Stratford Hall is currently undergoing some changes related to the Lee Heritage Interpretive Plan, which you have probably already learned from recent posts on this blog. One of those new changes, voted on by our Board of Directors in April, involves interpreter attire. Currently, the interpreters wear 18th-century indentured servant attire, but as of July 1, 2009, this will be changing.
Because the Interpretive Plan encompasses four different time periods–that of Thomas and Hannah Lee, Phillip Ludwell Lee, Light Horse Harry/Robert E. Lee, and the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association–it has become impossible to provide appropriate attire that can reflect such a long time period. This interpretive plan spans more than two hundred years! As a result, beginning July 1, interpreters will be wearing business casual dress for all regular house tours.
Similar costuming changes have been made at other historic sites, including Montpelier, Monticello, Mount Vernon, and Gunston Hall. Most historic sites–including Stratford Hall–continue to wear 18th-century attire when performing first-person interpretation. Interpreters at Stratford Hall will also wear 18th-century attire when conducting 18th-century activities (including blacksmithing, for example) during school programs.
Do you have questions about this change? Please let us know.