Saturday, August 17, 2013

Senior Day at Graeme Park

In the spirit of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson’s famed Attic Evenings, where people gathered to discuss various topics and learn from one another, senior citizens and early retirees are invited to historic Graeme Park, in Horsham, for a full day of classes and discussions on a wide range of topics. 

The program is being offered on Wednesday, October 2, and the registration deadline is September 20. You can download the registration packet from our website. The cost is $35 for the day and the price includes a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch buffet. The courses being offered include:

Session 1- 9:30-10:30 AM

Prairie Women
Presenter: Ellen Matter, retired educator and collector
Meet an 1850 prairie woman from the Great Plains. Learn about the hard lives our brave ancestors faced just to survive in the new frontier. Tools and materials of that time period will be exhibited.

Spirited Graeme Park
Presenter: Laurie Hull, author and paranormal investigator
Hear the history of Graeme Park and the tragic story of its 18th c. mistress. Does her restless spirit still roam these halls? Personal experiences, lore, investigation techniques, and actual evidence from Keith House investigators will be shared.

The Spice Rack, the Corner Drug Store, and the Home Depot: Everything in the Colonial Herb Garden
Presenter: Jim Miller, retired biology professor
This will be an interactive (touchy, feely, sniffy) look at the multiple uses of herbs and garden plants in the colonial home. Garden design and maintenance practices will be addressed. A brief garden tour will be included if weather permits.

Session 2- 10:45-11:45 AM

American Musical Icons
Presenter: Marvin Feld, retired music educator
This country has a rich musical heritage. From Berlin to Bernstein, from Sousa to Gershwin, you will be introduced to these musical giants. Their contribution to the fabric of America will be discussed with representative music.

Reenacting the Past
Presenters: Jack and Mary Washington, Revolutionary War reenactors and Jim Cherry,
WWII reenactor
Learn about the outfitting and equipment of a camp follower/indentured servant of the Revolutionary War period. A reenactor who regularly takes on the role of either a civilian or ensign in the military during the Revolutionary War shares how he got involved in reenacting and his experiences. One of the organizers of our WWII event at Graeme Park tells why he got involved in reenacting the war that his grandfather fought in and shares his experiences.

Exploring the Rights and Roles of Women of the 18th and 19th centuries
Presenter: Andree Mey Miller, Project Coordinator for the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories, a project surveying archival collections in small organizations in the greater Philadelphia area, for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
When Elizabeth Graeme married Henry Hugh Fergusson in 1772 she gained a husband and lost the ability to control her land, assets, and income. The legal status of women changed upon marriage; they relinquished their autonomy and became in the eyes of the law one with their husband. In the 18th century, women were expected to be wives and mothers; by marrying Hugh, Elizabeth was conforming to society’s expectations. This lecture will explore how societal expectations and legal rights defined the roles of single and married women in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Session 3 – 1:00-2:00 PM

Victorian Mourning Customs
Presenter: Bob Reese, collector of Victorian funeral artifacts, with assistance from Ginny Benner
This will be a discussion of mourning customs such as draping windows in black and turning mirrors backwards. You will also learn about the mourning dress for different stages of mourning. See how the extravagance of funerals depended on social class and financial means.

“Excuse Me, Where’s my Family?”An Archivist’s Tale
Presenter: Kellee Green Blake, Director, National Archives Mid-Atlantic (retired)
Join retired Federal Archives Director Kellee Blake for a look at some of the zany, poignant, funny, surprising, and heartbreaking stories from her thirty year national career. Folks ask some crazy questions and records tell some hard truths but again and again she has been reminded that truth is stranger than fiction. Best of all, you’ll learn about Federal records and family stories you didn’t know existed.

Pearl S. Buck: The Lady and Her Legacy- Writer, Mother, Advocate, Humanitarian
Presenter: Cindy Louden, Chair of Pearl S. Buck Writing Center
Perhaps you know about Pearl S. Buck the author or Pearl S. Buck the humanitarian. But as important as those two things are, her legacy is so much more. Learn about this amazing woman who spent part of her life raising an international family in Bucks County, PA.

Session 4- 2:15-3:15 PM

Graeme Park Goes to War!
Presenter: John Brunner, retired educator and co-director of Graeme Park’s school programs
Visit with a member of the PA Militia to learn about the dramatic events in the fall and winter of 1777-78 at Graeme Park. This was the scene of two military encampments during the American Revolution. The Revolution touched the lives of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson and her family in powerful and fateful ways. As part of your visit, you will be given a demonstration on the handling and firing of a flintlock musket.

American Cemeteries: Stories they Tell of Times Past
Presenter: Steve Heck, retired history educator
This program will exam the development of cemeteries and the amount of information they contain about our country and our families. Imagine the excitement of finding a relative’s grave site and what it might be able to tell us about your family’s history.

What Can I Feed My Gluten Free Guest?
Presenter: Holly Niemeyer-Schorpp, educator
More and more people are eating gluten free- some by choice and some due to medical necessity. If you have a friend or family member with celiac disease, they cannot eat foods containing gluten. So, what can you serve them? Diagnosed with celiac disease over 8 years ago, Holly will share ideas for snacks and meals. She’ll also direct you to local restaurants and markets that have gluten free foods.

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