Flat Becca

Most days are special around here. I’m not just saying that. We get really interesting visitors – of both the human and the wildlife variety. Our work is exciting and fresh and full of potential. And we laugh a lot.

But some days bring a little something extra, and when they do I am compelled to share.

Last week is was Rebecca Ward. Becca’s first grade class had an assignment to send out their “flat” selves to relatives to gather a travelogue of images. You know, Flat Stanley but cuter.

Becca’s Uncle Rob and Aunt Beverly brought Flat Becca to Menokin. They left with these pictures and the newly gained knowledge that Menokin has its own “Becca” (Rebecca Tayloe Lee) to share with their niece.

"Thank you for your hospitality this morning.  We sent the pictures of Flat Becca at Menokin to my niece’s elementary school this afternoon.  You asked me to e-mail you the pictures that I took.  I’ve got 3 photos and one of the letter.  FYI, Flat Becca is Rebecca Ward.   Rob Gates
“Thank you for your hospitality this morning. We sent the pictures of Flat Becca at Menokin to my niece’s elementary school this afternoon. You asked me to e-mail you the pictures that I took. I’ve got 3 photos and one of the letter. FYI, Flat Becca is Rebecca Ward.”– Rob Gates

 

Happy Holidays from the Menokin Foundation

Gift
Thank you.

Preservation Nation Gives A Nod To The Menokin Project

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s recent blog post features The Menokin Project. Thanks to Meghan O’Connor for an excellent article.

front-courtesy-menokin-foundation.jpg

Meghan was one of a group of four interns from American University that assisted the Foundation with interpretation strategies and ideas.

 

Country House, City House: Menokin Exhibit Opens at The Octagon House November 4, 2014

Exhibit runs November 6, 2014 until April, 2015
Exhibit runs November 6, 2014 until April, 2015

Menokin and The Octagon House are linked across
the centuries through historic events, a family and a love of architecture. Step inside their history and be immersed in an exhibit of revolutionary plans for their future in the Country House, City House exhibition.

The AIA Foundation (which operates The Octagon House) and The Menokin Foundation share a common mission: to encourage and educate the public and the architecture profession about the preservation of great design of the past, and the creation of great design for the future. That mission is made tangible through this collaborative exhibit.

The exhibit is comprised of three parts:

Menokin: Re-imagining A Ruin A visual overview of the history, rehabilitation and future of Menokin.
Menokin: Re-imagining A Ruin
A visual overview of the history, rehabilitation and future of Menokin.
Through Their Eyes: A Photographic Journey Take an artistic journey through the camera lenses of two photographers — Frances Benjamin Johnston and Hullihen Williams Moore. This collection spans over eight decades of Menokin’s history, as well as the changes in technique and the advancements in photo-technology from 1930 to 2014.
Through Their Eyes: A Photographic Journey
Take an artistic journey through the camera lenses of two photographers — Frances Benjamin Johnston and Hullihen Williams Moore. This collection spans over eight decades of Menokin’s history, as well as the changes in technique and the advancements in photo-technology from 1930 to 2014.
Menokin Revealed This exhibition is a curated collection of the imaginations and  visions of the students of architect, Jorge Silvetti, from his 2013 studio course at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Menokin Revealed
This exhibition is a curated collection of the imaginations and
visions of the students of architect, Jorge Silvetti, from his 2013 studio course at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Exhibit Hours:

Self-guided tours:
Thursday – Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: FREE

Private guided tours are available during other times by appointment. Tours last approximately one hour, and are $10/adults and $5/students.

Menokin Afield – Fall 2014 Newsletter is Now Online

Read about Menokin's road trips to Boston and The Octagon House in Washington, DC; find out about our SPAC Council and learn exciting news about a National Park Service Grant!
Read about Menokin’s road trips to Boston and The Octagon House in Washington, DC; find out about our SPAC Council and learn exciting news about a National Park Service Grant!

Cemetery Conservation Workshop at Menokin Baptist Church

Contributed by Alice French, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Menokin Foundation.

What better place to hang out in October than in a cemetery. The Menokin Foundation recently hosted a two day Cemetery Conservation workshop at Menokin Baptist Church in Warsaw, VA. Experts in the field of conservation from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources came out and shared their knowledge of best practices for maintaining, cleaning and documenting stones. It was quite an elucidating experience.

We spent most of our first day in the “classroom” learning about cemetery research and recordation, state laws, archaeology and iconography.

The assembly hall at the Menokin Baptist Church served as a meeting space for the workshop.
The assembly hall at the Menokin Baptist Church served as a meeting space for the workshop.

 

churchDay two was was our “field day” in the cemetery adjacent to Menokin Baptist Church. In addition to studying the iconography on the stones there and learning how to best document and
preserve what remains, there was also clearly noted instruction on the many things NOT to do to a tombstone. Surprise. Most of us were offenders in one way or another.

The main thing I learned is that there is generally very little you can do to forever protect all of the stones in a cemetery. But it is cemeterybest to try to keep them clear of roots and tree limbs and free of other natural debris. And the ONLY thing you should attempt to clean your stone with is a little bit of ionized water, which luckily for us rural dwellers, is readily available in your local farm supply store. Putting shaving cream and other chemicals may temporarily clean up your stone, but in the long run will hasten its deterioration.

The real key to preserving your site is documentation. Take good photos of what is there. Try to photograph stones to be able to read the text. Then record the information in as many places as you can. DHR has a standard form you can use to gather the most significant information. Also, share your information with other genealogy sites and the church (if your cemetery is associated with one).

UntitledThis tombstone marks the grave of Richard Harwood and his wife Mary, who died 3 days after him. Inscribed on the stone is this epitaph They were lovely in their lives and in death were not divided. The Harwoods owned Menokin during the mid-19th century. Mr. Harwood became a Baptist and deeded land to the Menokin Baptist Church in 1837 for the construction of the church.

The obelisk form is known as a monument. The stone displays many forms of iconography and a lot of the delicate carvings are wearing away, including some morning glories which represent the Resurrection. The urn at the top symbolizes the soul.

For more information about resources about cemetery conservation, please contact the Menokin Foundation at menokin@menokin.org. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction.

That Noble Band of Patriots

I was visiting Colonial Williamsburg for Family Weekend at the College of William and Mary, and on our meander down Duke of Gloucester Street we went into Bruton Parish Church.

My daughter and I found this wonderful tribute to the members of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and were delighted to find our very own Francis Lightfoot Lee and his brother, Richard Henry Lee, on a pew door in the Burgesses section of the church.

 

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