Cost: $2/person suggested donation
Cherry Hill Farmhouse
Falls Church, VA
Prior to going to this reenactment, we met for lunch and drinks at the Mad Fox in Falls Church. Thankfully, we had fortified ourselves with a few Orange Whip beers (and yes, we did order them by saying to our waiter, "Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips) and an order of frickles (we love frickles) before walking into the farmhouse and seeing this portrait.
Holy Mother of God, why would anyone want to go back to a time where they not only didn't lock child demons like that in a basement, but also painted portraits of them so that they could attempt to steal your souls more than a hundred years later?
When we walked into the dining room, the reenactors were just finishing dessert at the table, in what was supposed to be 1863. One gentleman greeted us and gave us some information about the house and the participants. Another gentleman asked us how we had arrived that day, and of course, we had no idea whether to answer as ourselves or to give the Civil War-era answer. Dilettante Amanda handled this by responding, "in a hybrid carriage."
After touring the house, we asked if we could try on some of the bonnets on the hat rack (which we assumed were props, but were actually hats that the reenactors had worn there that day).
We are a bunch of rubes.
On our way through the kitchen, we asked the young girl sitting there a few questions about what she was doing and her response led us to believe that she had been dragged there against her (corseted) will. To wit:
Dilettante Amy: What do you have there?Unhappy, Uninterested Girl: (Picks up basket full of knitting, lifts yarn to reveal random pieces of colored wood, and says in a completely flat voice). Toys.
Dilettante Amy: Oh, how nice!
Dilettante Kathleen (looking at giant mound of crystallized something): Is that salt or sugar?
UUG (staring at floor, NOT at said pile): errrr... I dunno.
We headed back to the hybrid carriage, which then headed back to the Mad Fox for another round of orange whips. (And caused the hostess to say, "When I told you to come back soon...I didn't necessarily mean in an hour.")
We actually did learn something...and that is that the house was owned by the Blaisdells who voted with the Union, and therefore were in a bit of a pickle (frickle?) when it came to maintaining the safety of their persons and property. Mr. Blaisdell noted that someone even had to stay at home while the rest of the family went to church to guard the possessions.
(Note to self: I have a new excuse if my mother-in-law asks me to go to church on Christmas Eve. Thanks, Reenactors!)