Most of us have heard of Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum, founder of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. During his life, P.T. Barnum was a businessman and politician but was most famously known for being an entertainer. His name became synonymous with circuses, sideshows, and showmanship. Before he introduced bearded ladies and 800-lb … Continue reading “The Greatest Natural & National Curiosity in the World”: Joice Heth, P.T. Barnum, and …George Washington?
Originally, this post was going to explore colonial America’s fear and fascination with lightning and the practical tools created to help prevent destructive lightning damage. During my research, however, I encountered a tale about Mary Ball Washington and a close encounter with lightning that supposedly traumatized her for the rest of her life. If true, … Continue reading The Legend of Mary Washington and the Deadly Lightning Strike
If you’ve been to Historic Kenmore, you’ve likely been awestruck at the beauty of the plaster ceilings throughout the first floor. Although the identity of “The Stucco Man” is lost to history, he left behind a lesson above the fireplace in the Dining Room. The plaster work inlay there depicts several stories from Aesop’s fables, … Continue reading I Cannot Tell a Lie But I Can Tell a Fable: Aesop’s Fables and the Cherry Tree Tale
It isn’t known when the myths about the small white building called the Surveyor’s Shed at George Washington’s Ferry Farm began, or why it was believed by so many that the structure existed during George Washington’s childhood. It was long-held myth was that Augustine Washington taught his son, George, how to survey in this building … Continue reading The Surveyor’s Shed at Ferry Farm
I love stories. I mostly love true stories but I also love those stories that may not actually be true but are perceived by many to be true. It is in those perceived truths that one can make discoveries about how people and societies see history. Likewise, studying a collection of one’s own oral stories … Continue reading The Truth As We Know It
Have you ever seen ads for museums inviting you to “be part of the story”? Well, at George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore, many people are part of the story and have been for a long time. Those who have played an integral part in the ownership, history, preservation, and work of the properties … Continue reading Being Part of the Story: Collecting Oral Histories about Ferry Farm and Kenmore
I find that February, though it has the fewest days, can be the longest month of the year. The novelty of winter has worn off and, often, I simply seem to be enduring until the first glimpses of spring in March. I do, however, look forward with excitement to two moments in February: George Washington’s … Continue reading George Washington, Baseball Player?