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October 2020 Source Guide
People: Tales from the Rat-Catcher
Places: Bridging the Danger
German Frugality Saved This House
Auctioneers Jeff and Beverley Evans restored an 1811 German stone farmhouse in western Virginia and transformed it into a showplace for regional antiques, particularly painted furniture, salt-glazed stoneware, and fraktur—with the added gleam of an extensive glass collection.
The Husking Bee
Gathering neighbors to help with the corn harvest lightened the work of the farmer, who thanked the laborers with a meal and a fiddle player for later dancing in the barn. Some critics regarded the tradition, often more play than work, as a wicked and foolish frolic.
Jim and Laurel Prichard, who came of age in the 1960s, taught themselves how to build houses, and later, to craft signs for national retailers. As a “retirement” project (still underway), the Yankee transplants built a colonial-style home in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and furnished it with their own handiwork.
The American Pantry
As colonists expanded their homes in the 18th Century, they often added utilitarian rooms for food preparation and storage near the kitchen. Called a pantry or butt’ry, these small rooms remained popular in American homes through the early 20th Century. We offer some tips for outfitting your period-style pantry.
Finding the Lost London Town
Bypassed as a potential trade center and site of Maryland’s state capital, after
thriving for a century London Town eventually disappeared from the map. In the 1970s, archaeologists dug into the acreage surrounding the lone surviving building to uncover the lost town. Reconstructed, its vernacular buildings reflect common life.
Cooking Up Quince
Prized by our ancestors for its heady fragrance, tasty flesh, and delicious preserves, the quince faded from gardens as people turned away from home food preservation and embraced softer fruits for their desserts. We invite you to take another look at the golden apples favored by Olympian goddesses.
The production of silk fabric, which originated in China, came early to America when King James I directed the Jamestown colonists to plant mulberry trees and raise silk-producing caterpillars. Sericulture briefly flourished in the Southern states, moved north to Connecticut, and eventually settled in the South and West, making America the largest silk fabric producer by the late 1800s.
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