Stratford Hall’s Traditional Trades Fair Will Focus On Interior Trades of the Eighteenth Century

Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes



For Immediate Release                                                                                  

STRATFORD, VA, (April 24, 2015) – When walking through a historic home have you ever asked yourself “how did they make paint back then?” or “how was such an intricate cornice made?”If you visit Stratford Hall’s Traditional Trades Fair on May 9, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., these and many more insights will be gained. You will have the opportunity to learn how hand-ground linseed oil paint was (and still is) made, how decorative plaster is applied, and how other interior trades were done in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The opportunity to interact with, and witness, the tradespeople who are keeping the trades alive will also be available. This will be a great time to see the charm of the fine craftsmanship often displayed in our country’s historical treasures. From the walls to the floors, we will examine the lost skills and techniques that transformed rooms into spaces filled with grace, comfort, and style.

“This is our way of celebrating National Preservation Month,” said Jon Bachman, Public Events Manager for Stratford Hall. “Not only can you see the tradespeople demonstrating their craftsmanship, but then you can see it on display in rooms of the Great House. There will also be many hands-on activities for children including basic carpentry, coloring, stenciling and painting pre-cast plaster figures, and a trades scavenger hunt with prizes.”

Overall Event Schedule

·       Self-guided tours of the Great House 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

·       Kid’s activities 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the Oval

·       Kid’s Scavenger Hunt 9:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m. (prizes in Gift Shop)

·       Mini presentations in the upper central hall of the Great House from 11:00 a.m. –    4:30 p.m. (Separate Schedule Below).

·       Tickets for this event are $12 for adults and $7 for children

For those who want a little more insight, stop by the scheduled series of “mini talks” on 18th-century interior design, beds and bedding , painting, floor coverings, textiles, gilding, and plastering. Or take a break and visit the other rooms of the Great House, walk the gardens, grounds, and trails. Take a short drive to our operating gristmill. Or try your luck at finding 16 million-year-old fossils on our beach.



Schedule of Mini-Talks

·       11:00 -11:30 “The Upholder” – 18th-century interior design – Natalie Larson

·       12:00 -12:30 Painting – Chris Mills

·       12:30 – 1:00 Woodcarving – Harrison Higgins

·       1:00 – 1:30 Floor Coverings – Gretchen Goodell-Pendleton

·       2:00 – 2:30 Leather work/key baskets/ trunks – James Leach

·       3:00 – 3:30 Beds and Bedding- Natalie Larson

·       4:00 – 4:30 Plastering -Phil Mark


For more information, visit or call 804-493-8038.

About Stratford Hall

Stratford Hall is one of the great houses of American history. Its magnificent setting on a high bluff above the Potomac River and its bold architectural style set it apart from any other colonial house, but its highest distinction is the family of patriots who lived there, the Lees of Virginia. Stratford Hall is the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and the home to the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee.

For more information, visit, or call 804-493-8038.