July 23, 2014

At Old Sturbridge Village Hitty Finds George Washington!

We Are of Old New England...
Hitty waving her flag on the fence at the edge of the Common at Old Sturbridge Village!
Hitty finds a patriotic display with a splendid eagle and American flag!
My 6th great grandfather Nehemiah Lyon represented the Woodstock, Connecticut area in the protest of the Stamp Act in 1765. Nehemiah Lyon's wife was Mehitabel (Child) Lyon. Hitty again says "That's my name, too! My nickname is Hitty, from Mehitabel!" There are many Mehitabels in our family!

We at the Corgyncombe Courant love how Tasha Tudor illustrates July in "Around The Year" and "A Time to Keep". Tasha shows picnics, flying and displaying the American flag, firecrackers, and fireworks. In "Around the Year" the page with the eagle, stars, and flags catches our eye!

Some of the writings and photographs on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

How lovely and pleasant the old wheels looked!

My 5th great grandmother Martha (Lyon) May, daughter of Nehemiah Lyon, was reported in 1766 by The Hartford Courant (The Connecticut Courant), to have "spun 194 knots of good linen yarn in one day." It was considered patriotic during this time to boycott British products and to spin their own threads and yarns. Spinning and knitting bees were very popular.

Hitty has been looking for George Washington and inside the Bullard Tavern she spies the portrait of George Washington over the mantel! Hitty is excited and asks "Please take my likeness under the portrait of George Washington!"

Hitty waves her flag in great joy!

My 4th great grandfather Elias Taylor served under Gen'l George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

 In the tavern in a glass display box, Hitty finds a pretty bird whistle and says "It's carved from wood just like me!" Hitty was carved by talented dollmaker Judy Brown.
Tasha Tudor had a doll named Emma Birdwhistle.

"The bonnet is so beautiful!" exclaims Hitty when she sees this old bonnet on display.

Hitty in the Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs
amongst the bee balm and echinacea.
The teapot is a replica of an antique
"No Stamp Act" teapot.

A Guide to the Wild Flowers", written by Alice Lounsberry and illustrated by Mrs. Ellis Rowan.
The well worn book was originally owned by Mrs. T. B. Shepherd.

There are many handwritten notes by previous owners on the pages of the book noting the date and location that they found the particular wild flower. Although the book was written at a later date, the earliest date in the handwritten notations is an 1848 sighting.

Oswego-Tea, also called Bee Balm: in the book is written, "Found in Grandmother's garden, near her bee house when a child - West Martinsburg"

In Revolutionary times some folks would use Oswego Tea as an alternative to the imported tea taxed by the British.

Hitty's sweet frock and pinafore were made by Gail Wilson.

The book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years" was written by Rachel Field. The book "Hitty" was inspired by an old wooden doll found in an antique shop. The doll was named Mehitabel, "Hitty" for short and the book is about her many
adventures. In the book "Hitty" by Rachel Field, Hitty is carved one winter by an old peddler in the old Preble House in Maine.

Be sure to check in again as there are more Hitty at Old Sturbridge Village posts to come at the Corgyncombe Courant!!!

Here is a link to our previous post:
Hitty Visits Old Sturbridge Village, Freeman Farm!

Here is a link to:
An Original No Stamp Act Teapot
at Colonial Williamsburg

Here is a link to:
Old Sturbridge Village

copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

July 5, 2014

Hitty Visits Old Sturbridge Village, Freeman Farm!

We Are of Old New England...
At Old Sturbridge Village Gift Shop, Hitty stands next to the book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years" by Rachel Field. Hitty was so excited and happy to find "her book" at the gift shop! Surrounding Hitty and the book are beautiful fabrics from Marcus Fabrics "Enduring Legacy". Judie Rothermel did a lovely job of designing these reproduction fabrics from the Old Sturbridge Village antique fabric archives. We bought some of each of the fabrics in the photograph above and some others as well!
Hitty was made by talented wood carver Judy Brown, who has also made us many other Hittys as well as Nanny Nettie-Kin. Hitty's pretty dress and pinafore were made by Gail Wilson.

Click Here for Music

Some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

Old Sturbridge Village interprets as an old New England village with an emphasis on the 1830s.

How my daughter Sarah and I love old fashioned things!
We are of Old New England... of old Yankee stock.
As a child I loved to visit a nearby museum showing the way my ancestors lived. I ended up working at that museum.
What Tasha Tudor has drawn in her illustrations are the same old ways that I grew up with. I find them familiar, comforting, and I am drawn to them.
Hitty says "I love old fashioned things, too!"

We love it when people truly like Tasha Tudor and the old fashioned things that she did!

Hitty is a bit shy but she is delighted and enthusiastic about exploring Old Sturbridge Village!
She is only 6 1/4 inches tall but makes a happy impression! Word got round that Hitty was on the grounds! The ladies and gentlemen in the shops and houses awaited her arrival as they had heard of her presence at the old New England Village. How she makes people smile when they see her! All of the interpreters at Old Sturbridge Village were so friendly!

