Join us for our January Genealogy Program

Recording Family History: the Search to the Scrapbook

(This workshop is intended for people just starting their genealogy research and documentation.)

What: A workshop to learn how to use resources to find your ancestors, followed by discussion on creating a scrapbook to safely keep family images and information. Bring photographs to begin assembly if desired – a scrapbooking kit is included in workshop cost.

When:  Thursday, January 14th at 10 a.m. Workshop will last approximately 1 hour; you are welcome to stay and research our site library materials.

Where:  Historic Bath Visitor Center

Cost:  $10.00

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 52

Our little fairy was so excited earlier this week…..she went to visit some first graders who are learning about Christmas traditions around the world.  Sometimes, you don’t have to go to another location to learn something new, you just have to “travel” to another period in time.  Flossie helped the students understand how people decorated for and celebrated Christmas in Bath 300 years ago.  It was quite different before Christmas trees and electric lights in our yards!

One of the main differences is there really wasn’t all that much decorating done, outside of a few sprigs of greenery tucked here and there – at least in most people’s homes.  The focus of the holiday was much more about feasting and being with family.  When we decorate with natural greenery today, we’ve added lots of fruit, berries and dried flowers for color.  This style, although it brings to mind times of long ago, is still much fancier than it would have been in the 1700s.  This style of decorating is called Colonial Revival.

On Saturday December 12, 2015, Historic Bath Site will be having a day long program of events occurring on the site and Flossie would love to see you here.  See the schedule below and Merry Christmas!

 

10 a.m. – Visitor Center/ Pomander Craft – children and adults can make a pomander to take home using oranges and cloves

10:30 a.m. – Smokehouse Grand-Opening – The smokehouse that was moved to Historic Bath in the 1980s will now be open to the public with newly gifted interpretive items inside

11:00 a.m. – Hog-Killing Memories – Jenny Hollowell will give a presentation on her memories of hog-killings, a tradition of her family for many years.  Attendees are invited to share their own memories of this rural North Carolina experience.

12 noon – 4 p.m. – Open House of Historic Structures

1751 Palmer-Marsh House – features Colonial Revival décor and the musical talents of The Ad Hoc Players, Lorraine Hale and Don Shiffler.

1830 Bonner House – Visit the decorated home, watch cooking demonstrations in the kitchen and apple cider pressing demonstrations in the yard.  Purchased/pasteurized cider will be served and gingerbread men are ready to be decorated!  Christmas carolers on the porch at 3:00 p.m.

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 51

Flossie is ready to start making desserts for Thanksgiving………pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake and more!  What do all of these foods need to taste good?  You’ve got it……SUGAR!

Flossie has introduced you to sugar cones before, but it was a long time ago, so she wanted to share information about them again in case you don’t recall.

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In Bath, NC in the 1700s, sugar was very valuable and only wealthy families like the Palmers would have been able to afford the Caribbean-imported sugar cane harvested by enslaved people on large plantations.  Most people here would have sweetened their food with honey that was locally harvested.

The way the sugar was processed led to pouring it into cone shapes or into loaves after it had been boiled and filtered several times.  After the sugar was poured, it was taken out of its cone or loaf and allowed to dry.  Much of the sugar was wrapped and sealed in blue paper.

The sugar was packed hard into the cone, so nippers were used to break off larger pieces; smaller amounts could be scraped off the side with a knife.  If we have sugar sitting out for our guests today, it is usually in a small sugar bowl.  In Colonial times, the family might set the whole sugar cone on a special plate at the dining table.  Do you think they possibly did this to show off their wealth a little?

Flossie thinks it surely is easier the way we have it today…..sugar is already loose and in bags….all we have to do is pour it out!  Of course, a 5 pound bag is too heavy for her, so she flies out of the bag with a thimble full at the time!

All of us at Historic Bath hope that you enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends………..Flossie says, “Be sure to eat something sweet!”

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 50

Flossie always loves it when school children visit the site!  October has been full of visits from 4th graders.  Although it is fun to see the historic homes, the Heritage Days program is full of living history activities, such as crosscut sawing, rope making, quill writing and more.

Floss enjoyed meeting up with a special friend before the activities began!

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Many times Flossie has attended events like these and her favorite activity of all is making rope.  The machine is so big compared to her, she says it feels like being on an amusement park ride…..especially when the gears are going ‘round and ‘round and she tries to help turn the crank!  The machine that Historic Bath uses for demonstrating this important Colonial job is much smaller than the ropewalk and machine that would have been used in Bath in the 1700s and 1800s.  In the picture below with Flossie and 4th graders’ hands, you see a much larger rope than the type that can be made on our machine.  The larger ropes were needed for some of the jobs on ships, such as lowering the anchor.  Can you think of other jobs ropes were needed for………on land and at sea?

