Preservation Month at Stratford Hall…

May is recognized as Preservation Month around the country but here at Stratford Hall every month is Preservation Month. On the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website for Preservation Month you will find the following paragraph: “May is Preservation Month! As in years past, the National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages preservation and Main Street organizations to use this month-long …

Moving Day

Well, moving day for one room. Today we started moving furniture out of the Parlor in preparation for our new restoration project. We had four staff members in the house, four movers, four guys from our grounds crew (special thanks to Tommy, Paul, William, and Randolph!), a moving truck, and a lift to make this possible. It is hard to …

Cultural Landscape Laboratory Update

How would you like to be able to click on an area of a map and be able to see how that area has changed over the past 80 years or more….and discover information about its history at the same time?That’s what’s happening at the University of Georgia where graduate students in the College of Environment and Design are geo-referencing …

A Collections Manager in her element

Many people in and out of the museum world wonder what a Collections Manager really does on a day-to-day basis. My job description is long and filled with specific language targeted for people knowledgeable in Collections Management. I receive questions ranging from “So you handle the money right?” to “What is there to manage?” As the staff of Stratford Hall …

Winter Changes at Stratford Hall

For the months of January and February, we are following new winter hours. Stratford Hall’s Great House andVisitor Center will be open only on weekends and holidays–January 18th for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; January 19th for Robert E. Lee’s Birthday (not an “official” holiday, of course!); and February 15th for Presidents’ Day. On March 1, we will return to …

Thanksgiving at Stratford?

  Last week I began thinking about Thanksgiving and wondered how the Lees must have celebrated it at Stratford. After finding no documentation in our research files, I consulted on-line references and came to the conclusion that the Stratford Lees, like most Virginians during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, did not hold annual Thanksgiving observances. The Internet provided …

Cultural Landscape Study at Stratford Hall

Arguably few terms cover more “ground” than “cultural landscape.” In fact, almost any part of the world affected by humans can fit within the overall classification. The microcosm of that world which is Stratford Hall’s nearly 2,000 acres can itself be examined as a unique cultural landscape. This, in turn, consists of component landscapes such as the acreage encompassing the …

Bird Update

It is the end of summer and as previously hoped, our Barn Swallow fledglings have moved on to warmer climates. While we surely miss watching the young birds learn to fly, I hope that they will not return next year to nest at Stratford Hall. While the birds were in residence, it gave us the opportunity to conduct further research …

Summer on Stratford Hall’s Beach

This post is by Lin, our beach security person. I’ve posted it for him. —– This was one hot summer sitting on the beach keeping people from coming onto the beach from the river. Since Stratford is situated on top of 150-foot-high cliffs on the Potomac River, I have to keep people from going up to the cliffs, which could …

A Painful Past We Must Not Forget

It isn’t possible to truly understand Stratford Hall’s history without examining the lives of the enslaved Africans and African Americans who labored on Lee family lands and who mastered crafts necessary to make plantation operations flow smoothly. As on other colonial tidewater plantations, it was chiefly their toil that produced the cured tobacco that was the foundation of the region’s …

Preservation Field Lab at the Spring House

  For a week at the end of June, Belmont Technical College’s Building Preservation/Restoration program brought eight students here to Stratford Hall to preserve one of our spring houses. This project was chosen as the first collaboration between Stratford Hall and Belmont Technical College to ensure that this spring house will continue to stand and function for years to come. …