From the beginning of December through the end of March, Historic Christ Church & Museum (HCC&M) is closed for daily tours. According to Marilyn Hedges, Publicity Chair, however, that time is busy as the Foundation Board of Directors, the Volunteer Council, staff and various committees have been creating a full program of activities for the 2016 season. Research volunteers have met to discuss ongoing projects and identify ideas for new ones. The Marketing, Craft Beer Fest, and Development Committees have scheduled events, including the popular Beer Fest, which will be held this year on September 3. The public has already heard lectures on dressmaking, medicine, and wine in 18th-century colonial life and will learn about colonial Virginia food preparation, diners’ tastes and customs in April. Volunteers are delighted by the new items for HCC&M’s gift shop, where visitors can choose a reasonably-priced selection of articles for the home, for children, and for themselves.
March is always the month for continuing education for current and potential new volunteers. This year’s programs included lectures on the similarity between Anglican and colonial Virginia church design, new information about Historic Christ Church builder Robert Carter, and a description of “The Carters of Corotoman and Dynastic Ambition Among the Early Virginia Gentry.” Research Chair Dr. Kathy Galgano challenged volunteers to identify questions to Jeopardy answers on food, wine, medicine, and clothing. The Continuing Education program this year concluded with a Colonial Virginia Lunch Buffet, prepared by Board member Dr. Pam Ward and featuring Brunswick stew, ham biscuits, Mrs. Robert E. Lee’s cornbread and more.
All of this will culminate Friday, April 1, as volunteers and staff officially open the season at Historic Christ Church & Museum. Hours are Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until November 30. The visitor experience includes a short introductory film, a visit to the museum and a special tour of the church led by a knowledgeable docent.
HCC&M will charge a modest $5 admission fee for the museum and tour of the church. The fee will help support new programs and exhibits to offer a high-quality experience. HCC&M members, volunteers, children under 18 and active or retired military are always free.
Executive Director Clare Adams is excited to welcome in the 2016 season at Historic Christ Church & Museum. She is confident that visitors will enjoy one of the best museum experiences at one of the most historic sites in the Northern Neck.
Each March, Historic Christ Church & Museum conducts continuing education for new and returning volunteers. Volunteers, staff, Foundation board members, and experts in colonial history recently participated in the 2016 program, reported Marilyn Hedges, publicity chair. It featured the educational theme “Everyday Life in the 17th and 18th Centuries" with a focus on food, wine, clothing, and medicine.
Past President Tony Waring recapped the successful 2014-2015 roof restoration project. He noted that replacing the 1897 slate roof was completed just one day before the annual Craft Beer Fest. Research Committee volunteers Therese Horwath, Dr. Anne Davis, and Susan Bober presented information on 17th and 18th century Virginia food, medicine and clothing while Executive Director Clare Adams discussed wine, cider and beer in the colonial period. Susan McFadden of Open Door Communications spoke about the 2016 rebranding of Historic Christ Church as Historic Christ Church & Museum to fully convey the experience offered to visitors. Volunteer Ronnee Taylor outlined the six books that will be part of the HCC Readers book group and reflect the themes for 2016. Historian and Director of Education Robert Teagle presented new information about Robert Carter, the builder of this magnificent church.
Keynote speakers were a highlight of the program. Colonial Williamsburg's Architectural Historian and Foundation board member Dr. Carl Lounsbury gave a compelling lecture describing the similarity between Anglican church design and that of the Virginia Colony. Lounsbury concluded that “...Virginians made few changes to a plan that had served them well for more than a century since it was established at Jamestown during the first few years of English settlement in the new world." Another distinguished speaker was Professor John Coombs, Ph.D. of Hampden-Sydney College whose topic was “The Carters of Corotoman and Dynastic Ambition among the Early Virginia Gentry."
Key Historic Christ Church & Museum volunteers lead the three-morning program. Pam Ward, Ph.D., Education Chair and her committee crafted the 2016 program, which included "What's New for 2016" and a Historic Christ Church & Museum version of Jeopardy, prepared by Research Chair Dr. Kathy Galgano. This fun-filled session quizzed the audience on the prior presentations on colonial food, clothing, wine, and medicine. The conclusion was a “Colonial Virginia Lunch Buffet” prepared by Pam Ward and featuring Brunswick stew, ham biscuits, Mrs. Robert E. Lee's cornbread, and more. Volunteers agreed that it was a successful, educational, and interesting continuing education program for the visitor season, opening April 1.
Historic Christ Church & Museum welcomes new volunteers year-round and offers a stimulating and fun environment for those who love history and people. For further information, please call the Foundation Office at 804-438-6855.
Historic Christ Church & Museum will host its Spring 2016 Continuing Education program on March 8-10. The event is free and open to the public. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon each day. Anyone from the community interested in participating or learning more about volunteer opportunities at Historic Christ Church & Museum is encouraged to attend, said Historic Christ Church & Museum Education Director & Curator Robert Teagle.
The exciting program features presentations on the history of Christ Church and colonial Virginia. Highlights include Dr. Carl Lounsbury of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation speaking Wednesday, March 9 on "Anglican Architecture in 17th-Century Virginia." On Thursday, March 10 Dr. John Coombs of Hampden-Sydney College will present “The Carters of Corotoman and Dynastic Ambition Among the Early Virginia Gentry." Lounsbury and Coombs have written widely on colonial Virginia and are recognized as distinguished scholars in their fields, Teagle noted.
The March 9th program also features members of the Historic Christ Church & Museum Research Committee presenting on different elements of “Everyday Life in the 18th Century." Therese Horwath will present on clothing, Susan Bober on food, and Anne Davis on medicine. Executive Director Clare Adams will share research on wine during the period, according to Teagle.
Attendees will also have a chance to play Historic Christ Church & Museum Jeopardy!TM, an exciting game created by Research Committee Chair Kathie Galgano. Volunteer Council Chair Jill Worth will share “What's New for 2016.” and docent Ronnee Taylor will present the different selections the HCC Readers Book Club will be reading in 2016.
Docent Tony Waring will present a photographic recap of the successful roof conservation project, which Historic Christ Church & Museum completed this past summer. Teagle will trace Robert Carter's career as a builder in colonial Virginia. The three-day program will conclude with a Colonial Virginia Lunch Buffet prepared by Pam Ward, Jill and Larry Worth, and other volunteers.