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October 12, 2019

Several weeks ago, Finders Keepers donated this two piece broom making system to the museum.

  The “kicker” on the left was a wrapping device and the “sewing vise” on the right was how the hand sewing process was performed.  I knew that brooms had a long history of use...

July 10, 2019

On February 27, 1801, James Madison, Senior died in Orange, Virginia. His eldest surviving son, James Madison, Jr. (Father of the U.S. Constitution, author of the Bill of Rights and 4th President) inherited a 5,000 acre estate, the enslaved people and a Georgian manor...

May 25, 2019

Have you ever wondered why women rode aside, or on a side-saddle? What brought it about?  Why not ride astride, as had been done for centuries from ancient Egypt until the Medieval Period?  Our current temporary exhibit looks at a brief history of riding aside and some...

May 16, 2019

One of the occasional issues I have to face is learning that the donor’s information about their artifact may not be accurate.  It is not unusual to have a little confusion over an exact age or perhaps a question about the chain of provenance.  However, with this artif...

February 22, 2019

We’ve recently received a long-term loan of an 1850/52 grand piano with a link to Bloomsbury from the Camper family via the Jerdone family (1842-1965) owners of Bloomsbury during the American Civil War. As I’ve shared in prior writings, learning the history of an artif...

January 8, 2019

On December 2, 2018, the Museum opened our newest permanent cultural exhibit space, The Manahoac Confederacy. 

Just as with other historical terminology and names, there is confusion with the proper spelling of this Confederacy.  Mannahoac (1608), Manahocks (1629), Mann...

August 17, 2018

Please note that the while this topic is sensitive and unthinkable today, it is being presented as an educational effort, not promotion of or support for the continuance of the theatrical form itself. 

While it is very easy to dismiss and discredit minstrelsy (minstrel...

May 10, 2018

Prior to working at this museum, I had a vague idea of the different fabrics created from natural materials such as cotton.  I have had to do a lot of research to learn the differences between the 1800s fabrics, especially, those made from cotton.  Cotton fabrics can b...

February 13, 2018

That is the line that caught my eye when I was scanning a file on an antebellum slave-made table. This assessment came from his own family; so, James B. Daniel was evidently a “character.”

Known to a very young Bill Downer as “Grandpa Jim”, James B. Daniel was born in O...

November 7, 2017

We are fortunate to have three chairs on exhibit that were used by presidents. Two Campeche chairs and one Federal side chair. The two Campeche chairs of James Madison,

Jr. and Maj. Gen. Zachary Taylor are on exhibit as “Presidential Cousins.” Madison's chair (on right)...

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