In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Travel to the 17th Century

This is a close to needlework as I've managed to get this week-end:

This reproduction of a band sampler design was on display in a 17th Century house, transplanted from its original site in England to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

We found it at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va, an absolute gem of a living history museum that The Big Kid had discovered a year or so ago. We're all history geeks, and we look for museums and historic sites on our travels. This had slipped under our radar--this place really needs more publicity! It's fantastic!--but we made up for it this past week-end.

There are two main areas, one representing the Old World and one the New World.

The creators of the museum imported buildings and artifacts from the areas whose inhabitants left their homes for a new start in the New World and who settled in the Shenandoah Valley. So there is an African farm to represent the slaves who were forcibly resettled here for a life of servitude. There is the English home, one from Ireland (I would argue that it should be referred to as the home of Ulster Scots or Scots-Irish), and another from Germany for the Old World half of the museum.

Then the New World or American half has a Native American settlement, then homes from 1740, 1820, and 1850 (I think--the wonkier of the two wonky knees announced it was stopping with the 1740 cabin and was going no farther without an ice pack, so I had to drop out).

Since I've been spending time in the 17th century in my needlework for the last several years, I spent a lot of time in the English house and here are just some of the pictures I took:

The cook fires were obviously burning in the kitchen. You can't really tell how low the ceiling is in this room--and our docent informed us that the roof had to be lifted to conform with Virginia state standards. Dearly Beloved and The Big Kid still looked as if they were going to hit their heads on the beams--so if you tend toward the taller side, be prepared.

Breakfast Prep

Hopefully you can see the strap work carving on this wall cabinet, so similar to some of the embroidered bands on 17th century samplers.

The Master's Seat in the main room. Again, beautiful carving on the chair and table.

Storage for the family treasures.
Of course, I immediately thought of stash storage.

One of the bedrooms, again with lovely strap work carving on the chest.

I didn't get a good picture of the Master Bedroom, the room was too gloomy. There was a bed with bed hangings and pillows piled at the head of the bed.

I wish I had taken a picture of the staircase to the second floor. It was very narrow, spiraled, very steep. I was not sure my large and lovely self would fit, and quite frankly, on the way up I was using the steps more like a ladder than a flight of stairs. It was an experience.

This having gone on long enough, there will be other pictures posted later in the week.


  1. Ann, I'm so glad you posted this. We pass there often on the way to visit our daughter in Richmond and have often said we should stop there. We will definitely have to schedule a time to visit on a way to or fro in the near future. Looks very nice!

  2. I had always thought this had nothing to do with my favorite centuries - 17th and 18th. Glad you struck down those misconceptions!