Yesterday was one of those rare days in which everyone in the entirely family had no obligation to be anywhere else, so we took a family trip to Museum Village in Monroe, NY. Museum Village is one of those museums set up like an old fashioned town in which tour guides in period costume demonstrate daily living in the period depicted. Musuem Village depicts 19th century (post-Colonial) America. There was an old house, a blacksmith, an apothecary, a one-room schoolhouse, a display of farm equipment, and my favorite, a candle-making shop. Each of us were given a stick with a piece of string tied to it and we dipped the string into molten wax to make our own candles. I happen to have written a candle-making chapter in my novella Pemberley Below the Stairs and it was interesting to find out which details I got right and wrong.
The main reason chose Museum Village was that they were sponsoring a special event that day. It was "Civil War Weekend" and a troupe of several hundred re-enactors showed up and pitched camp right in the middle of the village. The camp was something to see. There were rows upon rows of small white tents with campfires lit every few yards or so. All the re-enactors, men, women, and children, were in period costume. The Union soldiers were in blue uniforms, and the Confederate, who were camped out on a different side of Museum Village, were in brown. The ladies were not so easy to tell apart, but I really admired their costumes; they were modest enough that I could wear them! Some even had sunbonnets that completely covered their hair! Most of the ladies wore calico prints with aprons, but one woman playing a nurse wore all black with a white apron and hat, and one playing a widow was entirely in black, including her hat and gloves.
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