Tag Archives: archaeology

2017 Menokin Speaker Series – The Official Schedule

2017-speaker-series-logo

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 16

An American Silence: Walker Evans and Edward Hopper – documentation of common people their lives and places
4:00 – 6:00 | $10 | Speaker: Jeffrey Allison
Menokin Visitors Center | 4037 Menokin Road | Warsaw, VA

The photographer Walker Evans and painter Edward Hopper were part of the generation of American artists who tore themselves away from European ideals at the start of the 20th century. Join Jeffrey Allison as he explores these artists who celebrated America without filter focusing on common people in common lives and places. Within those scenes lie a powerful silence in which directness creates a visual anxiety as we wonder what has just happened and what will happen next.


APRIL 13

Geology of Menokin and the Formation of the Chesapeake Bay
Speaker: Christopher “Chuck” Bailey, College of William & Mary
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Chuck Bailey
Chuck Bailey

Curiosity about the origins of the iron-infused sandstone of which Menokin is built has led Dr. Bailey on a deeper exploration of the geologic history of the Northern Neck and how it relates to the formation of the Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 


MAY 18
Mapping the Indigenous Cultural Landscape
Speaker: Scott Strickland, St. Mary’s College, MD
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Scott Strickland
Scott Strickland

The project was undertaken as an initiative of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office to identify and represent the Rappahannock Indigenous Cultural Landscape between Port Royal/Port Conway and Urbanna. It was administered by the Chesapeake Conservancy and the fieldwork undertaken and report prepared by St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

 

 

 

 


JUNE 8
The Archaeology of Menokin
Speaker: David Brown, Fairfield Foundation
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

David Brown
David Brown

Dr. David Brown and his colleague, Thane Harpole, have been the archaeologists of record at Menokin for over a decade. This session will incorporate an outdoor “Adventures in Preservation” program as well as an indepth look into the past, present and future archaeology at Menokin.

 

 

 

 

 


JULY 18

The American Revolution
Speaker: Julie Richter, College of William & Mary
11:45 – 1:45 | $25*

Julie Richter
Julie Richter

Julie Richter received her Ph.D. in American History from the College of William & Mary in 1992. She teaches courses on colonial and Revolutionary Williamsburg as well as the way in which gender, race, and power shaped life in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Virginia as part of the National Institute of American History and Democracy.

*This lecture will take place at Ingleside Winery in Westmoreland County. Lunch is available by reservation and is included in the cost of the ticket.

 

 


AUGUST 17

Trees Up Close: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets
of Everyday Trees*
Speaker: Nancy Ross Hugo
4:00 – 6:00 | $15

Nancy Ross Hugo
Nancy Ross Hugo

Nancy Ross Hugo describes the joy of discovering unfamiliar features of familiar trees and how carefully observing seeds, catkins, flowers, resting buds, emerging leaves, and other small phenomena of ordinary backyard and roadside trees can provide insight into tree biology and reveal a whole new universe of tree beauty. She also shares what decades planting and observing trees has taught her about which trees make the best landscape investments and the importance of planting long-lived, legacy trees.

*This lecture will take place off-site due to the Smithsonian WaterWays Exhibit in the Menokin Visitor’s Center. Location TBD. A tree walk at Menokin will take place at the conclusion of the lecture.


SEPTEMBER 23-24

Menokin Sleepover Conference
Speakers: Frank Vagnone (One Night Stand) and Joseph McGill (The Slave Dwelling Project)

These two innovative and well-known historians and speakers will converge at Menokin for an extraordinary weekend of historical reflection, discourse and lessons on new ways to explore and experience historic places and the people who inhabited them.

More details about related programming will be shared as plans are solidified.

“Intern”pretations: Eliza Carr-Schmidt

The Menokin staff would like to thank Eliza, who took on the daunting task of sifting through boxes and boxes of artifacts extracted from archaeological digs at Menokin over the last 13 years, and photographing them for use in an upcoming exhibit. Her work is exceptional and we are so pleased with the final images!
Eliza is a rising sophomore at Christ Church School.

 


I first became interested in Menokin when I visited on a field trip a couple years ago. I was not only intrigued by the history of the house and the people that lived there but also the plan about the ‘Glass House’. It was something that I had never seen before. I liked the

Collection of buttons excavated at Menokin during an archaeological dig in 2009.
Collection of buttons excavated at Menokin in 2009. Photo by Eliza Carr-Schmidt.

idea that you could see what the house would have looked like back then while at the same time seeing what it looks like today. It’s awesome that you can see the structure of the house, foundation, and the inside of the walls, but it’s also cool that it shows what’s happened over time.

Damper key discovered during the 2016 excavation. Photo by Eliza Carr-Schmidt
Damper key discovered during the 2016 excavation. Photo by Eliza Carr-Schmidt

Before my internship, I didn’t realize that they had carried out so many digs and found so many cool artifacts. It was a pleasure to get to go through all the different things that have been found through the years. I hadn’t realized that other people had lived at the house after Francis and Rebecca. The artifacts were like a timeline that shows what went on and how things changed through the years. I not only learned more about the history of the house and the people that lived there, but I enjoyed the photography aspect as well. It was not all what I was expecting, but I’m very glad it’s what I ended up doing!

