The parlor was a formal room kept always in readiness for special occasions--to receive visitors making calls, for weddings, funerals, perhaps Sunday afternoons by the family for viewing stereoscope slides or other decorous activities, and for formal entertaining. Parlors were often closed off by sliding doors except for these special occasions.
The five-sided bay is the lower part of the tower, one of the main architectural features of the exterior. It provides a fine area in which to arrange the parlor set.
The mantel is cherry wood and machine made, probably ordered from a catalogue. It is just the way it was when the family lived here, except for a fresh coat of varnish.
The sliding doors with lovely embossed brass hardware close off this room from the hall. Similar doors are also located in the Library and Dining Room.
The picture rail molding provided a way to hang pictures without making holes in the walls.
The light fixture is a 1930's replacement, as is the one in the library.