Present Moments with some of your favorite historical authors
The Authors of Writes of Passage
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I Got Stuck
My original plan last week was to take you to each stop on my recent trip back east. However, after going through some of my pictures, I couldn’t bring myself to move along to Stop Number Two until I shared a little more from my first stop. There were so many things that captured my interest while visiting Blennerhassett Museum as well as the island, that I decided I wanted to share a little more with you.
I stopped in front of this picture, captivated by the image of this woman standing beside an old wooden structure holding a cup. My first thought was, “Why on earth is she standing beside that dilapidated thing drinking a cup of tea, and why wouldn’t she have chosen a more appealing spot for her photograph.” Of course, it didn’t take long to discover the answer. Oral tradition has it that the well (yes, it’s a well—though much larger than most) was dug in 1798 by the Blennerhassetts’ workmen. Adjacent to the well stood the Blennerhassetts’ washhouse. In 1806 when the Wood County Militia invaded the island at the height of Aaron Burr’s “conspiracy,” the soldiers imprisoned Mrs. Blennerhassetts’ servants in the washhouse for refusing to wait upon them. By the late 1800’s the well was the only visible original Blennerhassett-made landmark remaining on the island. Thus, it became a popular destination for visitors who never failed to have their picture taken. And that’s probably not a teacup, but at first glance, I sure thought the woman could have found a better location for a spot of tea. That’s a better picture of the well on the right.
And speaking of Aaron Burr, I thought I’d share a couple of photographs. This is a replica of his death mask and the other replica’s of the Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols, which have nothing to do with Burr’s alleged conspiracy to form his own country.
Excuse the reflecting lights in this picture of the Wing Dam, but this picture captures a time when recreation was much less frenetic. The Mahr-Henderson family are depicted enjoying a stroll in 1906 along the dam which was constructed in 1845. The dam curved from the island to the West Virginia mainland. It was rebuild in 1867 and then permitted to fall into a state of disrepair (as shown in this photo). In summertime, the dam was visible until 1916 when the regions first lock and dam system went into operation and raised the water level around the island by eight feet.
There are so many more pictures I’d like to share—in fact, I wish you could have all walked through that wonderful museum with me. So below, I’ve included a few more you might enjoy. Upper right is a man's pocketbook--yes, they really used them way back when. At right is a "fuzzy" picture of a gopher iron used to press ruffles and ribbons.
Above left is a fan of silk leaves and carved ivory sticks carried by Sarah Cook of Parkersburg, W. Va., during her October 21, 1858 wedding to Rathbone Van Winkle. (Now there's a name for you!) At right above is a Circa 1840 velvet tobacco pouch with delicate embroidery. (Who would want to put tobacco in something so pretty!)
At left is a picture depicting the necessities required for making moonshine. If any of you watched the Hatfield-McCoy Feud on the History Channel a few weeks ago, I’m sure this is similar to what Johnse McCoy used in his operation.
May you find joy as you shine for Jesus. ~Judy
P.S. I apologize for my picture layout. The size of the pictures and my ideas just don't match up with what blogger wants to do with them. :)
P.P.S. And has anyone heard from Veronica? I'm missing her. And, Rosie, give us a doctor's report!