Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Genesee Country Village 2012

Up until last year, I'd never even heard of the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY.  Little did I know that this was a serious and vital gap in my knowledge.  The village is my absolute favorite open air museum site, and their 1812 event is one that I look forward to all year.

I can't really even begin to describe how beautiful and idyllic the village was.  I fell in love with it last year, and this year was even better.  There were a lot more people in period dress, and nearly everyone I saw was in good period dress, which is something I really appreciate.  More than once I looked out the window of the building where I was stationed and saw a picture-perfect gentleman out for a stroll with his lady, or a mother and child carrying parcels or water back to their home.  It was like being part of a living painting.

Julie styles a dancer's hair early in the day.
Julie, a few other ladies from the unit, and I were stationed in the Romulus Female Seminary, demonstrating hair styles of the period.  In some cases that meant rag rolling little girls' hair so they would have curls later when they took them out.  In other cases we just did a pretty hairstyle and let the little victim little girl pick a ribbon color to put in it.  In all cases, the kids we coiffed left with beaming smiles and pretty hair.  They may or may not have made the connection between the fashion plates we had on display and their own hairdos, but they left happy and felt beautiful, so in that sense it was a resounding success.

Ava & Julie relaxing after a long day of hair styling
Saturday evening after the visitors left, our unit had a potluck supper together.  It was a great time to chat with far-away friends, meet new people, and of course the food was excellent.

The turkey needed a little help thawing
Day two was a little warmer than Saturday, but the weather was still just as lovely (minus a couple raindrops in the afternoon).  Our unit dedicated a new flag, which was painted by our commanding officer--in his other life, he's an amazing artist and graphic designer.  Our fifer received his new musician's coat, made by the inimitable Ericka, so now our young musicians are both smartly attired.  

New flag dedicated as the ladies of the regiment look on
Since Julie and I both traveled light for this weekend, we took the opportunity after closing time on Sunday to take a few pictures around the village.  We didn't see even close to all of it, but we'd been so busy that we all had to rotate shifts for lunch and bathroom breaks, so it still felt like we had a full weekend even though we didn't get out of our assigned building much.  Next year we might stay an extra day and pay admission so we can wander the museum & village at our leisure, though!

Predictably, I found the closest four-footed being and tried to make friends.

I did succeed in befriending the baby oxen, but only by dint of bribery.

Julie taking a turn in the gardens, no oxen in sight.

More civilized strolling

Old dress, new accessories
I was very content with my decision to not finish the new dress for this weekend.  Pretty much as soon as I had posted about it here, and made it known I wasn't going to finish, I felt so relieved.  I slept like a baby the night before the trip, I didn't feel pressured to ask Julie to drive so I could sew (actually I drove quite a bit and she read to me, which was wonderful), and I just generally felt a lot better about life without the looming deadline.  Even though I work well under pressure, it was nice to have a backup plan.

To dress up "this old thing," I paired it with a printed neckerchief from Anokhi USA.  They're not a historical retailer and not all of their designs are appropriate for my purposes, but they had a good selection that were appropriate, online ordering, and fast shipping.  I received the scarves only a few days after I ordered them!  The Silly Sisters also carries printed kerchiefs, as does Burnley and Trowbridge.

The bonnet is also new, and courtesy of my loving mother.  I had the silk in my stash with a bonnet in mind, but I'm terrible with millinery and was still working on a deadline, so she jumped in and tried her hand at bonnet-making.  It turned out beautifully and was pretty much exactly what I had in mind.  Thanks, mom!  Maybe you can come with us next year. (Hint...hint...)

They were just really cute, okay?
So in conclusion, if you haven't been to Genesee Country Village & Museum, you should go.  And if you're at all interested in 1812 events, you should plan to come visit us there next year!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Maybe you could join us in a year or two. :)

  2. I second Lauren, you look fabulous! And I wish I lived in New York!

    1. It's a beautiful area, and we saw so many pretty houses on the drive to and from the village...

  3. Im jealous! That looks so fun!

    1. You could join us! Everyone needs a good 1812 event once in a while...

  4. This one sounds more tempting than the Civil War one at Greenfield Village... for whatever reason... I'm not sure why... and could possibly change my mind at any moment.

    1. You know, they're both great sites, but Genesee definitely has more of a "time travel" feel to it. Just the way the village is arranged and the general atmosphere feels much more historical. Greenfield Village has a lot to see and do, but it feels more urban and modern.

  5. I really would love to go!

    1. You should! www.firstregiment.com is the way to start ;) You don't have to do military--we're probably 40% civilians at this point, and we've got members from all over the US and some in Canada as well!