Monday, September 27, 2010
Taming The Wilderness - Living History at Ellwood, September 26, 2010
The Spotsylvania County plantation house known as "Ellwood", was the site of an informative living history event on Sunday, September 26. The threat of rain kept some of the planned displays from attending unfortunately, but those that did set up provided a top notch presentation. Hosted by the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, the theme for the day was "Taming the Wilderness: Featuring some of the key trades, skills, and crafts necessary to build a house and provide for a family on the Virginia frontier in the late 1700's."
Built in circa 1790, Ellwood was once the center of a 5,000 - acre estate.
Lively musical performances on Ellwood's front porch.
On the lawn, Melondy Phillips demonstrated the preparation of animal hides.
Here, she discusses the softening of deer skins. Very informative.
A member of the Fredericksburg Spinners and Weavers Guild
demonstrates a loom, using cotton threads to make kitchen towels.
"Wenches" Elaine and Robin discuss the contributions of 18th Century Tavern
Life to our modern day language, with idioms such as "mind your P's and Q's",
"bottoms up!", and "he's not playing with a full deck."
Craig Jacobs, owner of Salvagewrights Ltd., chats in the afternoon shade with
some of his friends who presented information on log hewing, architectural and
decorative details, and antique woodworking tools and their applications.
Here, they are sitting on a partially hand hewn beam, which that morning had
been a standing tree. They are masters at their craft.