Menokin Foundation is 20 Years Old!

That’s right – July 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Menokin Foundation. If you’ve been to Menokin in the last five years or so, you know that a lot has happened here in that time. We had two visitors recently who haven’t been here since 1994. That’s a long time! We told them they were in for a treat. These folks have been constant supporters of Menokin over these past two decades. We are so glad they were able to come and see for themselves what their contributions have help us to accomplish. They sent us an email upon their return home and copies of photos they had taken during their 1994 visit. Here are their note and the images for you to enjoy (with their permission!).

Dear Ladies,

Many thanks for your very warm welcome, for the tour, and for sharing so much terrific information with us on Friday! OBVIOUSLY a great deal has happened in 20 years!  Our visit was the highlight of our Northern Neck tour!  We’re so glad we finally made it!  We also appreciated the tip for Garner’s Produce Stand and stopped on our way home on Saturday.

We visited Menokin on Sunday, November 20, 1994.  We were on a Smithsonian bus tour (“Washington and Lee on the Northern Neck”) led by the indomitable Edwin (Ed) Bearss, former chief historian of the NPS, author, and Civil War & American history expert extraordinaire. We’d also visited Washington’s Birthplace, Stratford, Christ Church, Martin’s Hundred & Carter’s Grove in addition to Menokin (order may not be correct); we had lunch at Tides Inn.

I think there are two different rolls of film but have only found the negatives for one.  It was a lovely and relatively warm day judging by the sky and the attire. I remember our visit as being at the end of the day — you may be able to tell from #31.  I like this one despite the sun because it includes the no trespassing sign!  I remember that we had to wait for someone to come and unlock the gate or barrier (don’t recall which).  It’s also clear that we did walk around — did not remember that detail…

My husband also took photos, and would have typically taken many more than I did.  Mine were somewhat retrievable (in box 12 of about 18), but no idea where his might be.  We’ll come across his eventually and be back in touch.

Thanks again for a lovely visit.

Menokin Events Scheduled at Swem Library at William & Mary


WHAT and WHEN?  


FRIDAY, AUGUST 7  |  5:00-7:00PM
Archaeology at Menokin
Dr. David A. Brown (W&M ‘96, ‘14) and Thane H. Harpole (W&M ‘96)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18  |  5:00-7:00PM
A New Vision: The Menokin Glass House
Sarah Dillard Pope (W&M ‘90) and Hullihen Williams Moore

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25  |  3:00-5:00PM
Early Gregg Swem Library Open House
The Menokin Project Guided Tour in the Botetourt Gallery


Botetourt Gallery, Ground Floor
Earl Gregg Swem Library
(400 Landrum Drive, Williamsburg)


All events free to attend. RSVP to or (804) 333-1776

Visit the Menokin Project exhibit through October 6 in the Botetourt Gallery:

Moving Menokin’s Puzzle Pieces Into Place

By guest blogger Catherine Emery

PART I  Nothing brings a place alive like the work of many hands. Phase I of the Menokin Glass Project is underway as three interns dived deep into the Menokin stone databases to identify and locate cut and carved stone from the historic building.

Under the supervision of Encore Sustainable Design Architects Nakita Reed and Ward Bucher, the summer interns did a terrific job of updating files, re-tagging stones and finally moving them to giant, life-size print outs of the Menokin HABS drawings.

The students, Bethany Emenhiser, Sarah Rogers and Chris Cortner, came from around the U.S. and were attracted to Menokin’s innovative approach to preservation. But has the job been easy?

Only if you think moving 250 100-500 lb stones in 90 degree heat is light-weight work.

“It was fun to finally be able to move the stones to their proper places on the HABS drawings after spending weeks documenting and tagging them,” said Bethany Emenhiser, “but it was a long, hot day.”

Bringing in summer interns to help with preconstruction work was something of a no-brainer.The Menokin Foundation and its project partners were able to save essential funds and the interns gained valuable experience in the field, learned best practices for documentation and assessment of historic materials.

Though the preconstruction work has just begun, the progress is visible. Stop by Menokin and you’ll immediately see sorted stones atop the giant canvas drawings, a visual reminder that soon those same stones will be returned to the house.

Follow this link for PART II of this series.

A Visit With William Buckland

I was on a personal pilgrimage while in Annapolis this weekend to visit the Hammond Harwood House.

William Buckland, who most likely had a hand in the carved panelling of Menokin, was the commissioned architect of this house.

If you look closely at the carved pattern directly over the doorway you’ll recognize the frieze on the best chamber mantelpiece from Menokin.

Being inside HHH was the closest I’ll probably ever come to being inside the original Menokin. The floor plans are almost identical. And I got to meet Buckland firsthand in this copy of his portrait by Peale.

While much more ornate throughout than Menokin, it was fun to catch glimpses of some familiar carvings. I highly recommend a visit.

“Intern”pretations – Summer 2015: Episode Two

For an overview of the work being undertaken by our summer interns, please refer to this earlier post.

View Episode One.

July 1 – July 3, 2015

Duck Stamp Camp Returns!

Read all the details below, and click here for a printable registration brochure. Get quackin’. Space is filling up!

Duck Stamp Camp


While investigating the natural habitats of waterfowl in the Rappahannock River Valley watershed, campers will learn to document what they see and discover with cameras, notes and sketchbooks. By the end of the week, campers will have a greater understanding of the waterfowl and their habitats. They will also have had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing techniques to prepare them to enter the Junior Duck Stamp Contest in March 2016.


The Junior Duck Stamp Summer Camp Program is for 5th-8th graders, ages 10-14 years.


July 20-21 and July 23-24, 2015
1:00 pm until 5:00 pm


YMCA Members – $20 per child
Non-members – $50 per child
*Several full scholarships are available through the generosity of the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends. For more information, please contact Alice French at


A water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray and shoes/clothes that can get wet.


Each camper will receive a sketch book, a pencil and eraser, and a paper portfolio for drawings. Pastels, crayons, colored pencils, and paints will be available for use.


July 20-21 and July 23-24, 2015
1:00 pm until 5:00 pm

Questions? Contact Alice French at 804.333.1776


DAY ONE: Wilna (July 20)

  • Meet & Greet period at the Educational Center. Refuge staff will discuss “How to Birdwatch and Duck Identification 101.”
  • Hike around pond (puddle duck habitats) with binoculars and sketchbooks.
  • Walk to Observation Deck & Trail (dabblers).
  • Intro of Duck Stamp program by U.S.Fish & Wildlife.

DAY TWO: Menokin (July 21)

  • Canoe at Menokin along Cat Point Creek with guides.
  • Guide to point out plant species in this type of habitat
    and the types of ducks found on a creek.
  • Spend the afternoon learning to draw bird forms: flying,
    sitting, diving, etc. Special guest artist visit to describe a subject in its environment.

DAY THREE: Westmoreland State Park (July 23)

  • Kayak at Westmoreland State Park along the Potomac River with guides.
  • Guide to point out plant species in this type of habitat and the types of ducks found on a river.
  • Spend the afternoon learning to draw things in the landscape: leaves, trees, water, sky.

DAY FOUR: Wilna (July 24)

  • Campers will complete any unfinished work on their pictures. This may include a last hike to document the habitats at Wilna Pond in their sketch books, or finish the description of their picture.
  • All work will then be displayed for show. Each camper will describe their duck and its habitat, and what they learned by making their artwork.
  • The afternoon celebration will conclude with time for pictures to be taken, refreshments, art and games. Parents are encouraged to attend the celebration.

“Intern”pretations – Summer 2015: Episode One

For an overview of the work being undertaken by our summer interns, please refer to this earlier post.

June 23 – June 30