Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Day of History

Earlier this spring when I was having some major cabin fever going on, I organized a bunch of field trips. Last Friday we headed out on one of those trips. It was all located in Portland which is the biggest city we have here in Maine. Most of us drove at least an hour or, like me, an hour and a half and some even drove a bit further. Because of that I turned it into an entire day. 

We began at the Tate House Museum. This was the home of Captain George Tate and he and his family lived here around 1750. We broke in to two groups and were told we would have an interactive, hands-on "trunk" activity where the kids would be able to touch and feel replicas of objects from that time period. However, it wasn't quite as interactive as we were led to believe. 

While that portion of the program was interesting, we had a docent at the front of the room who shared various objects and their uses and passed around about five of them for the kids to touch. I do have to share that the two year old I watch did try to brush his teeth with the toothbrush that was passed around. 

My sweet niece.

Once this activity was done we had a short break and then headed back in for a tour of the house. It was wonderfully preserved and very interesting to walk though. 

I loved this detail in the house. A number of ceilings had this black outline drawn. It helped to make the rooms feel bigger. 

I am always amazed at the fireplaces. I can't even begin to imagine cooking on one like this. 

Master bedroom

This was a bed in the children's room. Captain Tate had four boys. They all shared a room when they first moved there. There was a double bed and then two smaller beds. And it was not a large room at all. 

The family also employed a tutor who had a small room just off from the boys room. You could only get to it by either going through the boys room or the guest room. 

Captain Tate's desk located in the guest room. 

Captain Tate's job was to identify trees for masts for the King's ships. This is an example of the symbol cut in to them to mark one. Once marked you no longer owned that tree. It was the King's property. 

Our tours here went about two hours. After we were done, my sister and I and another friend took our boys to a park in the city so they could run off some energy and have their lunch. 


Then we headed in to the downtown area to explore the city on foot as well as have a tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Our group started on the walking tour of Portland. While this was one of the hottest days we've had so far this year, it was still an enjoyable walk. This was our third field trip last week and all of them happened on rather warm days. 

We were all handed this packets and told to not stop for pictures as it would slow down the tour. Our guide had long legs and a fast pace. I managed to only snap a few photos along the way. 

The church that Longfellow attended. It was burned down during one of the fires that went through Portland and rebuilt in stone to help it last should another fire come through. 

Our guide and some of the boys in our group. We learned that parks were added to the city to serve as fire breaks. Portland lost a lot of homes to various fires.

The only time we were encouraged to snap a photo! The statue is of a lobsterman holding a lobster.

The two toddlers in our group, Mr. T above and my niece, both conked out on the walk. My sister offered to sit in an air conditioned room with them while we toured the un-air conditioned house. I think she had the better end of the deal!

We were not allowed to take any photos at all during the tour of the house. Some fun facts though...
  • Only a Wadsworth or Longfellow lived in the home 
  • Anne Wadsworth was the last occupant and lived there most of her life
  • She gifted the house to the city of Portland upon her death but wanted it used as a museum
  • The majority of articles in the house (furniture, etc) are the originals - not replicas
  • Floor coverings and wall coverings are exact replicas
Overall it was an interesting day in the city. However, it was a very hot day. And for those of us who needed to check off some "Maine History," this certainly served that purpose.

1 comment:

  1. I love visiting houses like the Tate House. This looks fantastic.


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