Saturday, December 4, 2010

Island Farm: Part II

In my previous post I introduced you to Island Farm, a mid-nineteenth century living history farmstead on Roanoke Island, NC. I recently went back to visit Island Farm after preparing a historic furnishings plan for the site last year.  What a wonderful sight to see everything all put together! The staff at Outer Banks Conservationists and the historical interpreters at Island Farm have done a fabulous job implementing the furnishings plan, adding to it, and bringing Island Farm to life for public interaction.


Here are a few photos that we took from our recent visit:


servant's/traveler's room

north parlor

south parlor

master bedroom

master bedroom
During the summer months the bedrooms as well as the north parlor will be "summerized," meaning the furniture will be slipcovered, gauzy white linens draped over mirrors and pictures, and beds will be shrouded in mosquito netting.  

north parlor

kitchen

kitchen




enslaved cook's quarters in loft above kitchen




Notice the placement of the period appropriate furnishings: they are pushed up against the walls of the room unless they are in use. The furnishings are also highly mobile and can be moved about rather than stationed in place. For example, the dining table would have often been moved out onto the porch for a cooler, more enjoyable meal during the summer months. Household goods were largely chosen to reflect not only the interpretive period, but also the family's socioeconomic status, region, climate, ethnicity, and the isolated island culture that prevailed along the Outer Banks at the time. Most of the items owned by the Etheridge family were purely utilitarian--very few were decorative or extravagant. The furnishings plan was supported with primary and secondary source documentation, archaeological findings, will and probate records, family documents and oral histories. 

I have tons more photos that show the interiors of the other outbuildings but not enough room to post all of them here! If you are interested in learning more about or visiting Island Farm visit http://www.currituckbeachlight.com/islandfarm/ 



On Dec. 11, Island Farm will host visitors on a guided candlelight tour representing an 1850s Southern Christmas. Gather around a bonfire while muskets are fired to ring in the season. Warm yourself by a crackling fire as you sip a cup of hot wassail, and learn how Christmas traditions began. The farmhouse will be decorated for the holidays with flickering wax candles illuminating the Christmas tree. Carolers will sing Yuletide favorites and costumed interpreters will present vignettes of island life, including the perspective of those who were enslaved.



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