Stratford’s Traditional Trades Fair to Feature Building Trades

Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes


For Immediate Release  

STRATFORD, VA, (May 9, 2016) – On Saturday May 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Stratford Hall Traditional Trades Fair will explore another aspect of pre-industrial colonial America, and there will be plenty of activities for the whole family including colonial games, a kids scavenger hunt and trades fair demonstrations.

In a century when most structures were built from wood, no tradesmen were more useful than the carpenter and joiner. The carpenter worked from a building’s foundation to its roof ridge. They laid floors, chiseled mortise-and-tenon joints, framed walls, raised rafters, carved moldings, hung doors, and nailed weatherboards. Much of the work was accomplished by large numbers of slaves–skilled and unskilled–that the Lees would have owned or hired.

Carpenters sometimes acquired building materials from less-skilled laborers, frequently using planks cut from logs by a sawyer and shingles made by slaves at a building site. A joiner would finish interiors by joining together pieces of wood and might work on door and window frames and staircases and other wood pieces within a house or building.

This year’s Trades Fair is produced in partnership with members of the Colonial Williamsburg Joiners Shop. Master carpenter Garland Wood will be joined by journeyman Ayinde Martin and master joiner Ted Boscana in discussions and display of building trade techniques and tools, the role African-Americans played in the building trades, and many aspects of material production and the carpentry trade.

The Children’s activity tents will feature:
• Kids dress up
• Colonial Games
• Art/painting
• Kid’s basic carpentry
• Crafts & Stenciling
• Kid’s Scavenger Hunt 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with prizes in the Gift Shop

The price for the event is regular admission: $12 adults and $7 children. Event admission includes access to the grounds, a self-guided tour of the Great House, and Trades Fair demonstrations. The gristmill will also operate until 4 p.m. The event is free to Friends of Stratford cardholders.

Learn more about this year’s event by going to and watching our Traditional Trades videos!