It can be daunting to look at a blank space and realize you are in charge of filling it. And not just filling it, you need to create something that will leave a lasting impression on the public. The process of creating an exhibit is much more complicated than it seems. From the initial idea … Continue reading Behind the Glass of the Archaeology Lab: Creating an Exhibit
Usually, at this time of year preparations are well underway for our annual Twelfth Night at Kenmore: A Dramatic Performance. The play takes place in January 1776, during the first Christmas season celebrated at Kenmore. Unfortunately, this year’s celebration of Twelfth Night at Kenmore is canceled due to winter weather. However, if you are familiar … Continue reading What in the World is Twelfth Night?: A Visit with the Ghost of Twelfth Night Past
On a typical day at George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm, visitors experiencing the house tour are ushered into the main hall upon which a dining table is set out before them with 18th-century reproductions of plates, glassware, wine bottles, and serving dishes. This setting creates an interactive experience for our visitors, transporting them … Continue reading Dig These Dishes! We Recreate an 18th Century Table Setting Using Only Artifacts.
Couz. Betty Stratford by London 2nd [Nov] 1749 I have sent you by your brother Major Washington a Tea Chest; and in it Six Silver Spoons, and Strainer, and Tongs, of the Same. And in one Canister 1/2 L. [pound] of Green Tea, in The other a Pinch Bohee: and the Sugar box is full … Continue reading A Gift Across the Seas: Betty Washington’s Silver Tea Set from Her Uncle Joseph Ball
In this video, archaeologist Mara Kaktins shares bits of Mary Washington's dishes excavated at Ferry Farm and explains their significance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KCtCe-d-MQ Read more about Mary's dishes in this blog post.
The story of Mary Ball Washington is one of overcoming a lifetime of adversity. Often overshadowed by her larger than life son George, Mary’s place in history fluctuated from saint to shrew with many historians ignoring the obstacles she faced and overcame. The archaeological record sheds light on some of the strategies Mary used to … Continue reading Appearance is Everything: Mary Washington and Her Specialized Ceramics of Gentility – Some Seriously Fancy Dishes!
One of the most exciting and important discoveries archaeologists have made at Ferry Farm is a pewter teaspoon baring the initials B.W. It belonged to Betty Washington. This spoon was part of a set that trained her to oversee the extremely important tea ceremony. Serving tea in the 18th century was more than an act … Continue reading When a Spoon is More Than a Spoon: The Initialed Teaspoon of Betty Washington
You can also read the original blog post with a few more details here.
Mary Washington Monument in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Credit: Beth Hosier/The George Washington Foundation True or False? Mary Washington had a set of false teeth like her son George?FALSE - Mary did not have a famous set of dentures like her son George. All of Mary’s children lived to adulthood?FALSE - Mary and Augustine Washington had six … Continue reading True or False? Test Your Knowledge of Mary Washington
After George Washington died on December 14, 1799, his wife, Martha, burned all of their correspondence. From the perspective of a historian, her decision devastates. However, it was a common 18th century practice for married couples to burn personal correspondence after the death of one spouse. Perhaps it was a way for the surviving spouse … Continue reading “Your Entire George Washington”: The Affection Between George and Martha