What’s New at WDS – October 7, 2020

Witch of Blackbird Pond Drawing

One lucky person will win a stunning “Witch of Blackbird Pond” map hand signed by WDS guide and Wethersfield artist Phil Lohman! Everyone who takes the “Witch of Blackbird Pond Tour” by November 15, 2020 will automatically be entered into the drawing. To make a reservation, please email Cynthia Riccio at [email protected]. We have maps and books for sale at the museum.

Collections A-Z – “T” is for Treen

We’ve been learning lots of new terms in this column, and this week is no exception! In the first two centuries of English settlement in America, access to affordable domestic items was uncertain. While the middle and upper classes enjoyed access to British, European, and even Asian manufactures such as ceramics and textiles, those of more modest means sometimes had to rely on locally produced products. Take, for example, objects related to food preparation and dining. What other material could possibly provide a cheap substitute for, say, an imported earthenware plate? Trees, and lots of them. 

The plentiful hardwoods native to New England were turned into an array of domestic items known as treen or treenware. This term literally means “of a tree,” and describes myriad household items fashioned from wood. Keen-eyed visitors to WDS will spy examples scattered about the kitchens in the Stevens and Deane houses, including plates, bowls, scoops, a rolling pin—even decorative butter molds! So durable were some of these items that they continued in use even after manufactured examples became available.

Around the Grounds

In this week’s “Around The Grounds,” we see that renovation of the courtyard has begun! The old stone pavers have been removed and a new Boston-red brick surface will be installed! Flag poles are being removed and will be temporarily stored on the grounds for future use. Wrought-iron railings will be installed on the ramp, steps, and landing. All of this, along with plantings on three corners of the courtyard, will create a beautiful new entrance to the Welcome Center at WDS!