Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

The Reflector Oven The Reflector Oven came into general use in the American Colonies at the end of the 18th Century and was common feature about the hearths in the 19th Century until about 1850.  It was at that time that the average family found cast iron cooking stoves affordable.  Until that time, the reflector oven was the loveliest way …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

The Calash The latest fashion is often hard to understand, but that doesn’t take away from its appeal.  During the American Revolution English ladies often copied the French styles in caps – the little white caps that adorn their heads, as well as keeping their hair clean. Although the average housewife, maid, or spinster usually modified the high fashion of …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

Beaded Cushion In the textile collection at the Chapman-Hall House is a lovely beaded, heart-shape cushion.  The cushion was not a Chapman or a Hall family piece, yet to whoever it belonged it was most likely a favored souvenir of a trip to Niagara Falls.  Native American bead decoration is a very old art, the skilled bead workers used a …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

How did they do the dishes? The original tavern (and Mrs. Goodwin’s) kitchen is interpreted as a kitchen -with the tools for cooking and washing clothes on the hearth, and peels in the beehive oven, etc. After 50 years as a  museum, and for me, 15 years as a docent one topic had never come up – until  a year …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

Vesta Lamp In the parlor of the Chapman-Hall two Vesta Lamps sit on the fireplace mantel.  These lamps were designed for a new fuel being marketed in 1835, and patented by Henry Porter of Bangor, Maine.  That fuel was called camphine (not to be confused with camphene).  Camphine is generally distilled from the resin of pine trees, and this liquid …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

A Tale of Two Windsors And not members of the British royal family! Instead we will examine two windsor chairs, both by New England craftsmen. Windsor chairs come in various forms—the sack back, the hoop back, the fan-back and the bow-back being particularly popular examples. Some were designed as side chairs, others as armchairs the most ambitious of which included …

Object of the Week: Highlights of the LCHA Properties

Shared Ground: Colonial Agriculture at the Pownalborough Court House Two cultures and three shared crops. What can a garden teach us about Indigenous and Euromerican peoples in colonial New England? This is what author, historian and living history interpreter Mike Dekker set out to discover when he began the Colonial Garden Project at the Pownalborough Courthouse.  Both cultures raised crops …

Object of the Week: Highlights of the LCHA Properties

The Flower Garden on the Grounds of the Pownalborough Court House Originally planned as a period garden incorporating herbs and a grape arbor, the garden is maintained by the Garden Club of Wiscasset and has evolved into one of colorful annuals and herbs.  The gardens now host weddings, lawn parties, and local events. Robin Grant, Member of the Pownalborough Court House …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

Could Four Dragons live together at the Pownalborough Court House? Yes, if identified as such! One of the architectural masterstrokes of the PCH is a unit of construction in the exterior corners of the four large rooms on the third floor of the building. They are located at the top of the frame construction of the courthouse just below the …

Object of the Week: Highlighting the LCHA Collections

Another historical myth shattered: “Samuel Goodwin’s Musket Box from Fort Shirley” This long wooden box stood in the hallway of Pownalborough Courthouse since it became a museum. And the docents, relying on their notes, said it was Samuel Goodwin’s musket box and had come into the house with him from Fort Shirley, “and has always been here.” The top has …