One of the first places Hitty wanted to visit was the Freeman Farm! So here is where her visit commenced. Our second cousin John May married Delia, one of the Freeman daughters. John May, Delia, and their children lived with Delia's parents at the Freeman Farm in the late 1830s.

After visiting the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village for years, then to find out that relatives lived in the house was so exciting! We wanted to see the Family Register in the parlour of the Freeman house.

John May's grandfather Capt. Nehemiah May was brother to my 5th great grandfather Eliakim May. Capt. Nehemiah and Eliakim both served in the Revolutionary War. Their mother's name was Mehitabel! Hitty says "That's my name, too! My nickname is Hitty, from Mehitabel!"

My 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May.

John May of the Freeman Farm's grandfather Capt. Nehemiah May and Eliakim May's 1st cousin Colonel John May participated in the Boston Tea Party. John was colonel of the first, or Boston, reg't militia. 'Tis little wonder that Eliakim responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched for the relief of Boston. How blessed this country has been to have such fine, brave veterans! Eliakim's father Nehemiah Sr., Col. John's father Eleazer, and Louisa May Alcott's great great grandfather Ebenezer were all brothers. They were sons of John and Prudence (Bridge) May.

Colonel John May married his 1st cousin's daughter Abigail (May) May.  (Abigail's father was also 1st cousin to Eliakim May.) Abigail (May) May was an aunt to Abigail (May) Alcott..... Marmee in "Little Women".

As all of the children of Nehemiah and Mehitabel (Holbrook) May married Lyons, John May of the Freeman Farm was also related to us through the Lyon family, as well.

My 5th great grandmother Martha (Lyon) May, wife of Eliakim May, was reported in 1766 by The Hartford Courant, to have "spun 194 knots of good linen yarn in one day."

When we told Tasha Tudor about our old family genealogies she said that it was to "no end impressive".

The Freeman Family Register in the parlour of the Freeman house.

Hitty was delighted to find the Freeman Family Register with Delia's name written!

The reproduction wallpaper in the Freeman parlour is named Ada Harris after the lady who had the original antique wallpaper. Ada lived in an old house that she had an antique shop in. Ada has passed on now, but when she was alive I would go visit her, look through her antiques for sale, and talk about antiques, old fabric, tinware, history and genealogy. She didn't always let people in who stopped at her shop but if she did let you in and she liked you, she would keep you there and was sorry when you had to leave.

Hitty in the Freeman parlour by the decorated tin teapot.
Some carved wooden buildings are also on the tray.

The kitchen of the Freeman Farm where all the cooking and baking was done.
I enjoy open hearth cookery and baking in the beehive oven. I used to teach classes at a museum. Tasha Tudor said that her favorite exhibit at the museum where I used to work was the farmhouse, where I kept house in the old fashioned way.

The Butt'ry at the Freeman Farm with its wonderful stone sink!

The downstairs bedroom at the Freeman Farm.
How we just love this splendid hat!
Hitty says "The bed reminds me of my antique rope bed at Pumpkin House!"

A lovely, beautifully fragrant rose outside the parlour window at the Freeman Farm.

Darling red shoes with ties in the bedroom at the Freeman Farm.
They remind us of our Izannah doll Emma's delightful shoes! Emma and her shoes were made by talented dollmaker Margaret Flavin.

A knitted cozy cover in a chair.

Hitty says "Mother Shepard, look! That is the same book the Izannah Dolls have in their library and read from to us Hittys!" All the dolls call me "Mother Shepard", it has something to do with my Grandmum Shepard, and some day I will explain why!
The little book was originally printed by H. & E. Phinney, the same publisher as my old Jones Family Bible.

Hitty outside the Freeman Farm with her basket hoping to collect some eggs.

The barn at the Freeman Farm.

At one time, our cousin John Mott supervised the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

John Mott's Grandmum Nettie was first cousin to Lettie who was my Great Great Grandmum.
John and I have shared grandparents through the Cook, Greene, Matteson, Cummings, Mott, and other families. All these families were from early New England.

As you can see, my daughter Sarah's and my love of the past comes naturally. Sarah and I would spend afternoons with our cousin John going through his photographs and discussing old houses, old barns, sheep, old farming techniques, and genealogy. He was a photographer and author, and in his writings his way of using words is the same as I grew up hearing from my family. Words and phrases handed down through family tradition.

A new calf at the Freeman Farm! He just settled down to take a nap.

Hitty has found the hens and decided that she best not bother them for some eggs!

A wheelbarrow in the garden at the Freeman Farm. Hitty commented that the dolls have wheelbarrows made by Roy Bubbenmoyer that they use in their garden.

The little lamb near its Mum amongst the clover and daisies.
Hitty was thrilled to see the sweet little lamb look up at her!

