As you’ve no doubt realized, we have an incredible team working behind the scenes at Locust Grove. Today, we’re talking with Sammi Hagan, Archaeology intern. Sammi just graduated from the University of Kentucky in May with a BA in Anthropology. Her focus was in archaeology and classical studies and she’s also very interested in South American archaeology as well as Cultural Anthropology.While she applies for graduate programs in anthropology, we’ve been lucky to have her working on an archaeology exhibit here at Locust Grove. Let’s see what’s she’s been up to!
We’ve passed another busy, blustery weekend here at Locust Grove! With tour buses, a Tiger Scout troop, two weddings, families taking photos on the grounds, and the October meeting of the Jane Austen Society of Louisville, we were never bored this weekend. So prepare yourself for a nice, long, newsy post! Here are some faces and photos from Saturday and Sunday.
Our Saturday morning docent is Charlie, a retired dentist who has been with us at Locust Grove for one year. Charlie’s wife and daughter both have volunteered at Locust Grove and sparked his interest in become a docent himself. His “lifelong love affair” with history started in middle school when he became interested in the Civil War . The Civil War period of American history remains his favorite, and he has visited most Civil War battlefields. He also appreciates GRC’s vision of conquering the Northwest territory with only two hundred men against the British. Stop by on a Saturday morning to meet Charlie and learn more about the escapades of the Illinois Regiment!
If you visit on Sunday afternoon, you’ll get to meet Nancy, a retired teacher who has been a volunteer and docent since 1993. Originally from Bowling Green, KY, she became interested in history when her grandmother talked about her ancestors while she was growing up. When she taught fourth and fifth grade, Nancy brought her classes to Locust Grove because in fourth grade she taught Louisville history and in fifth grade she taught US History. Students still get the benefit of Nancy’s knowledge–she also gives school group tours during the week! But if you want Nancy all to yourself, Sunday is a perfect time for a tour.
The museum store also saw some excitement with a new stock of Locust Grove logo shirts and hats, as well as some lovely embroidered scarves.
On Sunday afternoon, we also had the pleasure of hosting the monthly meeting of the Jane Austen Society of Louisville. Our own Marketing coordinator Bonny Wise is the Regional Coordinator for the Jane Austen Society of North America, and these ladies and gentlemen meet monthly at Locust Grove for afternoon tea and discussion to keep Regency life alive! This month’s topic was film adaptations of Mansfield Park, and next month, on November 16, Anne Fischer will speak on The Education of Young Women. If you’d like to learn more about JASNA-Louisville’s activities, you can visit their website here! I hope to see you in your Regency finest next month.
JASNA Louisville member and Locust Grove costumed interpreter and hearth cook Melissa brought yummy lavender shortbread to share at afternoon tea, and she shared the recipe with us! She modified it from this recipe to give it that Jane Austen flair.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp lavender, dried or fresh
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 2. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add flour and lavender. Mix well. 3. If dough is too dry, add 1 tbsp or more of water. Knead briefly and then press into a disc on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch in thickness. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lavender. 4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes. When it is still warm from the oven, cut into strips.
I have tasted this recipe, and I can attest to its deliciousness! Thanks for sharing, Melissa!
Jennifer and I were also amused by a squirrel at our front door who seemed intent on licking every single brick on the walkway. It may seem mundane, but this squirrel could be a descendant of a squirrel the Croghans may have known! Or if not, at least he was cute.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend at Locust Grove! I hope you’ll get the opportunity to visit us soon. In fact, next weekend is the perfect time! The 18th Century Market Fair is next weekend, October 25 and 26, from 10-4:30pm. We’ll have reenactors, mock battles, entertainment, food, drink, and so much fun! You can find more information here. I know I said the Antiques Fair was going to be awesome, but the Market Fair is going to be just as cool. We’ll see you then back in 1790!
With kind regards,
Welcome to the second part in the series, “Our Red-Haired Revolutionary”, which focuses on stories and facts about George Rogers Clark that are a little more obscure and might not get mentioned on your tour of Locust Grove. For this installment, I turned to our wonderful docents to find out what they admired most about this complicated, curmudgeonly gentleman.
Docent Jeannie V. loves the story of our own GRC and his brother William helping Thomas Jefferson acquire mammoth bones from Big Bone Lick. As the story goes, Jefferson was fascinated by the extinct species, and wrote to GRC, “were it possible to get a tooth of each kind, that is to say a foretooth, grinder &c it would particularly oblige me.” (Susan N. really likes GRC’s correspondence with Jefferson–perhaps in the future we’ll have to take a look at those letters!) GRC first visited Big Bone Lick in 1776, while William Clark excavated Big Bone Lick in 1807, and sent specimens back to Jefferson. Some of these can be found on display at Monticello! (I think we should all take a field trip to see them–who’s with me?)
Like many of our docents, Jeanne appreciates GRC’s sense of humor. As one of the Indian commissioners of the Western territories, GRC had many native friends, particularly Delaware chief Buckongahelas. Once, when traveling down the Wabash River, GRC spotted Buckongahelas and some of his men in the woods on the side of the river. Wanting to scare Buckongahelas, GRC betrayed no evidence that he had seen his friend, but made a gesture as if indicating that other boats should follow him. Unbeknownst to Buckongahelas, GRC and his men were traveling the river in one boat, but the natives quickly left the area just in case they were outnumbered. GRC’s sense of humor and pageantry was also on display in 1809, when his leg was amputated at the Louisville home of his sister Fanny Clark Thruston. During the operation, a fifer and drummer stood outside the door playing music to keep his spirits up, while GRC kept time with his fingers.
Docent and woodworker George is impressed with GRC’s leadership. Not only did he lead the Illinois regiment all over this region, he convinced his family, including his mother and father, to move from Virginia to the wilds of Kentucky.John and Ann Rogers Clark moved to Mulberry Hill in 1783. It takes a truly charismatic man to persuade his family to uproot their lives and make their way in a new territory. Of course, this is the man described by his aunt as “a very interesting boy, always ready to go to anything that was to do”.
Speaking of leadership, the Illinois Regiment will be in residence at Locust Grove during the Market Fair! Mark your calendars–October 25 and 26 from 10-4:30. Entertainment, refreshments, historical interpreters–who could ask for anything more?
Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to see on the blog or your favorite story about GRC! Let’s have a conversation about history!
I remain as ever your faithful blogger,
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.