Hoop Races and Antiques and Gelato–Oh my! A Day at the Locust Grove Fall Antiques Market

Hello everyone! I hope you had a splendid weekend! If you recall, the Locust Grove Fall Antiques Market was this past Sunday, and it was a roaring good time! Here are some sights from the day.

First things first: I always keep my promises, and Gelato Gilberto was on hand to provide delicious treats! The tiramisu was especially good, and as you can see, even visitors from the 18th century enjoy gelato!

Eloise Bulleit and Barbara Crosby try out 21st century gelato flavors.

Eloise Bulleit and Barbara Crosby try out 21st century gelato flavors.

Fun fact: Gelato is historically accurate! It was first brought to the United States in 1770, and ice cream was a popular (if expensive) dessert by the 1790s. In fact, during the summer of 1790, George Washington spent $200 on ice cream, and it was also a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and Dolley Madison. A number of 18th and 19th century cookbooks include recipes for ice cream, and because we know the Croghans had an icehouse and liked to keep up with the times, it’s not unlikely that ice cream was served at Locust Grove! More information on the history of ice cream and gelato can be found here, here and here. (Thank you for indulging me in this dairy-inspired tangent!)

Speaking of historical recipes, if you managed to make your way over to the kitchen, you might have spied something delicious! Brian and Melissa were busy all day cooking up five dishes that were favorites of the Croghan family, including white pot, Chicken Chiringrate, and apple pie made with Grimes golden apples, a historical variety. Here they are in action!


Stuffing the chicken


Apples ready for the pie!


Melissa grates carrots for the chicken stuffing


Brian pours wine to serve as the base for the sauce for the cucumbers


The finished product–stewed cucumbers and a pie! Great work, Melissa and Brian! They both look delicious!

The house was open all day for tours, and you might have encountered some familiar faces on your visit.  Barbara Crosby and Eloise Bulleit could be found having hoop races on the lawn–it’s a lot harder than it looks!

On your mark, get set...

On your mark, get set…





On the porch, Charles Croghan, aged 13, and his brother William Croghan, Jr. were engaged in some brotherly fisticuffs. Charles is a student at St. Thomas College in Springfield, KY along with his twin brother Nicholas, while William is home from law school in Leitchfield.


On the second floor, Mrs. Richard Taylor of neighboring Springfield was sewing a cravat for her famous son Zachary, joined by Mrs. Amelia Clarke, the wife of William Croghan’s nephew, Nicholas. A “coincidental Clarke”–no relation to GRC or the rest of the Clarks!–Mrs. Amelia spends a great deal of time at Locust Grove, and tutors Eliza Croghan at home in the domestic arts.

These distinguished ladies are the very picture of household industry!

These distinguished ladies are the very picture of household industry!

Upstairs, Eliza Croghan, age 15, was in the bedroom she shares with her sister Ann. Ann and Eliza both attended the Domestic Academy in Lexington, but Eliza disliked being so far away from her family, and has been educated at home by her mother and cousin Amelia.


After visiting the house, the Antiques Market itself had plenty of treasures to discover. Here are some of my favorites.







Soon after I saw the Miss America bag, I encountered another influential individual from the great state of Kentucky–Lyda Lewis, Miss Kentucky 1973!


102_4452You never know who you’ll find at Locust Grove!





All in the all, the Antiques Market was a great success! If you were there, I hope you enjoyed yourself! Please do share with us in the comments what you discovered! And if you weren’t able to join us, there are several upcoming events we hope you can attend. The 18th Century Market Fair is October 25-26, and tomorrow, October 1 is our monthly Afternoon Lecture Series, beginning with desserts at 1pm. Come enjoy a cookie or two and hear local historian and Locust Grove docent Lynn Renau speak on Kentuckians during the  War of 1812.

As ever, thank you for stopping by the blog and we look forward to your next visit to Historic Locust Grove! Who knows what will be happening when you arrive.

Yours, etc.


P.S. To receive updates on all the goings-on at Locust Grove, why not join our e-mailing list? Sign-up HERE to receive monthly updates! Or if you foresee numerous visits to Locust Grove in your future, why not become a member? Friends of Locust Grove receive free admission, invitations to members-only events, a 10% discount in the Museum Store, a copy of our quarterly newsletter, The Grove Gazette and much, much more! More information can be found HERE.

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Cherished Treasures: Your Top Five Reasons to visit the Fall Antiques Market

It’s almost here! The Fall Antiques Market will take over Locust Grove’s lawn this Sunday, September 28 from 10-4:30. Admission is $6, and includes a tour of the house. Whether you’re looking for books, furniture, or jewelry, we’ll have all that and more!

Tents are already going up for our vendors!

Tents are already going up for our vendors!

Now, I know you might be thinking, “That’s all great, Hannah, but I’m not really in the market for old stuff. Why should I bother putting this event on my calendar?”

Well, dear reader, the Fall Antiques Market is so much more than just old stuff. Even if you don’t plan on walking away with any treasures, it’s a wonderful chance to do some old-fashioned window shopping. As our gardener Sarah said, “It’s a lovely event on a lovely fall day at a lovely historic house.” What could be better?

If you’re still not convinced, let me give you a little more insight into what else you’ll find Sunday afternoon.

1. Halloween Fashions

Lest you think we’re behind the times, the Locust Grove Museum Store is already stocked for your Halloween needs. Scarves, earrings, pumpkin bling…even fascinators, as graciously modeled by our Guest Services Manager, Jennifer!


Spooky AND stylish!


