Falling into Autumn

What do you like best about autumn: the change in temperature, the crisp aroma in the air, the vibrant red, orange, and yellow hued leaves, apple cider, athletic events, or fun activities such as a hay ride or corn maze or creating a Halloween costume? Personally my favorite part is the pumpkin. Picking the perfect pumpkin from a patch is …

A “new” Asparagus Garden?

After some of the country’s first garden archaeology digs were completed by Arthur Schurcliff and Charles Pickney in the early 1930’s, it was suggested that some of the only garden features that were found at Stratford Hall were “Possible Asparagus beds”. These beds were roughly 4’ wide, 60’ long and had broken bricks at the bottom for “improved drainage”. Since …

Fall in LOVE with Wine and Oysters

It’s that time of the year.. the leaves are beginning to drop, the mornings are getting cooler..and Stratford’s seventh annual Wine (and Oyster) Festival is right around the corner! The festival will be held here at Stratford Hall on the Oval in front of the Great House. This is the first year Stratford will offer oysters as part of the …

A Celebration of Virginia History

As many of you may know, Stratford Hall was home to four generations of the Lee family. In 1717, Thomas Lee acquired ownership of the “Clifts” property on the Potomac where Stratford Hall is located today. Thomas renamed it Stratford after his grandfather’s estate in England. The exact date of the building is unknown but the main house was finished …

Did You Know?

My seven year anniversary is coming up in October and I have been reflecting on how far Stratford Hall has come during that time period. Stratford Hall has a lot of exciting programs and projects going on right now which are why I thought it appropriate to dedicate my blog post to them. Did you know that our Comprehensive Campaign …

How Do You Feel About Humidity?

Frequent trips to the beach, firefly-lit walks around the oval, and stargazing on the back lawn: what’s not to love about summer at Stratford Hall? I can think of only one thing – humidity. I hate humidity, and anyone who has spent time on the East Coast knows we have a lot of it. Sometimes when the humidity climbs to …

Bonus blog post: You’re on Candid Camera!

We have mentioned this time-lapse camera a few times now, but I wanted to go into a little more detail. This is a project coming out of the Interpretation & Education Department. I am currently working on this MII (Mobile Interpretation Initiative) Tour. Guided tours will continue as they always have, but we are looking at adding self-guiding options using …

Going “Behind the Lens”

I adore a well-taken photograph. But I rely on some pretty rudimentary skills when I take photographs. I learned basic object photography in one of my graduate school classes and like to think I have a good ‘eye’ for composition, but with smartphones and photo-sharing apps, I find myself relying on photo-editing filters to make many of my personal snapshots …

What to do….

What do you do when a dining room is not a dining room anymore? What do you do when the entire interpretation of a room changes, new information is being discovered, and the room looks different almost every day? That is one of the challenges of giving tours of a room that in undergoing investigation/restoration. It is also incredibly fun. …

Remember Me?

I am standing in the Visitor Center. Sidney Smith Lee is staring at me. Well, his portrait is. Before this summer I had never heard of “Smith,” as he was known in his life, but I had certainly heard of his brother. Robert Edward Lee is known across the globe, and in certain parts of the United States his name …

Friends of…Stratford!

Beware, Stratford blog readers: this is a blatant infomercial. But I feel obliged to point out something that deserves attention, and it is part of my job at Stratford Hall. Funding. The Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, which owns and operates Stratford Hall, is a non-profit organization that depends on support from individuals and earned revenue to meet its mission. …

11 Ways to Live Wisely Like a Wise Lee

“There was Miss Ladonia too, Cousin Anne Butler Berkeley, with all her Brothers & Sisters. 25 Misses Nelson & as many Misters &c. &c. &c. &c. I returned to Norfolk with them at night. Saw there Uncle Edmund, Cousins Richard B. Lee, John Lee U.S.N., Sally, Nancy, Randolph, Tom Turner, & in fact if I was to mention them all …