Fun on the Farm: Perspectives from an Intern

Hi folks, my name is Townsend Hart and I’m a historic preservation and museum studies minor at the University of Mary Washington. I’m currently interning with both Gretchen Goodell (Curator) and Abigail Newkirk (Director of Interpretation and Education). The objective for the internship is to research various objects belonging to Stratford andcreate interpretive proposals. Initially I planed to work on …

Hands-on History

Most history buffs and museum enthusiasts have a specific memory of being at a museum as a child (sometimes called “sticky memories” because we remember vivid details even as adults). Sometimes it is a story that was told, or a specific room. Often it relates to a game or activity…something that could be touched. Accomplishing this in a historic house …

The new Slave Quarters Exhibit

The past month has been a flurry of activity here at Stratford Hall. All summer we have been updating everyone about our preservation and interpretation projects. Over the next three weeks, we will be highlighting three specific projects: West Slave Quarters, Hands-on Activity Room, and Southwest Outbuilding. The exhibits in the West Slave Quarters have been updated and are now …

Women’s Equality Day

Ninety years ago today (August 26, 1920), Secretary Bainbridge Colby signed the 19th Amendment into law. After generations of struggle, voting rights were extended to women. In honor of this anniversary, we decided to highlight a few of the remarkable Lee women. Compared to their famous brothers, fathers, and husbands, we know little of the Lee women. Much like her …

Summer Projects and Interpretation

As you can see in the last five blog entries, we have been very busy at Stratford Hall this summer. Projects are underway in the Southwest Outbuilding, Slave Quarters, and Kitchen. Extensive research and investigations are in progress for the Historic Structure Report (HSR) and Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI). So, now what? Two areas greatly impacted by the projects are …

Re-discovering Stratford Hall

      It is no secret that visitation at historic sites like Stratford Hall has been declining. This is not a new development, but part of a long-term trend that began over 30 years ago. Careful observers have lots of opinions on why this is happening, but it is clear these trends reflect a significant cultural shift in the …

Interpretation Department Happenings

With our shortened hours, visitors may wonder what we’re doing during the winter months here at Stratford Hall. I wanted to report on some of the projects my staff and I are working on this January, February, and March so all of our readers could understand what goes on behind the scenes–while we may not be open to the public …