Monday, November 14, 2011

Metamora Courthouse Demo for Veterans Day

It was a pleasant day yesterday for the 108th demonstration at the courthouse. November surprised with a brief lull from the cold and blustery days we have been experiencing and though the day was windy, it was sunny and warm.

Judah found out that his beloved grandma was coming to our house to watch Malachi and he decided that he, too, would rather stay with her than go to the demonstration. David and I found ourselves alone with our oldest son for perhaps the first time in several years! Judah willingly shared his new tunic with his brother, so David looked festive and patriotic in his red, white and blue ensemble.

There was a memorial wall for fallen Illinois veterans in the side yard, displays and refreshments downstairs, and upstairs there were several talks over the course of the afternoon, touching on such subjects as Victorian mourning customs, the war of 1812, and the 1860's Navy. I was nervous about talking about women's fashions of the 1860's in front of an audience but all in all I got through it without fainting or forgetting what I wanted to say. I think it went all right!

David set up his display of tools and medicines on the west side of the old courtroom. It all looked very well, but he was exceedingly nervous because the table he is sitting at in this photo is one that is documented that Abraham Lincoln actually used - in fact, there is a space cut out of the apron at the back of the table so Mr. Lincoln's knees would fit beneath it!

David, being of nearly exactly the same height as Mr. Lincoln, found this arrangement very comfortable and convenient. He still was a little awed, though, to be sitting at and using a table that Mr. Lincoln used so many years ago.

Not the least of many pleasantries of the day was seeing Major Ron and my own dear Captain in their new coats. Here they pause from their duties in the evening for a quick photo.

And it was also nice to see Bill in the navy uniform I made for him last year. That was a very fun uniform to create and he does look very dashing in it.

The 108th had a good turnout. We even recruited a new member! David's good friend, in the role of hospital steward, and his good friend's good wife will hopefully be joining us for many events in the future. We still don't know what Peter really is though. I don't think Peter himself really knows. He has played in the role of hospital attendant but his real joy is sheer socializing. . .he can talk about almost anything to almost anyone. I think he should be permanently arranged in the role of visiting civilian, don't you think?

He and I can be way too silly though. David looks upon our capers with a tolerant, indulgent sigh. When shall we grow up? Not as long as there are silly things to do and generous fence-posts on which to place a camera with a timer, and resultant pictures to laugh over despite the fact they may be blurry and dim. ;)

This is the one (bit blurry and dim!) picture I got of the dress I wore. I am wearing my regency stays with it since I used my other corset for the demonstration. Much to my surprise, this dress actually fits me much better with the stays than with the corset. This fact intrigues me greatly so I think an experimentation with a gusseted corset cut down from the regency stays pattern will be in order for the winter. I love my gray linen corset but I do think the bust line it gives is a little too low, and the breasts are splayed so far apart in that corset, it's hard to fit over it.

And that is the last of our living histories or demonstrations until next year, except for the ball at the GAR hall the day after Thanksgiving!



  1. It sounds like you have so much fun doing your living history demonstrations....Sounds like something I would like! Love your dress and your hubby looks great in his uniform and to be able to sit at a table, that Pres. Lincoln used, must have been awesome!



Thank you for your lovely thoughts!