The Menokin Ghost Structure: Memoria and Kairos – Day Two
Day One ended with peg manufacturing in full swing (need 80 total), the grade beams of the structure assembled and the chiseling of the mortise and tenon joints well underway.
By lunchtime on Day Two, the floorboards were cut and laid. Preparations for the framing of the walls began in anticipation of the vertical beam raising to take place on Day Three. And let’s not forget the fashion show of the Fab Four students voguing their Menokin hats.
Take a virtual stroll through the pictures and imagine the scent of fresh-cut pine perfuming the air; hear the scrape of draw blades shaping pegs; feel the delicious spring combination of warm sun and cool breeze on your skin and get floored by the progress being made on our newest interpretive tool at Menokin.
Time to make the pegs.
Juliana gives it a go, and is, of course, a natural.
Photo opp pause. The hats are sold out, but a new order has been placed.
60 down. 20 to go.
Handmade mallet in progress.
Put Tab A (aka “Tenon”)
into Slot B, (aka. “mortise”)
Floor is in place.
The Log Dog (wrought iron “staple”) bites into the wood of the tree and sawhorse, enabling Craig to turn this log…
This structure will be 15ft x 25ft. The enclosed wall surfaces will be transparent and developed in the future for educational interpretation. Participants are spending the week learning wood working and joinery techniques that were used in the 18th century.
Based on information derived from archaeological excavations, we will be recreating the framework of a dwelling that would have been lived in by Menokin’s field slaves.
DAY ONE: The Work Begins
A view of the slave quarters site from the Visitor’s Center.
Craig Jacobs, proprietor of Salvagewrights Ltd. is leading the workshop.
In the interest of time, large cuts are started with the use of power tools.
The detailed joinery work is done by hand.
Hammers and chisels are used to gouge out the fittings.
Measure twice. Cut once.
Tools of the trade
Lots of lumber. Smells wonderful at the work site.
MAKE SOMETHING WITH YOUR MIND
THE MENOKIN GHOST STRUCTURE serves as a physical metaphor to foster discourse and assist people in forming and participating in conversations about slavery as it relates to the Menokin site, the history of America and current events.
MEMORIA is a Latin term, and can be translated as “memory.” Memoria was the discipline of recalling the arguments of a discourse in classical rhetoric. Creating outline structures of the major arguments of a discourse would also aid memory.
KAIROS dictates that what is said must be said at the right time. In addition to timeliness, kairos considers appropriateness. The term also implies being knowledgeable of and involved in the environment where the situation is taking place in order to benefit fully from seizing the opportune moment.
True to our unique vision, we are not creating a reproduction of a slave dwelling, but instead a constructed form that will generate dialog about our past, with the flexibility to garner new knowledge, awareness and understanding. Once completed, this structure will be used as an educational classroom, and will serve as the centerpiece in telling the African American story – both past and present – in Richmond County, Virginia and beyond.