May 25, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
To celebrate May as National Preservation Month, Stratford Hall will offer visitors a rare opportunity to observe the traditional methods of colonial iron making, smelting, forging and farriering. These demonstrations highlight the importance of blacksmithing in the establishment and growth of colonial America. Cost is $10 for adults ($5 each for groups of 3 or more), $5 children, free to children under 5 . FOS cardholders admitted free. Admission includes a tour of the Great House. Grounds passes will not be sold on this special event day.
Things to do and see
In the Visitor Center: An exhibit of archaeological artifacts recovered from excavations at Stratford Hall; the items on display will represent items that would have been made on farms and plantations during colonial times.
Near the coach house: Lee Sauders and Steve Mankowski will demonstrate smelting by using a bloomery…a small and simple furnace…and limonite ore. Jeff Dunkelberger, Caitlin Garvey, and Lucas and Liam Dunkelberger will demonstrate hand forging of various ironwork items, such as axes, common to the Lees of Stratford. Steve Walthall will demonstrate the work of the craftsman who trims and shoes horses’ hooves.
On the Oval: The Richmond-based Falling Creek Ironworks will be exhibiting and discussing archaeologically significant observations and research from the oldest ironworks in Virginia. Refreshments from the Inn at Stratford Hall will be for sale.
On the Grounds: Participants can also walk Stratford’s nature trails and visit the gardens. The Plantation Dining Room will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the Gift Shop will be open all day. Food items from The Inn at Stratford Hall will be sold near the activities on the Oval and will include turkey legs, barbecued ribs, grilled shrimp skewers, cheeseburgers, grilled corn on the cob, cole slaw, chips, cookies, bottled water and sodas.
For more information on iron in Virginia, see https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/commercedocs/MRC_1.pdf.