What in the world is on George’s head?

Another week of excitement at Locust Grove, folks! January is almost over, and tomorrow, February 1, Locust Grove will be open for tours for the first time in 2015! The house has been cleaned and polished from top to bottom, and the best guest bedroom is refurnished and open after being closed for repairs over the past few months. In my capacity as Mary Beth’s temporary assistant for special organizational projects, I got to help prepare the room for visitors, which was just as fun as it sounds!

Making an 18th century bed is more complicated than it looks.

Making an 18th century bed is more complicated than it looks.

Mary Beth checks to make sure the tea table is properly set.,

Mary Beth checks to make sure the tea table is properly set.

Because most of the furniture from the best guest bedroom was moved to the other rooms on the second floor, Mary Beth and I had to take inventory of the great parlor, the master bedroom, and the family guest bedroom to make sure we didn’t move the wrong chairs or decanters. Now, you might be wondering, “What exactly does that mean, Hannah?”  Well, it mostly entailed me crawling around the floors looking for accession numbers while Mary Beth matched them against the inventory list. Accession numbers are very carefully written in an inconspicuous spot on the artifact, whether it’s a book, chair, wine glass, dining table, or tablecloth, so they’re sometimes very difficult to find. At one point, the great parlor looked like this so I could more easily access each number:

Are we taking inventory, or did something terrible happen to these chairs?

Are we taking inventory, or did something terrible happen to these chairs?

It’s a little like a scavenger hunt, but on the bright side, I can now tell you the location of the accession numbers on every chair furnishing the second floor!

When not in the house, my time was spent  helping to organize collections storage, which means I’ve been opening files and boxes to make sure what’s supposed to be inside is actually inside. Most of the time, it’s a quilt or some letters about acquisitions, but sometimes Mary Beth and I have moments of “Whoa! This is odd/fascinating/stored incorrectly/worthy of a blog post!” Here are some of our finds!

My favorite weird file find was when we were re-labeling files was a file labeled “Blinds” that I expected to contain receipts regarding the purchase of the reproduction Venetian blinds throughout the house. But lo and behold, there was more! There were pieces of the actual blinds! Why they were saved, I don’t know, but I’m glad they were, because every museum collection needs pieces of reproduction wood just in case!

The blinds file!

The blinds file!

If you think you may have lost your marbles, Locust Grove is here to help.

If anyone is missing their marbles, we have some in collection storage.

If anyone is missing their marbles, we have some in collection storage.

We also took a gander at this beautiful green and brown gown. It’s a little later in period that we represent in the house, but it is in good condition and is just so lovely! I would wear this dress every day if I lived in the mid-nineteenth century.



But by far the absolute best thing Mary Beth and I discovered in Collections this week was the following photograph:


Yes. This picture is exactly what you think it is. According to a staff consensus, it shows a gentleman portraying George Rogers Clark in Clark’s room on the first floor of the house dressed in buckskins. We’re not sure when this picture was taken, and we’d love to know the identity of the interpreter. Mostly, the staff had a lot of fun playing, “Find all the things wrong with this picture!” but really, only the clothing is truly inaccurate. The trundle bed is now on the third floor in the Boys’ room, and the woven carpet is similar to that currently found throughout the house. But the hat is still a problem. If you know anything about this picture, the interpreter playing Clark, what animal the hat might have been originally, or when it was taken, we’d love to know! And while we’re talking about collections, do you have any questions about Locust Grove’s collection or collections management in general? Let me know below!

Thanks for sticking with us during our off days in January! I for one am looking forward to seeing all of you in February!

Cordially yours,


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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