Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Celebrating with Thomas Jefferson **** Picture Heavy

On July 4th, hubby and I headed to Poplar Forest, a home owned by Thomas Jefferson, to partake in the celebratory 4th of July activities.  Poplar Forest was Thomas Jefferson's retreat and like Monticello, is only about an hour away from our house.  Monticello is located outside of Charlottesville, Virginia and Poplar Forest is near Lynchburg, Virginia.  Hubby and I had never been to Poplar Forest and decided to hop in the car and go!  There were numerous activities and period demonstrations including several dealing with textiles (we saw flax turn into linen!)  I took some snaps and thought I would share them with you.


The house is like a miniature Monticello...so beautiful


Housing for the farm workers


This is one of the outhouses...it is a hexagon just like the house!


Current archaeological digs at the house


This is the back of the house


Wool spinning - this lady was so nice...it was at least 95 degrees...I know she had to be HOT!


Hand-spun, hand-dyed wool.  All of the dyes are organic with the exception of the lime green and bright pinky/red...she used Kool-Aid for those!


Lace making...just amazing!


More beautiful lace making,..it was a joy watching the those two ladies work their bobbins!


This is the flax demonstration.  We watched how linen was made!  Fascinating!


First, the flax is smashed...


 Then, the chaff is beaten from the flax fibers


After removing the chaff, the fibers are combed.  First through the wide tooth comb (on the left) and then through a finer tooth comb (on the right)  The finer the comb, the finer the linen. 


This is the amount of line acquired from one quarter of an acre of flax. 
This is what is used to make linen!  

Spinning the linen...


Finally, the linen is woven.  The gentleman is weaving linsey-woolsey, a basic linen used for clothing and at times used for samplers! 

Well, that is all for now.  I hope you enjoyed the step back in time.  Have a great week everyone!

19 comments:

Siobhan said...

It sounds like a fun day, Valerie! Loved the pictures. I can't imagine how HOT the lady who was spinning wool was in that long dress!

Margaret said...

Looks like so much fun!! We used to demonstrate how to make linen at the place I used to work at all the time. And yes, we had demonstration days too, just like that! Never lace making though. I'd love to see that!

Laurie in Iowa said...

What a fun day.

Jenny said...

Those yarns look delisious! Cool-aid - hah!
Wow, a lot of work sure does go into makking linen. It's amazing what a beating the flax takes.
Thanks for sharing all the pics, very cool!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

How is it I've never been there?? What a great day you must have had. Love all the pics and feel really bad for the lady spinning wool in that heat - Ugh!

Thanks for the tour, Valerie!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the quick history lesson. I have to dash off to work but will come back later to look at the pics and study more.
Sounds like it was a grand ole time on the 4th. Oh, to be there too.

Dani - tkdchick said...

What gorgeous grounds and fascinating demos. I went to Woodlawn in Alexandria, the estate of George Washington's daughter and was totally impressed and this seems just as impressive!

Peg said...

What a wonderful day! I just love history and experiencing the ways of yesteryear!

Cathy Lloyd said...

What a fun day Valerie! Love the hexagon outhouse and absolutely would have been enthralled looking at all that fiber in process! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Anonymous said...

What great pictures! Glad you and hubby went and had a good time!

See you tomorrow!

Robin

Catherine said...

I love Monticello and have been a few times, but we've never ventured to Poplar Forest. It looks lovley. I've never seen lacemaking before - wow! All those bobbins - I probably would have stood there for hours wathcing! Thanks for sharing your pics!

Carol said...

What an interesting day, Valerie--I had never even heard of Poplar Forest, but I adore Monticello so I'll add this to my "must visit" list!

Nancy said...

Looks like you had a fun day! That lace is so beautiful!

Karen said...

What a excellent place to visit! Watching these people work would be so much fun. I would have a hard time walking away. :)

GingerCat said...

It sounds like you had a great day. I love to visit such places simply to see how things were once done. We take an awful lot for granted these days.

I enjoyed your snaps for the bobbin lace. My mom learned bobbin lace years ago and still works with it today. She even went to Belgium to take classes at one point. It is a dying art. So sad!

Katherine said...

What a wonderful day you spent at Mr. Jefferson's "other" house. Awesome pics!

Edgar said...

What a super outing - I do love Poplar Forest - a great house.

Denise said...

Looks like they have gotten more accomplished on the house. Last time I was there the back porch was just being finished.

Gotta hand it those who *do* period clothing. You had a wonderful time.

AlessandraLace said...

thank you for sharing these lovely pictures. hugs from Italy