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

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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 42

Flossie likes the edge drinking coffee gives her just before fairy racing, so she was interested in learning how much colonials enjoyed drinking hot beverages.  One way they might have prepared tea or coffee would be by using a beverage urn, much like the one you see in the photograph below.DSC04269

This artifact is made of painted tinware that was coated with an oil varnish and heated at a high temperature.  That process was called japanning (because its look copied Japanese lacquerwork used on furniture). The technique created a durable surface that has helped some of the original painted design remain, although much of it is now worn off.  There is a sieve under the lid on which Flossie sits.  That’s where you would place the tea or coffee.  Hot water would be poured over the sieve and then hot coals placed inside a tray on the back bottom side of the urn would keep the beverage warm.  You can see the spout on the front.  Flossie thinks this beverage urn is like a Mr. Coffee machine, just without electricity!

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 40

Floss and her visiting cousin Lil Bit (her name is short for Lily Bittersweet, not Little Bit!) really enjoyed their time at Bath Fest last Saturday and wanted to share some of their memories with you.  The fairies were pleased to see all the local art work and they enjoyed learning about planing and drilling boat-making skills.

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The girls fell in love with Back Creek Soaps – items the Historic Bath’s gift shop will be selling soon.  In fact, they flitted around there for so long, they began to fly crooked (sweet-smelling lavender sometimes has that effect on fairies).

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The bookbinding activity led by staff and volunteers from Hope Plantation was a big hit with adults, children and fairies!  (This project was funded by The Historic Bath Foundation, Inc.) The little booklet tells about Bath’s history, but as light and little as it was, it was still too heavy for Flossie and Lil Bit to take away as a souvenir.  They gave their copy to a child who was too young to make his own.

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Fairies everywhere have a fascination with blown glass, so the girls oohed and aahed over Mr. Chip’s creations!  His friendship balls, witch balls and other glass can be found on sale at the visitor center.

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They also thought Ms. Maureen’s horsehair (Raku style) pottery was lovely.  Imagine the sizzle of a piece of horsehair being placed on a HOT piece of pottery!  Lil Bit wondered how pretty fairy hair would look on a piece, but Flossie talked her out of trying that.

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The girls finally got up their courage to fly over and visit with a couple of pirates.  They thought their fairy presence in the picture makes the men look a little less fierce.  What do you think?!

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Bath Fest is a fun family small town festival where Art Meets History and it happens one Saturday each May.  Flossie and Lil Bit hope you can visit us in May 2016! Closer to that time, please check out http://www.bathfest.com for more details.

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 39

Flossie doesn’t have much time for teaching today!  She is busy helping get things set up for Bath Fest, which occurs tomorrow, May 16, 2015!  She took a few minutes to look at pictures taken at past Bath Fest celebrations.  One of the elements of the day Flossie looks forward to seeing is when the Bath Elementary School children’s art awards ceremony is held  – that happens at 1 pm on the corner of S. Main and Front Streets!  That scene is shown in the picture below.

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Flossie welcomes you to come (as do all of us at Historic Bath Site!) enjoy our  small town festival tomorrow from 10 am – 4 pm.  It is “Where Art Meets History!”  Flossie has invited her cousin, Lil Bit, to come enjoy the day with her. (It is why you didn’t hear from Floss last week………she flew over to Lil Bit’s town to show her the way to fly back so she can come visit more often!)  If you come walk the streets during Bath Fest, maybe you will find her flitting around the pirate encampment or enjoying the musical entertainment  – she might even get her face painted!  if you do see her,  come say hello.  Learn more at http://www.thewashingtondailynews.com/2015/05/14/bath-fest-where-art-meets-history-celebrates-towns-start/.