The Citizen's Forum of the 1860s 2020
This is our 4th conference!
Our second year in Maumee, Ohio
at the Wolcott Heritage Center
at the Wolcott Heritage Center
Take a look at what we have available this year, as we've added many more workshops. With twenty different workshops, there's a bit of something for everyone! There are also 4 seminars that are included with registration, as well as an awesome Friday night soiree, a bunch of vendors, and food/snacks available throughout the weekend.
Practical Diversions: The Early Art of Amusement
“The Never Tiring Amusement:” Visiting the Circus
Lions and tigers and acrobats, oh my! Prepare to be amused as Clarissa Doak, (list your title/certification) discusses her research about the history of the circus in the United States. Learn what people did, what they wore, and the societal expectations of those in attendance. Visitors beware; even pick pockets plied their trade alongside the performers! Primary sources will show that the traveling show was a popular pastime, one that shaped the modern perspective of performance art and entertainment. Threads from that history can still be seen in our amusements today.
The Mystery of the Groundskeeper: Recreating the Frank family in Revolutionary America
~Shirley L. Green PhD
My great-grandfather, Thomas Henry Franklin, was a well-known landscaper in his small community of Annapolis Royale, Nova Scotia. He passed down the oral tradition of the Franklin family to his sons--this information was passed down only through male members of the family and stated that the first member of the Franklin family came to America from Africa by way of Haiti. Two of his descendants—two freeborn brothers with the last name of Frank—fought together in the Rhode Island Regiments of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. By using genealogical and microhistorical research methods, I was able to document the journey taken by the Frank/Franklin family as they lived through the turbulent years of the American Revolution.
Pianos, Parlors, and Polkas- American Popular Music in the Home
from 18th century through the 1860s
As is true today, music was an integral part of life through the 18th and 19th centuries in America. We know music was commonly played in the home and at social gatherings, but what types of music were played? And what types of instruments were used? This presentation will explore the everyday types of music played at parties, social gatherings, and evenings in the parlor with family and friends. Using research from primary sources, the Colonial Music Institute, and the Parlor Music Academy, the presentation will be a combination of lecture, performance, and some audience participation! In addition to the what, where, and why of popular song of the time, we will also discuss ways to use music as accurately as we are able in our impressions for various periods. The primary focus will be late 18th century, and mid-19th century (1840s-60s).
An Artistic Endeavor: Labels from the Civil War
Utilizing Technology for Living History
~Kristen MrozekThe internet is an amazing tool that has so many uses for a museum or living history organization; posts on Facebook can advertise events, blog posts provide visual elements of history, while Youtube videos can truly bring an activity to life to anyone with a connection. Using technology impacts the way a group can communicate and effectively reach a larger audience. The workshop lead by Kristen Mrozek will offer guidance for using these resources to better serve your organization. Attendees will have the opportunity to review their or their/group's online profile and provide tips for reaching a wider audience. A laptop/tablet will be helpful to actively participate in this workshop.
The 18th Century Shift
~Sara GonzalezExplore a nifty facet of mid-century publications: a range of small, useful projects to be made with commonly-found household materials, with only a small expected influx of readily-available purchased supplies. Get familiar with mid-19th-century "Pinterest", and make something of your own! Participants receive a short list of stash items to bring along for their projects or to swap with others; a Common Findings table with findings and materials is also open for use, and the workshop includes an illustrated take-home workbook with templates and instructions for each project. All projects are drawn from US publications 1859-1865.
Up Close and Personal Clothing
~Glenna Jo ChristenJoin Glenna Jo Christen for an in depth, interactive experience with the items on
display in our museum display in the Farmhouse. Go beyond static displays and photos and feel for yourself the difference between period cotton and wool fabric, look inside garments and accessories to see up close the hidden features and details and learn which are unique or typical for the era. Learn the context for who would wear or use different items and for what purpose. Take measurements of garments of specific interest to you. Feel free to bring your cameras, pencils and paper (no pens please).
Make Your Own Hardback Blank Book
~Bob SullivanIn this workshop you will be taught elements of book-binding and will make your own blank book.
You will learn proper sewing techniques for binding a stack of paper as a book, how to create a cover, attaching endpapers, and finalizing the book. The workshop includes a kit with all the materials necessary to make 1 blank book with 50 sheets of blank paper covered in marble paper and half-bound in cloth. Book covers made in this way can also be used as covers for phones, tablets, and other modern devices that find their way into camp.
1860’s Fabrics 101: Training the period eye
~Sara GonzalezHave you ever wondered how to know if a fabric is period correct? Is it possible to go to a fabric store and just know if that cotton print is appropriate for the Civil War years or to throw it out the window with the rest? How do you determine these questions if it doesn’t say “reproduction?” What type of fabrics did they actually have and use frequently in the 1860’s? Get the answer to these questions and more in this brief lecture class by fabric enthusiast Sara Gonzalez, all while you pour over images of original textiles and discover their uses! This class is FREE to everyone to took this class in 2019. It has been updated with LOADS more information!
Circus Paper Toy Theatre
~Kay DodgeThis workshop will teach participants about the popularity of paper toy theaters from 1830 until the 1870’s. We look at some beautiful images of antique theaters and discuss the various types that were available in the 1860’s. Participants will then construct their own reproduction paper toy theatre. All supplies will be included in the workshop fee to include circus toy theatre, adhesives, scissors, character wands, and any other supplies necessary to complete the project.
