Winter Pastimes at Locust Grove: We’re Open for 2016!

It’s February! And that means one thing–Locust Grove is open for tours for the first time in 2016! We’re back to our normal tour schedule, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our friends over the next year, especially now that the house, grounds, store, and visitors center have all been spruced up.

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Sarah and Chris helped polish the woodwork in the house this January. It looks wonderful, you guys!

We also had a few days of snow that truly proved Locust Grove is beautiful in any season.

General George Rogers Clark paid a visit to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum to learn about Louisville during the Victorian Era. Our Cardboard Clark was quite impressed with the splendor of the mansion! Many thanks to Kate, the Executive Director, and Beth, our docent and a member of the Caldwell family, for giving us such a warm welcome!

Even with all of the staff and volunteers buzzing about to get the house ready for a new year of visitors, our Portraits still found it a little too quiet, and had some time to think fondly on all of the visitors who will stop in for tours and events and evening programs in 2016.

We are so ready for another year of remembering the past while making new memories. Take a peek at our events calendar to stay up-to-date on everything Locust Grove. Next up is Songs of Love, Loss & Longing, an evening of music for voice and lutes from 17th-century England and France, brought to us by Jeffrey Noon and Lindsay Adams as part of our Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Series. The concert is this Sunday, February 7, from 5:30-7:00PM. Tickets for this concert are $20; please call 502.897.9845 to make a reservation. We’re also gearing up for our Spring Used Book Sale, March 4-6, with a member’s preview on the evening of March 3. And yes, we’re still taking book donations!

I hope you’re just as excited about the year to come as we are! Stop by and see us soon.

Sincerely yours,

Hannah

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.

You can also follow Locust Grove on the web by subscribing to the blog on the right, and following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. (We’re everywhere!)

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Yuletide Greetings from all of us!

A Merry Christmas to you from everyone at Locust Grove! We have had such a wonderful time celebrating the season with you, and sharing the story of Locust Grove throughout all of 2015! Thank you for being part of continuing to preserve all that makes the site so special.

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For a bit of Christmas reading, here is a letter from Dr. John Croghan to his brother-in-law, General Thomas Jesup, from Christmas 1844.
“Locust grove Decr 25, 1844

My dear Genl

Your letter of the 13th caused me the most painful solicitude.  You remarked that “if there be not a favorable change I will write tomorrow.”  I am greatly relieved by your not writing as it satisfies me that, my dear Sister, and William are better. God grant that all of you may be well ere this reaches you. If I could act as my feelings dictate I would be with you, now and remain until Spring but my health, as well as other considerations renders it impossible. George gives me inexpressible grief and concern.  He has for two months acted in the most exemplary manner, but, it was apparent that something rendered him unhappy.  He told me a few days since the cause of his anxiety and indeed, I have just received letters confirming his statements.  He has at different times & places in his fits of intemperance, involved himself and drawn for double pay.  This has been officially made known, and he is miserable in consequence of not being able, as yet, to raise the necessary sum to pay these accounts.  A gentleman in Louisville offered to loan him on the best terms a sum sufficient to pay all his debts, and upon going to Louisville to receive this sum, he was informed by the gentleman who offered the loan, “that very unexpectedly & much to his chagrin, the money he intended for the Col: had been loaned the day previous.”  At the instance of the gentleman, the Col: left here Thursday for Lexington to negotiate a loan.  He expected to return Sunday; and as he has not as yet arrived, I apprehend he will not succeed.  He seems more thoughtful & more penitent that I have ever known him to be, and says, “if he can but once get free from the shameful embarrassment which his vile debaucheries have occasioned, that he will soon be what he ought long to have been.” I sincerely pray it may be so, but his past promises make me doubt it. Confidentially speaking I got a letter from William, enclosing one from Mr Wilkins, in which he (Mr W) expresses the great pain it gave him to state the Col: had drawn double pay for the months of Jan: Feb: March & April.  William writes that “to save the Col: he would pay one half if I would pay the other half.”  I wrote to him that I would and to inform Mr Wilkins immediately that he might consider the debt as paid. After all I have paid the Col. I had determined never to pay another cent for him, but here is a case involving the reputation of ones family and I, therefore, cannot hesitate about making an effort to save him. The Col. not being here, and receiving those letters during his absence renders me truly unhappy. This is Christmass (sic) merry Christmass (sic) – to me it has been a day of gloom and melancholy forebodings. Give my love to Ann and to my nieces and nephews and sincerely hoping that all of you are well, I remain dear Genl.

Sincerely yours,

John Croghan”

Ah yes, “gloom and melancholy forebodings”–just what the Christmas season is all about! Perhaps Dr. John had been reading A Christmas Carol, published by Charles Dickens just the year before and had decided to see what Scrooge felt at the beginning of the tale. One can only hope that he woke up from a long winter’s nap in much better spirits.

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Although it isn’t set at Christmas, the following letter, from George Hancock, husband of Eliza Croghan, to Thomas Jesup, expresses a little more of the sentiments of this time of year.

“Fotheringay, May 14th 1820

My Dear Genl.

