Numbers

Instead of following the typical blog format I thought it would be fun to pose a series of questions and allow you to guess the answers which will be listed below. All the objects in the historic Dining Room and Cherry Tree Room had to be packed and moved for safe keeping, away from construction, while the two spaces are …

Carte de Visite Me in the Library: An Intern’s Work in the Archives

I often imagined archives to be dark places where people wearing little white gloves quietly tiptoed through shelves that tower perilously overhead, brimming with ancient documents. Luckily, this assumption is only partly true. In the Stratford Archives there are many historic documents and little white gloves to be found, but fortunately there are no ominous aisles filled with mysterious boxes—no …

Cultural Landscape : A Complete Preservation Picture

Preservation. The term conjures images of white columns and scaffolding. Questions begin to form inquiring as to what was the original purpose or color of a space or how did a structure function on the site. With the initiation of the dining room renovation at Stratford Hall, you might think that preservation is only concerned with the built environment. For …

Making History Human: The Musings of a Curatorial Intern

“What is the schoolmaster doing?” Gretchen asked me as we moved a faux cookie in his room in the Great House. It took me a minute to reply. This was a question I had not asked myself. I spent my first two weeks at Stratford Hall reading about customary seasonal changes that would have taken place during the summer months, …

Meet the Interns!

Meet the team of interns who are living and working at Stratford Hall this summer. Stay tuned for details about different projects and happenings here at Stratford with the intern blogs beginning this Thursday with our very own Curatorial Intern Natalie Sherif. Name  Natalie Sherif, Curatorial Intern University (current or past)  Gettysburg College (Class of 2014) What are you working …

Let the Investigation Begin..

The Preservation Department here at Stratford Hall is getting busy again. We are currently preparing to start the investigation of the historic Dining Room and adjoining Cherry Tree Room with the intention to restore the spaces to the fourth generation of the Lee’s at Stratford. The restoration will return the two spaces to their early 19th century appearance, which was the …

The Crooked Paths of Duplicity & Treachery

Does anyone think the current number of Congressional investigations of scandal is unprecedented? Or that “pleading the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination in a Congressional hearing is a recent phenomenon? Look no further than the Lee-Deane affair during the American Revolution for one of the best examples of what can happen during fact-finding investigations by Congress. Arthur Lee, the youngest son …

A Rare Glimpse into Pre-Industrial America

It is difficult to imagine a time when all manufactured goods were done by hand or with the aid of falling water, animal, or human muscle. However, this was the state of manufacturing in a pre-industrial age. To recognize National Preservation Month, Stratford Hall is hosting an annual event this Saturday that highlights the artistry, ingenuity and craftsmanship that was …

A New Face at Stratford

I started as the new Executive Assistant at Stratford Hall a month ago, after working at a university in the heart of Washington, DC. After being there for a year and a half, I realized that I needed to work in an organization for which I am passionate about, and so I started looking for openings in my field near …

May in Dining and Lodging

The Inn at Stratford Hall is springing into May with a bang. Last week we hosted a function for our Board of Directors. The event occupied the entire property and spilled out onto another historic home. Four days later, Stratford’s event staff organized a wedding for 170 people on the grounds surrounding the Great House. The groom is actually a …

Giving our Lee family flowerpot some TLC

Last week Karen (Stratford’s Collections Manger) and I picked up a jardinière (flowerpot) from a conservator’s studio. Now, caring for historic collections is a complicated duty. Often we practice what is known as “preventative conservation,” which calls for regulating the temperature, light, and humidity; taking care during cleaning and handling; and otherwise trying to prevent any damage to the object. …

Springing Forward with Education

In spring, Stratford Hall starts waking up. Everything looks green, the daffodils start to bloom, and the school buses return. Kids will try signing with a quill, carding wool, searching for shark teeth, exploring the Great House, and so much more. I love the sudden burst of activity. The arrival of three bus loads of school children who are full …