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In another picture, Flossie is taking a ride on the “top” which keeps the strands of cotton twine separated until the twisting process has been completed and will hold the shape of a rope.  And of course, she has to get in her acrobatic act……..Floss is such an adventurous fairy!

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If your school class hasn’t taken a field trip yet this year, we hope you get to travel soon and learn something new about life in the past………Flossie says if you aren’t too far away, come see us in Bath!

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 49

This week our little fairy wants to show you some items in our Historic Bath Visitor Center gift shop.  Our shop’s proceeds go to the Historic Bath Commission and they, in turn, support the state historic site with those funds.

Our little gift shop is featuring a number of local artists’ works……jewelry, pottery, blown glass, Christmas ornaments, etc.  There is also a good selection of books.  We welcome you to come support Historic Bath Site by shopping with us…….birthdays, Christmas, anytime!  Enjoy the pictures of Flossie posing with a number of items in our shop.

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Flossie’s Fridays: Week 48

Flossie wants to show you a monument that has been seen on the streets of Bath since 1924.  It was a big job and a long time in the making!  The North Carolina Historical Commission and the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners presented the Bath Historical Society with a bronze plaque commemorating the founding and incorporation of Bath.  It seems the original intent was to mount the plaque at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, but for some reason, that installation never happened.

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Several years went by and Flossie doesn’t know where the plaque stayed in the meantime.  The town needed a monument on which to display the plaque!   Mr. and Mrs. Timothy A. Brooks and Miss Lida T. Rodman traveled to the Neverson Quarry near Raleigh to select stones.  They were very heavy stones – two were chosen – the base weighed 16,000 pounds!  The top stone weighed 12,000 pounds.  After the stones were shipped by train to Bunyan (about 10 miles west of Bath) it became a real challenge to get them the rest of the way to town.  The bumpy road that the truck and trailer had to ride caused both stones to bounce out of the trailer!  Surry Bowen of Pinetown sent equipment to help reload the boulders.  Once they arrived at the Bath bridge, there was some worry that the wooden bridge couldn’t withstand the weight of the stones.  Mr. Brooks used heavy wooden beams from his lumber mill to brace the bridge.

Whew!  The monument was finally erected and was placed in the center of Carteret Street/Main Street intersection.  An unveiling celebration was held on June 19, 1924.  About 4,000 people attended the ceremony.  Men barbequed 32 pigs all night to get ready.  School children raised money to help with other food costs; they raised $150 but only $50 was needed for the lunch, so extra money was donated to the Bath Elementary School library for books.  The two girls who tied in raising the most money were able to unveil the marker.  The picture below shows the brand new marker with Mary Arcadia Tankard on the left and Helen Waters on the right. Their mothers or someone else made Colonial style costumes for them to wear for the occasion.

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In 1960, the marker was moved back from its original location; it was pushed back onto North Main Street’s entrance due to the new bridge and widening of the road to allow for the paving of Highway 92 through Bath.  Flossie wants to thank Dr. Alan Watson for capturing this and much more information in his book Bath: The First Town in North Carolina, with a chapter of Bath’s 20th century history contributed by Bea Latham and Patricia Samford.

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 47

Flossie is beginning to get a little depressed in Bath…………..we’ve been having LOTS of rain, and now there is Hurricane Joaquin nearby in the Atlantic Ocean!  Earlier this week she had a quick chance to get outside and take a fly around town and she wanted to go check out the knot tying station that was added to the Lawson Walk path on the north side of town earlier this summer.

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When Bath was a young town in the early 1700s, it functioned as a port of entry for the colony.  Lots of boats came in and out of Bath and the ships needed ropes!  A few of the jobs for which ropes would be needed are for hoisting sails, dropping anchor, creating foot ropes for climbing up to reach the sail lines, and creating “ladders” to climb up to the crow’s nest to look out a great distance.  Rope helped with small jobs too……….like hanging the clapper inside a bell in order to ring it and announce meal time or to alert sailors of things like when it was time to finish their work shift and for others to begin working. Sailors also used rope to help pass the time when they didn’t have to work……..they played a game similar to horseshoes called quoits.  Circular hoops of rope were used rather than iron horseshoes since those may have damaged the deck or more easily slid off deck into the water.  Sometimes sailors made decorative coverings for bottles, knife handles and hammocks, etc. in their spare time.  This ancient type of art form is called macramé; it is a form of textile-making that uses knot-making instead of weaving or knitting cloth.  Materials used would be cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather or yarn.  Bracelets made in this manner are popular again today!

Flossie wants everyone to stay dry and safe during this hurricane………it looks like the storm may head out to sea, but do what you can to prepare.  That is one advantage we have today over folks in the 1700s…………we have some time ahead  to be forewarned and to prepare emergency supplies, thanks to television and weather satellites!