Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gowns Galore at VMI...and a Reproduction Civil War Brooch for Me

Visiting VMI was mostly for my son. I entered the museum knowing it would be a barrage of military stuff, and I'm actually okay with that. I've lived most of my life in a military family. Also I've sewn lots of historical regimentals for my son over the years, which has been a lot of fun. But who knew there would be some attention paid to the ladies?

Presenting Mrs. Maury, whose husband, Matthew Fontaine Maury, taught at VMI after the Civil War. However before the war his services were sought by Russia to such a degree, that they gifted his wife a lovely pearl and diamond brooch in 1860. Although she accepted the brooch, he turned down the job offer. A reproduction of that brooch was in the gift shop...so guess what I now have in my possession!?! Stay tuned for a photo shoot. I told the cashier all about it when I purchased the brooch, which excited her. She told me to send them a photo of me wearing it with my 1860 gown. 

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Scrimshaw busks...I have one made of wood.

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Tatting...which I'm trying to learn. I have labored to tat with a shuttle, which is more 18th century. At the Prince William County Fair last year I met a tatter who showed me several methods (she made it look all too easy.) This method, as I recall, is more 19th century.

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Presenting Margaret Junkin Preston (1820-1897), who was considered the "Poetess of the South." She married one of the founders of VMI. Her sister married Stonewall Jackson.

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Her lovely seed pearl jewelry...and wedding band.

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Beginning in 1927, class rings were presented at a gala ball. The bracelet (below) was presented to a date for the ball in 1929.

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A white voile gown over taffeta slip worn to the 1955 Ring Figure Dance. The couple was later married.

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Ball gown worn in 1989 (or 1991...confusing on the placard.) "'Ring Figure' takes its name from the formation of the class year created by the cadets and their dates.' You can see a photo on the placard behind the gown.

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Gown worn to 1955 Ring Figure Dance. The couple were later married.

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Ring Figure Dances...

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Monday, December 4, 2017

A Visit to VMI

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After we left the Sam Houston birthplace, we drove on to Virginia Military Institute.

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VMI was founded in 1839, as the first state supported military college in America.

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It's a vertible fortress.

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We first saw this featured in the movie Gods and Generals.

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Stonewall Jackson was an instructor here before the Civil War.

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George C. Marshall is considered their most distinguished graduate. We had visited his house in Leesburg earlier this year, so my son had wanted to tour his museum, but it was closed.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sam Houston Birthplace...and a Texan Flag in Virginia

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Years ago we discovered a bust of Sam Houston at the Virginia Capitol (thought one of those only resided at the Texas Capitol). It was about time to find Sam Houston's birthplace in Virginia.

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It was while taking pictures of this huge chunk of Texan granite that I spied...

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...a Texas flag!

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I had read about that house. Finding the path to it would come after a picnic lunch...

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...but first, the view of the house beyond the boulder.

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Our picnic spot with picnic tables nearby.

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A tour of Washington and Lee University in nearby Lexington forthcoming...

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After lunch we walked around looking for the road to the house of the Texas flag...

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Finally we found the road, Sam Houston Way. The commemorative San Jacinto stamp marked the spot.

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The site of Sam Houston's birthplace, in a log cabin, became not only a 19th century plantation, but also the site for a movie scene from Gods and Generals.

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Love my son's choice of t-shirt for the day! Those who know their Texas history will make the connections between the Come and Take it cannon and the Sam Houston birthplace.

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Behind us was a church and graveyard. While standing here taking pictures, a church member was driving by. He stopped to talk to me. He liked that we were from Texas, now in Virginia. Sort of like Sam Houston in reverse.

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He talked our ear off, finally getting out of the car to give us a tour of his church. (He even sold a history book of the area to me. He promised me that Sam Houston information was in the book!)

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Back to the picnic spot...

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...to show off a view of the distant mountains.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

New HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing PTCN4D8  in the "coupon" field when you sign up.  Students "will receive a $30 discount on their total HSLDA Online Academy registration cost. "Families registering two or more students should submit separate registration forms to receive a discount for each student." (Quote from HSLDA Online Academy)