Echos from a Colonial Garden: Asparagus

The first friendly face in the colonial American garden was the perennial favorite – asparagus. Brought over from England by the earliest settlers, asparagus was an early and much welcome fresh addition to the 18th century dinner table in the spring. The asparagus is already growing tall in the raised bed garden at colonial Daggett Farm in Greenfield Village where I serve as a historical presenter. You can see that many of the plants have been allowed to grow tallRead more

Fresh Baked Bread from the Hearth at Daggett Farm

This past week was my first as a historical presenter at Daggett Farm in Greenfield Village. What an experience to live a few days in 1760 and share that experience with visitors who stopped by. There’s so much to learn about life during this time in colonial America but I think what stood out right from the start is how important the hearth is. This over-sized fireplace may not look like much to you but in 18th century America, itRead more

Dressing for Success at Daggett Farm

As I announced recently here on Extreme Ancestry, I’m getting ready for my new role as a historical presenter at Daggett Farm in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford museum, Dearborn, Michigan. There’s some serious preparation for this experience and that includes being dressed for success by Katie at the Greenfield Village Studio – the museum’s amazing period clothing shop. Everything you see at the Daggett Farm is historically correct to the food being cooked, the furniture you see andRead more

My Chance to Reenact 18th Century History at Daggett Farm

I’ve loved history and, especially American history, my whole life. And for almost 40 years I’ve done genealogy – piecing together what’s  turned out to be a fascinating and diverse collection of ancestors going back to the earliest days of this country. But up until now, my journey back through time has been mostly via the Internet, books, historical documents and old photos. That’s about to change. For the first time, I get to reach out and touch history inRead more

Fearless Females: Best Friends Forever

As a genealogist, I’ve spent a lot of time over the years focused on family. But for generations, women have expanded their families with an important addition – their best friends. My mother, Alice Vivian Batchelor, taught me by example about the extraordinary value of best friends. Her best friend was Sitella Glenn and she and Mom were BFFs for well over 40 years. Here’s a picture of them back in the day – Mom in the big hat andRead more

Shopping Saturday: My 18th Century Shopping Trip

Last Saturday, after being cooped up for over a week with a bad cold, I was feeling better and decided to treat myself to a little outing at the Kalamazoo Living History Show that someone told me about recently. This is an annual event held in Kalamazoo, Michigan for historical reenactors, educators, collectors and genealogy/history nerds (like me) who are interested in what life was like in pre-1890 America. The theme this year was the War of 1812. Since Kalamazoo isRead more