The staff at Stratford has made the intern experience both educational and interesting, and has offered opportunities for us to meet with other professionals in the field. Recently, the interns took a field trip with Phil to Colonial Williamsburg to visit with conservator Susan Buck. I will return to Colonial Williamsburg in a few weeks with Gretchen to meet with the textiles curator, Linda Baumgarten.
As this is my first trip to Virginia and I am far from my home in Texas, I have been exploring the area on weekend trips, such as the battlefield at Fredericksburg, George Washington’s birthplace, and Mount Vernon. Just a few weekends ago, Kat, Kate, Abby, and I glided along the Potomac on kayaks from Westmoreland State Park. I realize that the new will eventually wear off, but I still squeal when I see a bald eagle, one of the many deer grazing at Stratford, or a raccoon peering in the window. (I have been squealing quite a bit, actually, because the insect population here in the Virginia woods is abundant, and the specimens are large!)
From researching Lee silver to touring the Northern Neck and more on the weekends, I have appreciated the opportunity to live and work at Stratford. While here, I have learned much about the Lee family and am developing a better understanding of the historic house museum as an institution. I look forward to my remaining weeks here—it has been a great pleasure to collaborate with the personable and professional team at Stratford.