It was also fun to learn about what goes on in the background of historic places like Menokin. I had no idea the amount of time and effort that went into something like this. I think it’s really amazing that Menokin seems like it’s all put together by the community. It’s an amazing place that has a bunch of really cool people that obviously care a lot about what they are doing. It was so much fun getting to help out there and meet all the incredible people that make Menokin possible!

Mock-up: Before and After

We have talked and talked about the amazing stabilization and preconstruction work that has been taking place at Menokin.

But as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  The photography of the completed Northwest Corner reconstruction took my breath away. This before and after photo from 2015 shows the remarkable accomplishments of our preservation effort.

Mock-Up---Before-and-After
(click on image to see enlargment)

I hope you also feel the excitement and pride that I feel when I see this sneak preview of Menokin in her glory days.

If you’d like to help with our efforts, please consider making a donation.

 

Menokin Glass Project: Summer Work 2015

SAVE THE HOUSE: Preconstruction Work

So many exciting things are happening at Menokin in the coming months. We hope that you are able to follow along as they take place and encourage you to visit and observe as the archaeologists, preservation architects, masons, builders and
interns undertake preconstruction work for the Menokin Glass Project.

Here’s a synopsis of the archaeology work that took place at the beginning of this week:  Rock and Roll: Extraction of Stones at Menokin

Get all the details here.

Watch a fun video of the archaeologists at work here.

 

 

History Detectives

cbgs camp web (3)The Menokin Visitor’s Center and Site played host for three days recently, when approximately 90 kids, ages 9 to 13, participating in the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School Summer Program, came here to learn about the house, the land and the people who have lived here.

Organized by Menokin Education Coordinator, Alice French, each student was given a field book for their notes and observations. Among other things, they learned:

  • How to draw an elevation of the house CBGS-Summer-Camp-(5)
  • What materials make up the house, how they are layered and why and what the size, shape, landscaping and design of the house tells us about the people who lived in it.

Students studied examples of documents recording each families’ history here.
By looking at Menokin records – census, inventories, letters – they were able to make comparisons of changing relationships to the house.

Becky Marks and Sharon Parr from the Richmond County Museum brought in an extensive collection of Indian artifacts from the tribes that inhabited Menokin and nearby areas in pre-Colonial times. The students were able to handle projectile points, pottery shards and animal skins, and learned how they were made and what purposes they served in the day to day lives of these indigenous people.

History went underground in the afternoon when the students were able to work with a team of archaeologists from DATA Investigations on actual digs happening on the property. Two test units located in close proximity of the house were established to conduct professionally supervised excavations that incorporated student involvement while pursuing established research goals of the Menokin Foundation.

Existing artifacts were also available for students to learn methods of cleaning washing those that are actually excavated from the ground.

The week ended with a gaggle of happy campers!

"Happy campers!"
“Happy campers!”

 

Menokin: Education, Exploration, Enrichment – Day Two

DAY TWO – Wednesday, November 7th
Richmond County Schools Gifted and Talented After School Program

The day after the Aylett Country Day School 8th graders were here, we were visited by a hardy group of Gifted and Talented students from the Richmond County public school system.

The group, consisting of children from the 4th through the 8th grade, braved the wind, rain and cold to explore Menokin. A handful of the kids had visited Menokin before, some on several occasions. But many in the group were first-time visitors.

While the weather prohibited a walk to the creek, there was time to visit the archaeologists at work on their survey and a tour of the house introduced them to the architectural elements of 18th-century tidewater construction methods. With a plethora of old houses in Richmond County, several of the kids commented about the similarities they observed between their own homes and Menokin.

Menokin: Education, Exploration, Enrichment – Day One

These words describe the very soul of Menokin’s mission. They represent all that Menokin has to offer, and when they are followed up by “A 500-acre classroom for heritage and natural resource conservation,” you can really get a picture of what goes on in this peaceful corner of the world.

Our mission was really put to the test this week, as Menokin played host to three different field trip groups from area schools. Each school represented a different age group and learning environment. But one thing was abundantly evident with all three. Kids love to learn, they love to explore, and they love to play.

DAY ONE – Tueday, November 6th
Aylett Country Day School, Millers Tavern, VA

Aylett is a small, private school in Essex County, VA, which is across the river from Richmond County, Menokin’s home. The school serves children from Preschool through the 8th grade. Students from Aylett come from many surrounding counties, including Essex, Richmond, King and Queen, King William and Middlesex.

The 8th-grade class visited Menokin on Tuesday. While they toured the visitor’s center, the conservation barn and the house site, the main purpose for their visit was to complete a community service project for Menokin. Armed with cans of orange spray paint, which managed to stay off the students, they hiked through the woods at Menokin with staff members Sarah Pope, Alice French and myself, marking the otherwise not-so-obvious path along the bluff overlooking Menokin Bay on Cat Point Creek.

A stop along the way introduced them to Thane Harpole of DATA Investigations, and his team of archaeologists conducting a survey here in conjunction with the Chesapeake Gateways Grant secured by Menokin earlier this year. The hike concluded with gathering water samples from Cat Point Creek and returning to the Visitor’s Center to test the water for oxygen and acidity levels.

The last few minutes before leaving were well used exploring 21st century  uses for colonial toys.