Sunday, May 10, 2015

After the Storm 1865: Hopewell Furnace

So the 150th cycle is basically over. I commemorated the event at Hopewell Furnace and the After the Storm: 1865 event.

A wonderful woman, Jessica Craig, organizes this event every year. It is held at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site outside Elverson, Pa. I look forward to this event. Even when I was in Texas, I traveled to this event. It is so much fun and everyone does their best to maintain first person. Although overnight housing is available for the event, I decided to only day trip on Saturday due to pre-moving chaos.

Because of the immersion style of this event I was only able to get limited photos; however,  Jessica served as the official event photographer and took many wonderful photos from the event. You can find them and those taken by others on Jessica's Facebook page here and here.

My back story was as a Unionist Texan who had left Texas at the beginning of the war due to my and my husband's Unionist leanings. With the end of the war my husband returned to Texas to see to our property and removed to the country, stopping in Hopewell to visit friends. Jessica assigns goals to participants to encourage interaction. My goal was to discuss living in Texas and to convince others to relocate to Texas.

I reached the site about 9:30 and found the village just finishing up breakfast. The cooks were clearing up and the men preparing firewood.

The day was full of activities. Mrs. Kessler, Mr. & Mrs. Groff and I visited on the porch of the iron master's house for a bit on the porch.

While visiting, Mrs Kessler invited me to a lunch she organized at the boarding house, set up by her maid of all work, Maggie. The food was delicious! Apple sauce, goulash of sorts, sweets...yum...

During the lunch and after the men left, the ladies gossiped. This was really a lot of fun. We stayed in first person and it was period gossip. It was really a great experience and I applaud the ladies for their commitment to first person. We discussed Mrs. Groff's likeness to an unseemly photo her husband was in possession of. We questioned how the contraband woman who was in the village this time last year has returned and as the proprietress of an ice cream shop in Philadelphia. Not sure how well she will do as she had a flavor called Squeal and Moo...bacon flavored ice cream? We shall see. 

After lunch we had a chance to try our hand at archery. I epically failed :)

There were several kids at the event this year, from little babies to 'tweens. They ran around all day and wore themselves out.

Many of the structures were draped in bunting and pictures of Lincoln were in windows. Later in the afternoon we attended a memorial service for Abraham Lincoln. Even though we were in May, the service followed the order of Lincoln's actual funeral.

Since few if any of us knew the tunes of the hymns, they were read rather than sang. Before the service, Mrs. Kessler passed out memorial cards.

When the service was over, we took a group photo. The photographer is J.R. Pfeiffer from Gettysburg.

He had taken appointments for individual photos but I didn't make one in time. But...after the group photo he was taking walk ups as the sun allowed. I was lucky enough to get in. I don't yet have the image as I was not going to be there on Sunday to pick it up but here is a modern view of the pose.

I wanted to imitate the fashion plate the photo came from.

Guess I didn't remember quite how the fashion plate was posed :) But the photo turned out so well!! I will post the image when I receive it.

Dinner was served shortly after this and again was wonderful! Chicken curry, pork, peas, macaroni, yum again. After dinner we gathered around the campfire and played a game of Questions and Answers. Some very funny situations occurred.

Once it became to dark to read the cards I took my leave.

Another great Hopewell furnace. We made at least one newspaper. Really looking forward to next year!


Stephanie Ann said...

Dinner sounds lovely and you look beautiful!

OldFashionGirl said...

You look great! Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!