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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Our Red-Haired Revolutionary: The Life and Times of George Rogers Clark

Welcome back to the Locust Grove Blog! Throwback Thursday seems like a grand time to talk about our favorite and most famous resident, General George Rogers Clark. GRC (as I’ll be abbreviating his very distinguished, but somewhat lengthy name) lived at Locust Grove from 1809 until his death in 1818. The “Our Red-Haired Revolutionary” series will focus on stories and facts about GRC that are a little more obscure and might not get mentioned on your tour of Locust Grove. But first, let’s see who we’re dealing with.

Well, hello there.

Well, hello there.

This image, of course, greets you as you walk into the Exhibit gallery at the Visitor’s Center. It’s been dubbed “Hollywood George” for obvious reasons. We have several different likenesses of GRC on the premises, but this is one of my favorites. It shows him in his prime, as he would have appeared during the American Revolution.

Some vital GRC statistics:

  • Born November 19, 1752 in Albemarle County, VA to John and Ann Rogers Clark. He was the second oldest of ten children, including Lucy Clark Croghan (7th of 10) and William Clark (9th of 10.)
  • Began a career as a surveyor in 1771 at the age of 19.
  • Built a fort on Corn Island in the Ohio River in 1778 , effectively founding the city of Louisville.
  • Also in 1778, he captured the British fort at Kaskaskia and Fort Sackville at Vincennes, IN, in what was then Illinois territory.
  • From 1782-1787, served as one of five Indian Commissioners for the Western territories.
  • Lived at Locust Grove from 1809 until his death on February 13, 1818.

Something I learned only recently about GRC was that in 1783, Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, asked George Rogers Clark  to explore the western United States. Of course, this was twenty years before the Louisiana Purchase and the Corps of Discovery expedition, headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, GRC’s younger brother. GRC would have been the perfect candidate for such an journey in 1783 , because of his recent, successful Illinois Campaign during the war, when he held Kaskaskia and Vincennes, and his position as Indian Commissioner of the Westward Territories. In 1791, Jefferson wrote of Clark, “No man alive rated him higher than I did […] We are made to hope he is engaged in writing the account of his Expedition North West of the Ohio; they will be valuable morsels of history, and will justify to the world those who have told them how great he was.” This is pretty high praise from possibly the most famous American red-haired revolutionary! It’s said that upon being informed of this remark, Clark began to weep.

If you’re looking to visit the site of GRC’s most famous victory, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is located on the presumed site of Fort Sackville in Vincennes, Indiana. Or if you live in Louisville and you’re looking to pay homage little closer to home, George Rogers Clark Park is located on the site of the original Clark Family Homestead, Mulberry Hill. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic. But you know where else is the perfect place for a fall picnic? You guessed it–Locust Grove itself. We’ve got the picnic tables all set out for you. Come visit us soon! The Fall Antiques Fair is only 10 days away, so you can take home some treasures after you view ours.

Yours faithfully,