Our best blankets are issued for covering.
Thousands of visitors line the avenue in front of the barracks for special receptions and parades. The porches of the barracks are favorite resting spots, and ice cream saloons are nearby for your enjoyment. The Music Hall at the end of the barracks has been converted into a hospitality room and visitors can have a comfortable meal at any time during the day. One visitor left the following account:
"It was hot in the sun, although there was a pleasant breeze going. The corridors in front of the Headquarters and row of barracks and Music Hall were delightfully cool and pleasant. Everybody was in good humor. The young girls with their beaus were among the marked features of the scene. They promenaded along the corridors, visited the ice cream saloons, the Grotto, the Greenhouse, and seemed to enjoy everything." (Independence Day, Central Branch)
The Bandstand is the centerpiece of the Main Campus. This highly ornamental structure is brilliantly illuminated with gas lamps for evening concerts. The Home Band gives a concert every evening during pleasant weather. A civilian Chief Musician, 7 civilian musicians, and 16 Veteran musicians comprise the Home Band for 1885. We have enjoyed 214 band concerts in the past 12 months. On special occasions, the Veterans assemble on the parade ground in formation for a general review near the Bandstand. The Home Band creates a festive atmosphere for the special occasions attracting many visitors. You can view the orders for our General Inspection on June 30, 1884 and orders for the Board of Managers visit on September 18, 1884.
The Veterans employed by the Central Branch receive money wages and checks for use at the Home Store. We can buy any article that can be purchased in a city store, and at the same price. The plaza next to the cannon is a favorite spot for our old soldiers to congregate, particularly under the tree.
Supplies of clothing are issued from the Quartermasters Department, which is located next to the Home Store. Beginning in 1882, the woolen clothing for all of the Branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, except caps and undershirts, is manufactured at the Central Branch. All clothing and large quantities of supplies are distributed to the various Branches from the General Depot. Mrs. Emma Miller is the Superintendent of the General Depot. Mrs. Miller reported to the Central Branch with the first detachment of Veterans in the fall of 1867. The Board of Managers created the Superintendent position in 1884. Mrs. Miller was selected because of the profound esteem and respect she had earned over the previous 17 years as Matron of the Hospital. Mrs. Miller is respected, trusted, and admired by her official superiors and loved in an unusual degree by her subordinates and the sick and suffering to whom she ministers in Home Hospital.
It is not uncommon to see livestock grazing near our Main Campus and up to the east boundary of our property. We raise two varieties of thoroughbred cattle, dairy stock, thoroughbred sheep, hogs, chickens, etc.