Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rose Hill Manor Field Trip, Pt. 1

Early in April our home school group went to Rose Hill Manor in Frederick. What a great field trip! The kids had a blast, and I also enjoyed it thoroughly, as you'll be able to tell from the number of pictures I took.

Rose Hill was the property of Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland. He lived on the estate, and when his daughter Anna married, he gave it to her as a wedding present. It was she and her husband who built the manor house.


Our tour began in the parlor. (By the way: parlors? SUCH a good idea. A room where no one [ahem, children] ever goes, unless your family is entertaining guests, and therefore a room which always stays clean. It's brilliant, I tell you. Sign me up.) Our docent, Miss Peggy, was great. We went with the younger half of our group that day, so she was speaking mostly to 3-5 year olds, and she succeeded in keeping them engaged for well over an hour.


This is a portrait of the Johnson family. Governor Johnson is at the top left; Ann, future heiress of Rose Hill, is directly below him in pink.


We proceeded upstairs, where we viewed the master bedroom and learned about bed warmers and chamber pots. Then we went into a sort of Textiles Room, where we learned how our pre-industrialized ancestors made their clothes and bed coverings. For starters, each of the kids had a little bundle of wool to card.



Then Miss Peggy demonstrated spinning the carded wool into yarn. It was the first time I've ever seen anyone actually use a spinning wheel!


We learned about the different substances used to dye wool.


And some of the kids got to help weave a few strands using this loom.



Next we took a look at the children's bedroom and their nursery (play room). I didn't get any pictures of the nursery, but the kids had a lot of fun there, playing with the kinds of toys 19th century children might have enjoyed.



After we finished upstairs, we passed through the enormous and stately dining room and into the kitchen. There Miss Peggy got busy preparing some authentic popcorn for the kids' snack--over the open fire in the enormous kitchen fireplace!



Here's our group of hungry little historians waiting for their popcorn and herbal tea:


(This made me chuckle: many of the kids [and at least one of the moms] were turned off by the old-fashioned, cold spearmint tea they received along with the popcorn, but my kids, steeped (yuk-yuk) in the ways of tea since they were toddlers thanks to their tea-loving Nana, gulped theirs down without thinking twice.)


Storage and preparation areas in the kitchen:



And Meg taking a turn at the butter churn:

This concluded our tour of the mansion itself. I'm going to do a second post for the grounds and outbuildings, as this one is already much too long!

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