I truly like the smell of the unwashed fleece. I love spinning wool in the grease. Spinning in the grease is not for everyone but I do not mind the smell of the fleece, in fact I find the smell comforting as it reminds me of when I was a little girl going into the old barn with the beautiful stone foundation and seeing all the lambs with their mamas.

Miniatures on display at a new exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village.
Hitty loved this group of miniature furniture made by Samuel Hersey (1820-1909) of Hingham, Massachusetts.

How blessed we were that the old timers like John Mott, Ada Harris, and Tasha Tudor shared their knowledge and love of history and antiques with us, and we are able to share and pass that on to our dear readers!

How we appreciate the artisans in the old days and now, who through their talents and hard work make beautiful and well made things with their hands!

We will have more posts to come of Hitty's Adventures at Old Sturbridge Village including more photographs of the "Bucket Town" exhibit which includes more miniatures from Hingham, MA.

Here is a link to a very interesting article, you will enjoy reading!
"The Making of a Farm at Old Sturbridge Village"
by our Cousin John A. Mott.

Here is a link to Marcus Fabrics:
Inspired by Old Sturbridge Village

Here is a link to:

We hope our Dear Readers had a wonderful
Independence Day!!!

copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

June 10, 2014

Forget-Me-Not Fair at Corgyncombe!

To Sow a Sea of Forget-Me-Nots!
Nanny Nettie-Kin decided to have a Forget-Me-Not Fair to promote the delight and appreciation of her favorite flower, forget-me-nots!

The fair booth amongst the forget-me-nots!
We've been planning a fair for a long time, for the Bleuette dolls and then for the Hitty dolls. My daughter Sarah designed the fair booth and Sarah, Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, and Nanny Nettie-Kin made the tent cover. This is one of our surprise projects! The decorative edge was made with our fancy trim cutter and the tent was sewn on an old hand-crank Singer sewing machine.

The Bleuette dolls at Corgyncombe have had a bake sale in the past, featured on the Corgyncombe Courant, to raise buttons to bring Elizabeth's Mummy home after she was shipwrecked on a deserted island. It was a great success as Mummy had a jubilant return home!
Fairs are so much fun!

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant.

A festive forget-me-not table display.
Nanny Nettie-Kin's favorite fowl flew in for the fun!

Nanny Nettie-Kin has baked some fancy cakes, pastries, and breads and has homemade cheese to sell at her
Forget-Me-Not Fair.
Hitty Rebecca helps Nanny Nettie-Kin set up her booth at the fair.
Nanny Nettie-Kin, Hitty Rebecca and little Bobby were made by talented doll carver Judy Brown.

"Corgiville Fair" written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor.
What a delight the book is with the lovely, detailed paintings and the story where Tasha's wonderful sense of humor comes shining through. Tasha Corgi stands in front. "Corgiville Fair" is amongst the all time favorites at the Corgyncombe Library. It is some of Tasha's best work! If you haven't seen "Corgiville Fair" you are missing out!

Tasha Tudor illustrated delightfully festive fairs in her books "Corgiville Fair", "A Time to Keep", and "All for Love". "A Time to Keep" in September features the dolls' fair with booths for selling.

Little Bobby has arrived and has his eye on a pumpkin pie!
Nanny says "Bobby needs to be watched, he almost stole my Hot Cross Buns at Easter time! I caught him just in time!"
She is worried (with good reason) that Bobby will eat all the goodies before the fair-goers arrive!

Bobby just loves pumpkin pie!
He has a fabulous future in Pie Eating Contests!

Nanny Nettie-Kin's Corgyncombe Forget-Me-Nots, seeds to sow for a beauteous sea of dainty forget-me-nots!
The "b" on the seed package stands for buttons.
Tasha Tudor had the children use buttons to buy goods for their dolls and animals. The currency for the dolls at Corgyncombe is buttons, as well.

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copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

June 6, 2014

A Flower Favoured by Nanny Nettie-Kin and Tasha Tudor!

Oh, the Delight of Forget-Me-Nots!

Nanny Nettie-Kin's most favourite flower is the forget-me-not!
What a joy it is for her to take a walk amongst a sea of dainty blue, fragrant forget-me-nots with Ethlyn, her Corgi companion at her side!

Nanny Nettie-Kin received a surprise basket of forget-me-nots on her door on May Day.
Nanny Nettie-Kin loves the forget-me-nots because they are small, like her!

Nanny Nettie-Kin reminds us of Tasha Tudor walking through her forget-me-nots with her Corgi.

Ethlyn Corgi nicely poses on Forget-Me-Not Knoll.

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our web site "Our Favorite Things".

Out Amongst the Garden and Lawn
A Little Bouquet of May
One day after milking, I gathered this small bouquet of bleeding heart, lily of the valley, violets, and forget-me-nots. Bouquets about the cottage add such a cheer to the day and they are something special to look upon and a delight to smell every time you pass their way!


copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson