Thursday, March 7, 2019

Celebrating Washington's Birthday (and other February fun)

I don't know about you, but I can only take
so much of writing in my journal on these 
dreary winter days. I need to do something!
Let's face it - as reenactors living north of the Mason-Dixon Line, February can be a pretty dull month. I mean, it's freezing cold, gray, snowy, and, well, not very suitable weather for a reenactment.
Unless...unless you know the right people.
I've mentioned numerous times before that we, as living historians, need to stick together and find those with the same like-minded ideas and passions to help make the bleak mid-winter a bit more exciting and fun. This past February here in the metro-Detroit area we've done a couple of things to help stave off the winter blues, and what I did for this week's posting is mesh the two together, including celebrating George Washington's birthday. But before we get to that, please allow me to introduce you to my friend, Tony, who has been a Revolutionary War reenactor for a good many years, starting out with his parents in that great year of history 1976, and continuing off and on through our current time, and now with his own children.
Tony is still in that same military unit as he was back in '76, the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, though most members from those early days are no longer reenacting. But he is carrying it on here in the 21st century, recruiting new men and preparing for the sestercentennial of the American Revolution. He was kind enough to give me a bit of history of this unit he so passionately portrays:

"In the summer of 1775, not long after the battles of Lexington & Concord and Bunker Hill, the Continental Congress called for the raising the riflemen to go to the aid of Boston. They were trying to figure out the cheapest way to clothe such an army, and hunting shirts and trousers were put forward as a cheap solution. This was the dress of the true frontiersmen from Pennsylvania and Virginia, though it is clear that this was a uniform that was contracted out to be made and issued to the men, not their native clothing. Col. William Thompson, the first colonel of the Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, appointed Reading, Pennsylvania to be supply depot. The Industrial Revolution had not yet occurred, so the clothing was made, sewn by hand, under contract by suppliers in Reading and possibly other locations. In subsequent years, the army continued to let out contracts for clothes, though tailors who had enlisted as soldiers were brought together to make additional clothes. The men from all the companies of riflemen were instructed to march there where they would receive their uniforms, knapsacks and blankets.
Photograph courtesy of Kerry Dennis
Many of the men who enlisted in the 1st Penn in the summer of 1775 were actually recent Irish or Scotch immigrants who had little to no experience with rifles. Their clothing would have been the typical clothing of the era, not unlike that worn by New Englanders. However, the hunting shirts and trousers were specifically made to give the riflemen that "frontier" look, which was so foreign to New Englanders. It really was a sort of "costume" in that it was not the normal clothing most of the men would have been wearing at the time. Congress specifically called for the men to be armed with rifles, which were much more accurate than the smooth bore muskets and fowling pieces of the New England militias. These firearms were accurate out to 300 or 400 yards in skilled hands and could be quite deadly.
The clothing that was issued to the men in the summer of '75 was likely worn out by that autumn or winter, for the men initially marched from Pennsylvania to Boston for about 4 weeks wearing their uniforms, and then served in and around Cambridge until March of 1776, when they marched from there to New York to begin the 1776 campaigns.
They were known as the Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion in the summer of 1775. When Washington reorganized the army, the battalion became known as the 1st Continental Regiment throughout 1776. Washington reorganized the army again in late 1776, and, starting in January 1777, the regiment  became known as the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, and that is the name it fought through for the rest of the war."
I did a bit of research on my own  and found that:
Along with the American long rifle, the American hunting shirt became famous in the American Revolution. It was generally made of homespun linen and cut in a long overshirt or wraparound style. It had rows of fringe around the edges and fit loosely so the wearer could move easily. Favored by General Washington, it was frequently worn by both Continentals and the militia. In 1776 Washington described it: "No dress can be cheaper nor more convenient, as the wearer may be cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather by putting on [additional clothes]. . . . "
Tony put together a hunting shirt sewing day, where members of his regiment could get together and hand-sew authentic replications of the originals worn by the 1st Penn back during the Revolutionary War.
In 1775 when the North Carolina Congress raised a battalion of ten companies of minutemen, or militia, it called for these men to be uniformed in hunting shirts. General Washington stated that a man wearing a hunting shirt created "no small terror to the enemy who think every such person is a complete marksman." Aside from hunting shirts, the militia usually wore homespun wool coats in a variety of colors and patterns and waistcoats, breeches, and stockings.
(Outfitting An American Revolutionary Soldier)
Tony went around from table to table to answer questions and help or guide anyone in need.
This sewing day for soldiers took place inside the original mess hall in the 1840 Historic Fort Wayne barracks in Detroit.
Before the sewing began, Tony explained the
history of his hunting shirt.
After hearing a bit of the history, the members of his 1st Penn Regiment got to work in making their own hand-sewn shirts.
Each member received a "kit" that included everything needed.
Some of the members wore their period clothing during sewing day while others chose to come in modern wear.
My son was lucky, for his girlfriend, an accomplished seamstress, came along to help him out.

