Historic Körner’s Folly, 413 South Main Street, is continuing a unique custom introduced by painter, designer, and architect Jule Körner. This April 15th will be a memorial day to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In keeping with Jule’s tradition, black fabric will drape across the railing of the porch in honor of Mr. Lincoln and his legacy.
A local newspaper, rather baffled at Jule’s tradition, published an article for the occasion, stating, “Some years ago he (Jule) instituted a custom for his own household and those in his employ of making the 15th of April a memorial day to Mr. Lincoln, by draping the windows and balconies of his residence (“Körner’s Folly”) with large black festoons.” Like Lincoln, Jule was sympathetic to the plight of African Americans. After Jule’s mother passed away when he was two, he was raised by an African-American woman named Clara, who he affectionately called “Aunt Dealy.” When he built his home, Körner’s Folly, he invited Aunt Dealy to live with his wife and family, building her a separate cottage on his grounds. At the time of her death, the Moravian church was not accepting African Americans into their cemetery, so Jule purchased the plot of land directly next to their family plot to bury Aunt Dealy with the family. As this example shows, Jule valued the principles Lincoln stood for.
Observing the death day of our 16th president was not Jule’s only bow to President Lincoln. Along with this tradition to commemorate his death, Jule also celebrated his birth. On Lincoln’s birthday, February 12th, Jule made sure to wave American flags and drape red, white, and blue festoons (festive draperies) over the porches.
Read the original 1896 article here: