A PREDATORY MIND: THE BREILAND LIBRARY
The Breiland Mansion and Library.
While Tesla and Holmes existed, the other characters and all of the events depicted in A Predatory Mind are fictional.
The second half of A Predatory Mind
takes place in the Breiland Library in Carthage, Missouri. This is both a former
haunt of Dr. Holmes and where the researchers must go to put an end to
the evil that stalks them.
A Brief History of the Breiland Library
Near the end of the 19th century, Carthage was an important source of limestone. In A Predatory Mind,
limestone magnate, sixty-five-year-old Gustavus Breiland, builds a
mansion at the behest of his young bride, Augusta. After a series of
tragedies, this becomes the Breiland Library
From the defunct website breilandlib.carthagemo.org:
to historic Breiland Library in Carthage, Missouri, the crown jewel of
America's Maple Leaf City. The library grounds take up a full city
block. Only while standing in the sunken garden in front of its
entrance can one appreciate the fantastic scope of the building.
Formerly, a mansion constructed and owned by one of the early limestone magnates of Carthage,
no expense was spared in creating its majestic structure. The first
floor is surrounded on three sides by a portico, an open-aired porch
standing two stories tall with a covering supported by a series of
fluted Doric columns. Plan a day trip to tour the grand monument. Strut along the promenade* or sip cappuccino in
the Hiram Breiland Memorial Garden.
Upon entering, you will find the
lobby rises two stories. A grand staircase worthy of a palace unfolds
before you. With over 45,000 sq. ft. of floor space and 250,000
volumes, the Breiland library houses the most books of any institution
in Southwestern Missouri.
45,240 sq. ft. interior floor space
40 marble columns
116 ten foot tall windows
3796 window panes
*Promenade is closed from November to March due to frequent icing.
First and second floor plans, 1940 renovation Breiland Library. Martin Hill Ortiz, architect.
Timeline, Breiland mansion and library.
The first three chapters
Notes and inspirations
A Predatory Mind is available from Loose Leaves Publishing for ordering in soft cover or electronic editions.It can also be found at Amazon in physical and Kindle editions and at Barnes and Noble.
- July 4, 1886. Limestone magnate Gustavus Breiland marries Augusta Kelly.
- 1887-88. At the behest of his bride, Gustavus constructs Breiland Mansion.
- August 1896. After ten years
of failing to produce an heir, Augusta Breiland employs the services of
a medical specialist and soon announces she is with child.
- February 6, 1897. In the eighth month of Augusta's pregnancy, Gustavus dies.
- February 28, 1897. Augusta Breiland marries her doctor in a private ceremony.
- March 4, 1897. Augusta Breiland and her newborn son die during childbirth. Her doctor is the sole heir to the estate.
- March 20, 1897. The doctor dies under mysterious circumstances. Without a will, the mansion passes on to the city of Carthage.
- 1899. After two years of
not finding a purchaser, the city of Carthage rents the Breiland
Mansion to Lord Thomas Conway. A devout Catholic, he builds shrines
throughout the house to counter its troubled history. Unhappy with
their new home, his family soon moves back to England, leaving him
- 1916. Thomas Conway is
found dead in the master bedroom from an overdose of sleeping tonic, a presumed suicide,
after learning of the death of his only son at the Battle of Verdun.
- 1916 - 1939. The mansion goes through a series of short-term tenants.
- 1940. Unable to sell the
property or find a new tenant, the Carthage city council votes to
convert the Breiland Mansion into a municipal library.
- 1940. A construction worker renovating the building dies from a poison gas attack.
- 1965. A state of the art audio-visual center opens.
- 1988. For the mansion's 100th anniversary, a computer center is inaugurated.
- 2008. The Carthage city council votes to suspend library operations pending raising funds for renovation.
More to the story
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copyright 2013, Martin Hill Ortiz