As I am not portraying military, I didn't make one for myself, though I do plan to possible go out here and there as a Minute Man every-so-often. So after hanging around inside for a while I decided to go out for a while and enjoy a rare, sunny (albeit very cold) February day.
For the first time ever, I purchased for myself a musket!
It is a Gentleman's Fusil Musket - yes, here I am with it.
As noted by Access Heritage, the company I purchased it from: "Having a 'fusil' or smaller and lighter calibre musket was both more comfortable and was an excellent muzzleloader for hunting or target shooting.  A number of London gun makers catered to this market including Thomas Ketland.  Ketland started making flintlocks in 1760 and his business grew.  By the 1790s, Ketland expanded in order to take advantage of the export market.  Not only did British and American officers and civilian gentlemen demand his guns but also the North America's Native chiefs."
This is the company picture of the gun I purchased.
I plan to use it once in a while during early battles, but mainly I wanted it for presentation purposes, especially the hunting aspect, for I do portray a farmer. Tony helped me in choosing the piece that would work for me, of which I appreciate.
Gentlemen hunter resting after a day of fowling, 1783.
Hey! He has my gun!
"Gentleman hunter resting after a day of fowling, 1783."
"This smooth-bore flintlock muzzleloader has a 36-inch tapered barrel with a .62 calibre bore.   The overall length is 52 1/2 inches.  The barrel has engraved on it "LONDON" like most pieces manufactured by Kentland gunmakers in the 18th century." 
The young man in the following two photos willingly and happily posed for a few shots:
Though a little too young to be fighting in the War, he is definitely of age to go hunting.

Then again, if he sees a Redcoat, he may just take aim!
During a break in the sewing, a few of the guys also came outside and I took a few moments to snap pictures of some of them. I'm not going to lie---it was pretty cold out. We were at the tail-end of the so-called "Polar Vortex" where we had very bitter temperatures dipping down to near 20 below (actual temps!) and highs hovering around zero (one day we had a high of minus 4).
If these two looked cold...they actually were!

My son and his girlfriend.
Our woolen cloaks definitely kept us warm, To be honest, I felt that my cloak actually kept me warmer than my modern coat, though my legs below the knees certainly felt the sting of the air.
It's February in Michigan. It's cold. But at least we did have sun!
But the fun wasn't over yet - - -

Our next February excursion was to celebrate the birth of the Father of our Country, George Washington. Here are the photos taken at this celebration:
A toast!
Washington's Birthday has a history as old as our country. It was celebrated publicly for the first time in the late 18th century, while George Washington was still president.