I scarcely know how to account for our not having heard from each other since I had the pleasure of seeing you. My excuse must be my having been almost constantly engaged while at Louisville in a controversy with out old acquaintances Davis & Floyd. Davis has been informed that I threatened to horsewhip him, he wrote in a very insulting note with the including of drawing a challenge.  Never having made the the trust he had heard I had, I wrote him that his informant has been guilty of a malicious falsehood, that I (__) him as having such beneath the notice of a gentlemen, and should not notice him as such. A few days after Col. Floyd handed me a challenge from him–I informed Col. Floyd that I did not know his friend as a gentleman but would hold myself responsible to him (Col. Floyd) for, so doing, and be considered the offence sufficient, I was ready to meet him (__) did not think it cause of quarrel between us, & there it rested.

This you will say is a poor excuse for not writing, I admit it. But pray My Dear Genl what plea can you bring forward to us like your silence? Has the bustle and gaiety of the metropolis thrown a shade on the recollection of your former friends? I can answer for you that is has not, (__) your excuse whatever it may be, I know will be satisfactory. (__) as I am from society, I hear little of the world abroad, and my communications can afford little to interest you. So that the only pleasure you can expect from our correspondence, must be that which is the result of a consciousness of conferring an obligation.

I have  few days since from our friends at Locust Grove, they were well. By the by Genl. when do you visit Ky again. Having been made once your confidant I must insist to knowing whether you intend (__) the sign in the West, and like a true soldier, not discouraged by a first (__) make another desperate effort to pressure the fortress: Believe me woman may be compared to a fortress, the modesty, to its defenders. When summoned to (__) (__) some time feel confident that if attacked surrender is inevitable.

I say more however I must insist on knowing your feelings on that, are you mad? (__) will your answer, for as my Uncle Toby says “ there is reasons in all things”.

I have just heard of the recent changes in spain. What effect think you, will it have on our negotiations? Will the U.S. before they come to an ultimate understanding, wait until the present storm in Europe, may have subsided in a calm? (__) having been your study and delight, should a war ensue you would of course awaken from that business which exceeds a soldier’s life in time of peace, and participated in (__). But should a continued peace be our (__) Pray what role will be your employment? When I saw you I think you had determined to retire from public life, and in the society of a few friends find that enjoyment which pomp & luxury can never procure.

I agree with you that happiness is to be found only in the bosom of an affectionate family, and in the society of all friends. Happiness is the child of friendships; and I fear it is too often the case that she is not found by those who seek her in ambition, and that is the intrigues of courts and among the jealousies of the great, she never focuses her abode–

As soon as your leisure will permit, I shall be happy to hear from you in the mean time accept my highest (__) of (__) and believe me

Sincerely your Obt Servt

Geo Hancock”

May all of you find happiness in “the bosom of an affectionate family, and in the society of all friends” this year! We so look forward to seeing you in 2016!

 

Joyfully yours,

Hannah

P.S. Locust Grove will be closed from January 1-January 31 for housekeeping and maintenance. We will be answering our phones, mail, email, and keeping up with all of you all over social media! Please check in with us, and we hope to see you when we re-open for the 2016 season on February 1!

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George on the Go

If you follow Locust Grove on Facebook, you may have noticed pictures of a familiar face floating around Louisville landmarks, accompanies by staff members and volunteers. Yes, folks, General George Rogers Clark (or at least his cardboard doppelganger) has taken to leaving Locust Grove once a month to stretch his legs, make some friends, and familiarize himself with the sights and sounds of the city he founded. George on the Go is a new Locust Grove program that takes a cardboard cut-out of GRC around Louisville and Southern Indiana with a threefold mission: to introduce George to Louisville, to heighten our staff and volunteer’s knowledge of other area cultural and historic sites, and to spread the word about all things Locust Grove. So far, we’ve had four outings and many more are in the works! George makes friends wherever he goes, so here are some pictures of his adventures!

For George’s September outing, he visited his old haunts and re-familiarized himself with Downtown Louisville.

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George hanging out with Meriwether Lewis and his brother William Clark at the Falls of the Ohio.

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George takes in the view of the river from the site of his cabin in Clarksville.

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George on the porch of his cabin in Clarksville.

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George with Locust Grove volunteers Hannah and Brandon.

 

George also enjoyed taking in all the sites along Main Street!

George took a tour of the Frazier Museum’s exhibit The Lewis and Clark Adventure to catch up with his brother’s exploits!

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George even saw a familiar face at the entrance to the exhibit!

In October, George and friends Jason, Noah, and Jocelyn Hiner took in the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs, the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual Meeting, and the Big Four Bridge!

George’s great-nephew, Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. founded Churchill Downs and started the Kentucky Derby in 1875!

Catching up with friends at the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual Meeting at the Galt House!

George also had a blast walking to Indiana on the Big Four Bridge!

 

In November, George stopped by the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery to pay his respects to President Taylor and his fellow veterans, accompanied by volunteer Jeannie Vezeau, and his sister Ann Clark Gwathmey and her husband, Owen Gwathmey.

The General’s most recent outing was to the opening of the New Lincoln Bridge, connecting Louisville to Jeffersonville, IN. George was very gratified to meet outgoing Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen and several Abraham Lincolns!

Miniature Georges have also been taken on trips to Japan, Disney World, Florida, and the Cayman Islands in 2015!

Volunteers, staff members, members, and friends of Locust Grove are always welcome to join George as he goes out and about the city of Louisville!  In fact, I need your help deciding where George should visit in January! Our outing is scheduled for January 23 at 10am, and we would love to have you join us! Please take a minute to check out the poll below and cast your vote!

Thanks for all your support of George’s adventures–we’re looking forward to even more in 2016!

Intrepidly yours,

Hannah

P.S. Catch more pictures of George below! And follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #GeorgeontheGo!

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