Victorian Hair Flower 1
~Lucy CadwalladerEach participant will be shown how to construct their own hair flower using the "gimp" technique. Supplies will be available to complete a flower. If you elect to bring your own swatch of hair, it must be at least 10 inches in length and the diameter of a pencil-place in a zip lock bag. You may opt to make your hair flower into a boutonniere, displayed in a glass paper weight/shadow box or encased in a pendant. Please contact Lucy if you wish to purchase paper weight/shadow box or pendant, supplies are limited.
A Workshop @ the Soiree
~Self LeadLooking for an excuse to practice first person? The Wolcott House is the perfect opportunity! A special room in the house will be set aside for participants wishing to engage in polite conversation and experience authentic surroundings. Participants will be given information in advance to help prepare for a possible role. Games and other interactive items will be available on site.
~Betsy Connolly WatkinsAs demonstrated in countless original images, hairnets (both decorated and undecorated) were one of the most popular accessories for women of all ages in the mid-19th century. These functional bits of frippery kept the hair neat and tidy while also accessorizing the ensemble.
In this workshop, we will discuss hairnets and look at different examples of hairnets. Participants will have the chance to try their hand at creating a decorated hairnet using ribbons, beads, and tassels. Basic hand sewing skills are necessary to complete this workshop.
~Kristen MrozekHey Young People! This is for you! We will return to the thoughtful discussion of youth in living history, and how we can attract even more young people. During this workshop, young people will communicate their perspective of living history while interested adults may quietly observe and take notes. In addition, young people will be asked to participate in a group project that visually represents their thoughts. As always, they will receive a book in the area of their interest to promote their future research.
$15+, Nylon Net Kit $29.95 or Cotton Net Kit $65
~Kim LynchHave you noticed these lovely nets attached to bonnets? Bonnet veils were generally black lace in the shape of an orange wedge, worn with the straight edge draped over the front edge of the bonnet brim to hang evenly just below the wearer's chin. Veils served multiple functions depending on the situation; screening from the sun's glare and small flying insects an implied request for privacy when out on city streets or traveling on public transportation. In this workshop you will make a veil from a kit. Both nylon and cotton net kits are available.
"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night… Popular Reading of the Mid 19th Century
~Glenna Jo ChristenA brief overview of popular literature of the era and the roles reading played in society, including who was reading what kinds of materials. This will be followed by a discussion of the value (and pitfalls) of reading what people of your chosen era were reading, for persona development and a unique and important source for learning about the social and material culture of the era.
Examples of original books will be available to learn what to look for in used book stores and antique stores to find books of your own to read.Participants will receive lists of the best and better sellers of the era for future reference. The lists include notations of books that are still in print.
Toxicity in Reenacting
~Amanda Fross ~Megan ReisenerAlmost everyone has experienced toxicity within the living history community, especially with the rise of social media. This may have you asking if there is anything we can do to stop the cycle. This session will be separated in three parts. First, we will identify what specifically is toxic behavior within the community, second, we will brainstorm how we can positively combat these negative behaviors, and third, we will end the session with a round table discussion on specific experiences.
Wolcott House Tour
~Museum DocentCurious about the beautiful Wolcott House where we hold the workshops? The six buildings on site date to the 19th century, and contain significant importance when learning about the past. A museum docent will review the history about the people who lived in and used the spaces. This is a walking tour, so be prepared to go up and down stairs.
~Amanda FrossGymnastics was a new phenomenon in the 1860’s. Explore the history and fashion of this new form of exercise. At the end of the lecture, participants will receive instructions to try out different gymnastics exercises of the era.
The Spirits of Wolcott House
~Museum CuratorThere are many who have walked the halls of the Wolcott House and claimed that the past residents remain. They say that these everyday objects and spaces of the past swirl with energy. Join us as the museum curator guides a tour through the house at night, reliving these stories and legends. Every old house has a little history...but this historic site has a ton!
Men’s Basic 3 Button Shirt Workshop
Intermediate to Advance Sewers Only
~Sandra RootLearn to make a men's basic, 3 button shirt! This workshop will include an overview of men's shirts from 1850-1860's. An essential item in every man's wardrobe. You will learn to make a pattern and cut out the shirt using measurements, as well as insert arm gussets and neck plackets. There will also be instruction on proper buttons and buttonholes. Full written instructions for completing the shirt are included. Students may not have time to completely finish the shirt, but will have a full understanding on how to finish the construction.
19th Century Ladies' Drawers
~Sara GonzalezDrawers are a necessary 19th century underpinning! In this workshop, we will be taking measurements and cutting out a set of period accurate 19th century drawers in your size, then work through construction. All instructions will be given to take home, in case you do not finish your drawers in class. An overview on extant drawers and recommendations on trimming them will also be shown.
The Perfect Hand-Sewn Buttonholes: Made easy!
~Sara GonzalezDo you struggle with hand sewn buttonholes? Do you try with all your might, but they just don’t look good? Sara will unveil the secrets to hand-sewn buttonholes on a myriad of different fabric types and garment projects. Learn what you need to know to make the perfect hand sewn buttonholes in this crash course workshop! Hand-sewn buttonholes will help you “step up” your 18th AND 19th century garments!
Victorian Hair Flower & Wreath Construction 2
~Lucy CadwalladerFor those of you who have taken the beginner hair flower workshop-and feel comfortable weaving the gimp pattern-Lucy is offering an in depth class where a variety of hair flower techniques will be introduced....we will focus on the actual construction of a wreath. There will be Victorian wreaths on display for your viewing and also reproduction pieces to inspire your creativity!
Registration is still $110 for adults and $45 for youth. I recommend signing up early, as some of these classes have a limited amount of seats (10 or less). It also helps us plan better for a large group, and how many booklets to order. And I like knowing a number WAY far in advance :)
We hope you join us this year!