2. Cooking demonstrations!

Melissa, one of our costumed interpreters and a hearth cooking whiz, will be taking over the Locust Grove kitchen to prepare five dishes the Croghans might have eaten, including stewed cucumbers and apple pie using antique apple varieties. She was in the kitchen this afternoon with Program Manager Brian Cushing to season the cookware–be sure to ask her what this means when you see her on Sunday!


Program Manager Brian inspects the fire.

Melissa and Brian making preparations for deliciousness

Melissa and Brian making preparations for deliciousness

3. Beautiful Autumn weather

I just looked it up, you guys–Sunday’s high is 83, without a cloud in the sky. It’s going to be a perfect day to wander the grounds, admire the foliage just beginning to turn colors, and bask in the shade of a two hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. In case you still need convincing, here’s a picture from a past Fall. I’m not saying the grounds look exactly like this right now, but it would be a shame to miss out just the same.

The first person to write a poem about this wins a prize.

The first person to write a poem about this wins a prize.

4. Chats with Historical Ladies

While Locust Grove is proud to be the home of Lucy Clark Croghan and her two daughters, Eliza and Ann, you might be surprised to know that you can also find three other historical ladies who call Locust Grove home.

Say hello to Dolley Madison, Sacagawea, and Jane Austen.

Say hello to Dolley Madison, Sacagawea, and Jane Austen.

That’s right–all three of these ladies not only hang out together, but you can find them in our Visitor’s Center. Be sure to drop by to hear their stories and admire their fashion sense. (Nice hat, Dolley.)

5. Gelato

Word on the street is that Gelato Gilberto will be making an appearance at the Antiques Market. And if you’re not tempted to visit antiques, leaves, or an 18th century kitchen, I’ll bet you can be persuaded with gelato. And speaking of dairy products, as an added bonus to your visit this weekend, you can poke your head into the (almost finished) dairy!

Be sure to admire the new gate.

Be sure to admire the new gate!

So, in conclusion, the Fall Antiques Market promises perfect weather, mouth-watering smells, dozens of vendors peddling their wares, unique gifts, a history lesson, and above all, a great deal of fun. If you see me there, be sure to say hi! And in the comments, let us know what you’re most looking forward to at the Antiques Market! I’ll meet you all at the dairy with gelato.

Yours hopefully,


A Golden Opportunity to Celebrate Freedom

When you venture down Blankenbaker Lane to visit Locust Grove, you’ll be entering the world of Lucy and William Croghan between the years 1790 and 1822. Yet recently, one of our costumed interpreters took us forward in time to the 1830s, using Locust Grove as point of discussion for the Underground Railroad. Catherine Bache is a sophomore at Kentucky Country Day School who has been volunteering as a costumed interpreter since 2010. When you encounter her this season, she’ll be portraying Eliza Croghan, the youngest daughter and fifth child of William and Lucy. If you read the Louisville Courier-Journal on a regular basis, you know that Catherine is already famous!  Her interactive program, “Faces of Freedom: Preserving the Stories of the Underground Railroad” was a sold-out hit on September 5, but there are several encore performances in the upcoming weeks. To help whet your appetite for the next event on November 8, Catherine walked me through the process of developing this program as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award.
Catherine Bache (C) during Faces of Freedom, part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.

Catherine Bache (C) during Faces of Freedom, part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.

How did you come up with the idea for your project? 
From the time that I became a Girl Scout in 1st grade, my goal has always been to earn my Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. History is my favorite subject, so I knew I wanted to do something in this field. In middle school, I attended a school field trip and participated in an Underground Railroad simulation program. This event truly spoke to my heart, and I felt the need to share that knowledge with others. The Underground Railroad is taught in schools with many myths. With this reenactment program, I addressed several myths to educate the public about the truths of the Underground Railroad.
Can you walk me through the process of researching, writing, and casting? 
I began my project by researching the Underground Railroad in general to understand the misconceptions myself. Once I figured out the groups of people from that time that I wished to represent, I chose the real people to base the characters off of and began to research their stories. If available, I researched from primary sources of the people, including letters and autobiographies. I wrote out a rough draft of the script and then to edit, I walked the grounds acting out each scene to make sure that the words would flow.
I asked my fellow costumed interpreters at Locust Grove if they would take part in my project. Most of them committed, as well as others who act in local productions.
The cast of "Faces of Freedom"

The cast of “Faces of Freedom”

What is the story of your program?
This interactive program showcases a significant and often stereotyped aspect of our nation’s history, the Underground Railroad. Program participants journey through the event as free African Americans, with freedom papers, leading an enslaved family member to freedom. Along the way, they encounter several characters including: slave holders, Quakers, free African Americans, and more.
Participants in the program become part of the story.

Participants in the program become part of the story.

What surprised you most about this project?
I was most surprised by the overwhelming response to the “Faces of Freedom” program! To have two sold out performances, with waiting lists, shows the interest and desire of the public to participate in this type of interactive interpretation.
What happens now? Will there be other opportunities to participate in Faces of Freedom?
The next performance will be on October 11th at 2:00 pm at the John P. Parker House in Ripley, Ohio. There will also be another event for the program at Locust Grove on November 8th at 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm. After these events, I will pass the scripts on to the National Park Service Network to Freedom. They will sustain my project by making it available to historic sites across the nation that interpret 19th century history.
Is there anything else you’d like the world to know about yourself or your project?
For the second part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I will nominate a site, called the Shrofe House, to be on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a documented site of Underground Railroad activity in northern Kentucky.
Thanks for sharing, Catherine! Best of luck!
And to all you other happy blog followers, don’t forget to like, subscribe, share and comment. We want to know what you think!
Yours, etc.,
All photos courtesy of Story Moon Photography and Catherine Bache.