"Washington's Birthday" became an official holiday in 1885, when President Chester Arthur signed a bill stating so. Meanwhile, there was President Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12, which never became a federal holiday but was celebrated as a legal holiday in many states outside the old Confederacy.
Today, we celebrate Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday of February each year—the result of the 1968 law mandating that a number of federal holidays occur on Mondays.
George Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. In 1752, however, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar which moved Washington's birthday a year and 11 days to February 22, 1732.
A year and 11 days??
But, how can that be?
New Year's Day had been celebrated on March 25 under the Julian calendar in Great Britain and its colonies, but with the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, New Year's Day was now observed on January 1. When New Year's Day was celebrated on March 25th, March 24 of one year was followed by March 25 of the following year. When the Gregorian calendar reform changed New Year's Day from March 25 to January 1, the year of George Washington's birth, because it took place in February, changed from 1731 to 1732. In the Julian Calendar his birth date is Feb 11, 1731 and in the Gregorian Calendar it is Feb 22, 1732. Double dating was used in Great Britain and its colonies including America to clarify dates occurring between January 1st and March 24th on the years between 1582, the date of the original introduction of the Gregorian calendar, and 1752, when Great Britain adopted the calendar.
George was the oldest son of Augustine and Mary (Ball). His birthplace is located in Westmoreland County, Virginia, at Popes Creek Plantation (also known as Wakefield), with the plantation house, which was probably a simple one, built by his father, Augustine Washington, in the 1720s. Augustine, with his wife (and George's mother, Mary Ball) controlled a plantation of 1300 acres with several outbuildings and twenty to twenty-five slaves from this home.
The family moved away from Popes Creek when George was only three.
It is unfortunate that the house was destroyed by fire about sixty years later, in 1779. Later, Washington's step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, placed a stone marker on the site in 1815 or 1816 commemorating his grandfather's birthplace, explaining, 
"Here On the 11th of February, 1732, Washington Was Born.
Washington's nephew, William Augustine, was the owner of Pope's Creek when it burned down.

Yet despite the holiday often being referred to as “Presidents’ Day” in practice, the official federal holiday is actually “Washington’s Birthday.” When George Washington himself was alive, people honored the occasion with balls and banquets. The celebration continued after his death as a way to remember what America’s first president did for the Nation.
For our celebration we had period music played beautifully on the hammered dulcimer. 
And here is the dulcimer player with his wife and child.

Checkers and peanuts - - - - 

Plenty of talk, mostly about reenactments past & future and historical accuracy of period clothing, muskets, and other items used, abounded. Having a period party doesn't mean one must necessarily stay in 1st person to keep it authentic, just keeping away from modern politics, non-period movies/music, and other contemporary topics. 

Even though the celebration took place in an 1872 school house, the atmosphere still had that period wooden feel that most modern buildings don't (obviously) have.

Most of us brought along our own light.
In fact, here are a couple of my lanterns,
including my favorite on the right.

Together with the members of the 1st Pennsylvania dressed in their 1770s finest, along with most of the rest of us also dressed in an 18th century manner - and throw in the lanterns that helped to complete the ambiance - this 19th century structure certainly did indeed work well as an 18th century backdrop.
By the way, this was not my first time participating in such a birthday celebration; ten years ago I was part of a commemoration for the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln's birthday.
I suppose this was a sort of unofficially the first event of the 2019 season. It was good to be around like-minded folk who enjoy bringing the past to life.
Once again, many thanks to Tony for putting all of this together. It was a really fine time.
Until next time, see you in time.


Sources for this posting:
Infoplease
The White House
Julian to Gregorian Calendar
Outfitting An American Revolutionary Soldier

And if you would like to know more about George Washington's death Click HERE
Interested in hearing about the beginning of the Revolutionary War from those that were there? Click HERE
Interested in everyday life in colonial times, click HERE






















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Friday, February 22, 2019

Ken's Colonial Collection of Lighted Houses & Miniatures

This is an update of a posting I wrote back in 2012 - seven years ago as of this writing - and since then I have accumulated a pretty good collection of figurines and accessories to add to my ever-growing colonial village.
Plus, there is some history included, to boot!

