Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finalizing the 2015 Demo Schedule

We are close to finalizing the 2015 demo schedule!  We have a few more details to figure out, but we'll post a schedule soon.  For now, our first event is April 25th at Historic Blenheim for Fairfax Civil War Day.  It's a great event if you are interested in watching Jeff forge.  They provide a wonderful demo space, complete with lots of tree stumps to sit on and watch Jeff work.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New York Scenes, Part 1


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Returning to Brooklyn: On the Brooklyn Bridge, 1975

I was born and spent my early years in Brooklyn Heights, and this is a family photo taken by my dad from about 1975 as we took a break from walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (I am in the pigtails in the center).  My older sister and I were obviously not too happy with the outing!  Jeff and I just took our boys back to see my old haunts this past weekend,,,,, I believe I now have a similar photo of my younger son whining on a similar bench on the bridge!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meeting Prince Charles at Pioneer Farm, Mount Vernon

It was a big day at Mount Vernon.  I was assigned to candle-making this morning.  After we worked with the 800 children who had signed up Colonial Days, Prince Charles and his entourage visited.   We had an engaging conversation about beeswax and a few other things, and he finished up our visit with a warning about the breezy conditions, the fire, and our attire.  He was absolutely correct -- we'd spent most of the day being careful with the fire and our skirts!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Candle Making at Pioneer Farm, Mount Vernoin

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a key aspect to good historical interpretation with guests is that I should come away from a day with something new I need to research.  On this particular day, I met a bee keeper who asked whether George Washington imported Italian honeybees because bees were apparently brought over on ships from Europe to America.  While I know that Washington had hives and Martha Washington liked rose-flavored honey (from the book Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation by Tammy Horn), I don't know the full answer yet.  There's always something to learn!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


A huge part of being a historical interpreter is the constant learning...it's one of the best parts, actually, that and the great conversations I get to have with guests! I review my general notes before most every day of work as a interpreter, and there are always new books on my nightstand.  One of the sayings in my department at Mount Vernon is that you should always leave a day's work with something new to research and discover, and it's true!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Morning with Prehistoric Lithic Artifacts

I spent the morning at the Mount Vernon Archaeology Lab washing and rebagging prehistoric lithic artifacts found at the site of the African American Cemetery.  I learned so much about flakes, hammer stones, corner stones, preforms, fire-cracked stones and more....and there's so much to learn.  Great fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gearing Up for the Season's 1st Outdoors Living History Demo

It doesn't look like spring or feel like spring but my first outdoors living history demo is this Thursday...on a day when we are expecting 3-5 inches of snow!  Really??!!  It's one of those times when I'll make sure to wear at least two petticoats (it's a Colonial event)  and everything else appropriate I can find!

In the meantime, I dug out a few photos of some of our blacksmithing events when we had to worry about heat stroke....It's a good week to think warm thoughts!

Sunday, March 1, 2015