Here’s the room to the left of the main door on the first floor of the House, painted in the verdigris color (it looks a little blue in this image; it’s really more green in person). This room was previously presented as the Family Dining Room; when re-furnished, it will become the Farm Office. Why? The paint shows us that this was a room designed to impress – impress the people who came to Locust Grove with business on the farm or with the Croghans. Tenants would pay rent here, deliveries would be made, daily orders given, and Croghan’s surveying clients would meet him here (until he built a separate office on the site sometime after Clark moved in). There’s a separate door to the outside, and this is the only room that has that. And the stair? We’re assuming that the Croghans slept in the room above, which has the same color scheme as this.
The room next to the Ballroom is now a lovely soft pink, with white woodwork. This was known until recently as the Withdrawing Room – it will now be presented as the best guestroom in the House. This is more a change of name than a re-interpretation, since this is about what we’ve always said.
The re-restoration gives us a chance to re-think the uses of the rooms and how we present life on the site. Docents will start training next week to learn the new interpretations and the stories that we want to emphasize now. It’s hard work, but exciting, because we’re getting closer to the people who lived here and the world they inhabited daily.