Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hope Lodge - 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment Reenactment

The Front of Hope Lodge
We were up in Pennsylvania visiting friends for Halloween and it just so happened that they live 10 minutes from this beautiful Georgian house called Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, PA. November 1st & 2nd a Rev War encampment was scheduled and we were planning on our two families going there all together. Unfortunately, it turned out to be cold, windy, and rainy on Saturday! However, my friend Katherine and I decided to brave the weather and go on our own since she said that Hope Lodge is rarely open. I'm so glad that we did!

Hope Lodge from the side
There weren't a lot of spectators there, but I really admired the reenactors for braving such harsh weather. I once participated in a reenactment in December and I ended up with hypothermia! So, I can really empathize with those dedicated souls that turn out in the cold months! Luckily, the house was warmer and we enjoyed a self-guided tour. I don't recall ever touring a Georgian house and I was totally in love with all the symmetry that is characteristic of that style. The house is also an interesting study in what really was Colonial (they loved color and it didn't always match!) and what later generations thought was a Colonial style (black & white). Not sure where the color got lost in translation, but things like that happen.

Another highlight was meeting a Benjamin Franklin impersonator - my first! He had an awesome sampling of some of Franklin's electrical experiments and some of them were functioning. Very cool! He was also loads of fun to talk to, so I'm glad he waved us over. We were just going to walk by his tent without going inside.

We were only able to stay about an hour because of the chill, but it was such a fun little trip. I think we'll try to make it again next year and hopefully the weather will be kinder and we can bring the husbands and kids.

Enjoy some pictures!

Sitting Room in Hope Lodge
It's painted in a gorgeous Prussian Blue color -
a popular and very expensive color for the late 1700s.

I'm always on the look-out for interesting museum signs and my friend
Katherine and I both thought it was really nice that they showed a blueprint
of the house and where the room we were looking at was located.
They had this throughout all the signs in the house.

The featured room is highlighted in red on this sign. Even better!

This dining room was just as dim as the photo shows.
It also features the interpretation of Colonial Revival style
in the 1920s and '30s - black and white. Kinda boring.
Give me Prussian Blue any day!

The housekeeper's room was lovely and very bright. That
red door is a secret passage into the front sitting room.
I love secret passageways!

The cellar. I've never been in an historical home's cellar, so
I thought this was quite the treat! I also had some cellar envy.
Our own home's cellar has rock walls, but the ceilings are much lower (5'8"),
has a cement/dirt floor, and the rock walls are much more rough & hand-hewn. 

The dairy room. There was a water trough that ran all the way around that held water to keep the room cooler. The slatted doors allowed for air circulation. Cool!

The Scullery. There was a separate building out back behind the house
that was the summer kitchen.

Root cellar. No doubt this would have been chock full of stuff
back in the day.

Upstairs bedchamber. Lovely!

Another bedroom. Love the bed and there's that Prussian Blue again!


Some reenactor ladies in the hall outside the bedrooms.

A reenactor/museum volunteer roasting a chicken
over the fire. I loved this method of roasting.
The chicken spun on the string and she'd use the drippings to baste
it now and then. I bet that chicken tasted amazing!

Benjamin Franklin and I standing in front of his table of
cool electrical experiments

Benjamin Franklin introduced soybeans used as tofu to the Americans.
I didn't know that!
Here is a microscope he would have used along with slides covered in mica to allow the light to shine through.
Mica is a stone that can break into very thin flakes - thinner than they could make glass at the time.

Leydon jars, a glass charging tube with fur, the infamous kite & key, a battery
(the row of glass plates), and various other instruments
  
My friend Katherine testing out the battery.
Apparently, Benjamin Franklin was able to explode gunpowder from a distance
using a similar type of battery he created. In fact, Franklin invented the term "battery".
Ha! Another thing I didn't know.


Katherine and I got a picture with the red coats.
They tried to get us to say "Long live the king!"
Instead I said, "Hurrah for General Washington!"
They weren't too fond of that. hahaha!

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