On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Meghan Budinger, Aldrich Director of Curatorial Operations for The George Wsahington Foundation presented a lecture titled “Cabinets of Curiosities: Kenmore and the Evolution of Museum Collections.” Using Kenmore’s collection as a case study, Meghan reviewed 100-years worth of museum curation and talked about some of the most exciting and unusual objects in Kenmore’s collection.
This final lecture in the latest trilogy of Foundation lectures took place at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Cash Arehart, Site Supervisor of the Capitol Building at Colonial Williamsburg presented a lecture titled “Credit and Coinage: The Economy of Colonial Virginia.” Using Kenmore’s Fielding Lewis as an example, he discussed currency, credit, the tobacco economy, and the Transatlantic trade and how they all converged to make Col. Lewis a successful and prominent businessman in Fredericksburg and Virginia a successful colony within the British Empire.
Join us at the library on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 for “Curiosities of Kenmore,” when Meghan Budinger, the George Washington Foundation’s curator, will talk about some of the most exciting and unusual objects in Kenmore’s collection and that are rarely seen by the public. Talk begins at 7:00 p.m. The lecture is FREE and hosted at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library at 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia. To learn more, visit kenmore.org or livesandlegaciesblog.org.
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Dr. Kelly Brennan Arehart, Manager of Interpretation & Visitor Services at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “Betty Washington Lewis and Women’s Health.” Betty Washington Lewis gave birth to 11 children; a feat almost unheard of today. Kelly explored Betty’s journey from childhood to womanhood, from maiden to mother, and medical challenges that 18th century women faced. A cradle to grave examination of women’s heath tells us of the strength and resilience of Betty Washington Lewis and other women who endured at time without anesthetics or knowledge of germs.
Join us at the library on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 for “Coinage and Credit: The Economy of Colonial Virginia,” a lecture about the business and trade of Fredericksburg merchant Fielding Lewis presented by David Arehart, a site supervisor at Colonial Williamsburg. Talk begins at 7:00 p.m. The lecture is FREE and hosted at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library at 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia. To learn more, visit http://www.kenmore.org or livesandlegaciesblog.org.
Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm experienced a snowstorm on Wednesday, March 21, 20118. Our staff took these photos of the snowfall from around the Lewis and Washington homes.
View of the front of the reproduction Washington house.
The house’s period-correct 18th century paint is called “Spanish brown.”
Actually built after the Civil War, the “Surveyor’s Shed”, incorrectly thought to be Washington’s surveying office, stands next to the reproduction Washington house.
The Washington house sits on the building’s original location atop a bluff looking west toward the Rappahannock River.
The old Ferry Road that led from Kings Highway down to the ferry crossing at the river.
The work yards behind the Washington house.
The west front of Kenmore.
The reproduction kitchen building at Kenmore.
Bricks under the snow.
The east front of Kenmore.
Snow pile on a portico column.
We also setup a timelapse camera at the Ferry Farm Visitors Center to capture the snowfall over the course of the storm. Closely watch the pine trees in the video below and you can see their branches droop down as the heavy wet snow weighs them down and then raise back up as the snow started to melt late in the day.
Each January, Historic Kenmore presents Twelfth Night at Kenmore, a dramatic theater presentation that imagines the first Christmas that Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis spent in their newly built home. The play is set in January 1776 and that year is not a time for the usual celebration. War brings fear, doubt, and frustration to the Lewis family and their friends.
The 2018 edition of Twelfth Night at Kenmore took place January 5, 6, and 7. Here are a few photos from the performances.
John Lewis (Michael S. Taylor) encourages Betty Washington Lewis (Barbara Escamilla Cochran) to reveal who the Twelfth Night king and queen shall be.
Betty Washington Lewis (Barbara Escamilla Cochran) welcomes guests to her home and offers a holiday toast.
Patriots George Weedon (L-Wilson Johnson) and Fielding Lewis (R-Rae Ehlen) worry about the latest war news.
Hetty, an enslaved washerwoman and house servant (Ashleé James), overhears Weedon and Lewis discussing Dunmore’s Proclamation, which promised freedom to slaves who fought for the British.
Mary Washington (Anne Lloyd) admonishes Nancy Alexander Lewis (Corinn Keene) to be mindful of her duty as a Patriot woman.
Rachel, an enslaved cook (Gladys Perkins), clears the dining room table after the ball’s grand meal is complete.
Having heard about Dunmore’s Proclamation, Hetty wonders how she might escape slavery and join the British cause in the hope of gaining freedom.
Fielding Lewis, Jr. (Sam Fulton) and George Weedon debate the wisdom of suspending horse racing in Fredericksburg as part of the effort to stay focused on the war effort.
The Lewis family sings “The First Noel.”
Henry Mitchell (Preston Simms) talks with Pompy, an enslaved blacksmith (Marcus Salley) and wonders whether he might as well become a Loyalist since his neighbors already seem to think that he is one.
Lucy Thorton Lewis (Cynthia Palmer), wife of John Lewis, acted as a guide for the evening and narrated our story.
Lucy Thorton Lewis (Rachel Sargeant), wife of John Lewis, acted as a guide for the evening and narrated our story.
The “Twelfth Night at Kenmore” cast.
The George Washington Foundation wishes everyone a joyous holiday season! Enjoy these from our month of festive happenings and decorations at George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore.
There will still be time to see Kenmore and Ferry Farm adorned for the season and delight in each site’s annual display of dollhouses, miniatures, and gingerbread creations until December 30. For details about these exhibits and our holiday hours, visit kenmore.org/events.
The nearly completed reconstructed Washington house at Ferry Farm.
Carl’s Frozen Custard in gingerbread.
Christmas tree in the Visitor Center at Ferry Farm.
Wreath on the Visitor Center door at Ferry Farm.
A gingerbread Humpback Bridge.
Kenmore in the snow in early January 2017.
Hacienda in Kenmore’s dollhouse exhibit.
Wreath on the gate at Kenmore.
Movie theater in Kemore’s dollhouse exhibit.
The traditional 18th century dessert table inside of Kenmore.
A pub in Kenmore’s dollhouse exhibit.
In this festive holiday video, Curator Meghan Budinger tells us about this year’s Wee Christmas Dollhouse & Miniatures Exhibit at Historic Kenmore, which runs until December 30.
To learn more about this exhibit, click here.