Started the day at the Chester County Historical Society. I really like this museum/library and it is only a block over from my friend's apartment! There is currently a Civil War and paper doll exhibit. Both are small but well done.
Part of the Civil War exhibit includes cards of "characters". A brief biography of the person is on the back of the card; however, the characters populate the exhibit and additional information on the person is presented. Very cool idea.
Also part of the exhibit includes CDVs of people, I think primarily from Chester Co. These are grouped as a display on the wall of one of the exhibits. One of these CDVs is of an older woman, probably into her 60s wearing a white blouse and skirt combo with lace gloves! A picture of all the "don't" and "didn't". Sorry the picture is not so good; it is quite high in the exhibit and I couldn't get a good angle on it.
There is one dress in this exhibit. However, while examining one of the permanent exhibits of band boxes one of the staff guessed me for a clothing enthusiast and then let me know that they are working on a clothing exhibit to open around the fall. The CCHS is known to have an amazing textile collection so I will need to plan another trip then!
I'm not much into paperdolls, but there are some early versions in the exhibit including some from the 18th century and a couple from the 1860s.
The museum has great permanent exhibits on Chester County as well and I suggest a visit if you have a chance. It's only a nominal entrance fee, a great way to spend a couple of hours and within walking distance of several eateries so you can make a day of it.
The cool thing about where my friend lives in West Chester is that she is within walking distance of so many things. After leaving the CCHS I made my way to a little boutique chocolate store, but stopped off first at Starbucks for a coffee and a chocolate chip cookie. West Chester has some really nice architecture and makes for a nice walk.
Chocolate!! There is a nice little shop in West Chester, deemed one of the best by Bon Appetit magazine. Eclat Chocolate. My conference roomie and I always have chocolates for the weekend.
By the time I had accomplished what I wanted to do, my friend was ready to meet up for lunch. There is a cute little deli that we have passed by several times that we decided to try. Three Little Pigs. The food was great, sandwiches, soups, and desserts.
We then headed back to my friend's apartment so I could unload some of my suitcase before heading to Harrisburg and the conference. I took Amtrak to Harrisburg from Exton. This line runs through farm land and little towns including Lancaster.
I really like the Harrisburg train station. I'm not sure why; there are more elegant and architecturally interesting ones.
The conference hotel provides a shuttle from the train station and I only had to wait a short time as he was on a run to the airport. When I arrived at the hotel, I left my bags in my room and met up with a friend at the hotel restaurant for dinner. My roomie would not arrive until Friday afternoon.
I really like the hotel where the conference is held, the Radisson Harrisburg, actually in Camp Hill across the river. It's an older hotel but comfortable; I always feel welcome when I'm there. However, there are no elevators, and this year our room was over and beyond. Up a flight of stairs, down a hall, up a couple of steps, down the hall some more. Thank goodness we spent little time in the room.
Thursday nights at the conference is the wrapper party. Participants are encouraged to wear their wrappers or dressing gowns. Refreshments are served and there is a parade of wrappers.
This year also included a "sociable" where many participates displayed their talents including period magic tricks, music, and dramatic readings. It was very entertaining and all participants were wonderful. I hope this will continue to be part of Thursday evening. Additional pictures from the wrapper party can be found on Photobucket.
So ended the first day at the Conference. Now for a good night's sleep to be ready for workshops and opening session on Friday.