On July 3, 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, “the second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that is will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” Well, at Locust Grove today, I’d like to think we made John Adams proud. There was pomp, there was parade, and most of all, free fun!
The Declaration of Independence was first read at the State House in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, and was first read to the troops on July 9. At Locust Grove, our own 1840s Dr. John Croghan presided over our ceremonies by declaiming the Declaration several times throughout the day. Dr. John is quite the stirring orator!
On Independence Day, Locust Grove flies a special 15-Star American flag to honor Kentucky, the fifteenth state. Military drills by members of the Illinois Regiment were also a part of our celebration, in honor of General George Rogers Clark.
John Adams decreed that we should have games, and so games we did have! Volunteer Heather presided over our games area, teaching kids of all ages about Game of Goose, the Devil with Two Sticks, Whirligigs and of course, my favorite, Cup and Ball! Here’s Heather working on a silk kite like the one famously used by Benjamin Franklin.
What’s more American than pizza and beer? We loved having Mozza Pi and a local beer vendor join us for the day!
Speaking of American, our hearth cook, Melissa, spent the day working on a beautiful apple pie!
Miss Eloise Bullitt went raspberry picking, with limited success…
…while volunteer Nancy Lee was among the many docents who led station tours of the house for all of our guests!
Docents George and Charlie showed an interested in historic weapons after guiding guests through the main house.
Jeannie, the editor of the Locust Grove Gazette made sure the day was well-documented
And Cheryl managed our hydration and information station!
Many Croghan family members were in attendance for the festivities, and by the end of the day, toasts were being drunk to everyone from General George Washington to Judge Fortunatus Cosby, family friend and Croghan family lawyer.
It was a truly wonderful day for all of us at Locust Grove! We hope you enjoyed the celebrations!