~   ~   ~ 

Since discovering Dept. 56 back in 1989, I have become a fan - a collector - of the small lighted houses. Though my main collection is their Dickens Village, with the various Dickensian characters such as Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, etc. (click HERE to see my post on that from 2011), I have ventured off a bit over the last few years to collect other series, such as Sleepy Hollow and other Hallowe'en houses (click HERE), and also a few odds & ends showing Victorian times. I've even had a few 1940s through the 1960s Americana buildings such as a Dairy Queen, a drive in restaurant, and a gas station (though those have been packed away so good I forgot where I put them). A good many of the houses in the various collections are designed from an artist's imagination seemingly based on nostalgia, but the improvement over the years to bring out much more accurate looking buildings, designed from actual structures, has taken precedence, including Big Ben and Gadshill Place in the Dickens series.
But I have mentioned to my wife quite frequently on how cool it would be to have actual historical houses - American historical homes - from the early days of our country's founding, as a collection.
It took a while, but in 2010: "A new porcelain Village series "Williamsburg" delighted Village collectors and history buffs alike. This series was formally introduced at a collectors' event held in historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia in October with Village artist, Jeff Junkins present for the entire event." (from the Department 56 site)
This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the company had concentrated on an actual historic village, and I was pretty darned...well...ecstatic, to say the least. So I began purchasing them until I got nearly the entire Williamsburg village. To be honest, I couldn't afford the prices being asked by the company itself, but by searching on the internet daily and having patience, I was able to locate a few of the houses at, in most cases, half off or more the original asking price, allowing me to acquire pretty much all but a very few in the collection.

I don't have a large house - bungalows usually aren't - and therefore space is limited, so I have to put my lighted house collection on a wall shelf and on top of my computer desk.
So, beginning with my wall shelf, here is my colonial village display:
My colonial mainstreet.
Now, just so you don't think I am blindly purchasing this Williamsburg set by name alone, I did a bit of comparison on the original structures to see how closely they resembled their ceramic counterparts.
Perfectly! They matched perfectly!
So, what I have here are photos of the original buildings as they sit in Colonial Williamsburg followed by the Dept. 56 miniatures I had purchased.
You be the judge:
The home of George Wythe, built in the early 1750's. Besides being elected to the House of Burgesses in Virginia and Mayor of Williamsburg, Mr. Wythe, a "profound lawyer" (according to Benjamin Rush) was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson called Wythe "my second father, my faithful and beloved mentor in my youth and my most affectionate friend through life."
Yes, that's me you see at the door.

And here is the Dept. 56 ceramic version of the Wythe house.
I need a ceramic figurine of me at the door.

King's Arms Tavern: This was one of the best-known taverns in Williamsburg and, during the Revolutionary War, the proprietress, Mrs. Jane Vobe, provided food and drink to the Patriots fighting the Redcoats.

Dept. 56's accurate rendition of the King's Arm Tavern

The Taliaferro-Cole House. This place was originally owned by Charles Taliaferro from the mid-18th century until he sold it to Jesse Cole in 1804. Charles was a well-known coachmaker as well as a merchant and also owned the shop next to it to sell his wares.

Here is Dept. 56's fine replication of the Taliaferro-Cole House.

Here is the original Taliaferro-Cole Shop. When Charles Taliaferro owned it in the late 18th century, he sold "an assortment of lines, shoes, saddles, bar iron, candles, nails, and brads." When Jesse Cole purchased it in 1804 it continued as a general store and a post office as well.

And here is the Dept. 56 replica of the Taliaferro-Cole Shop .

Dating from 1715, parishioners of Bruton Church sat in boxed pews, their walls providing privacy and protection from drafts. In the early years the sexes sat apart. A vestry book entry for January 9, 1716, says:
"Ordered that the Men sitt on the North side of the church, and the women on the left."
A succession of galleries was built for particular groups beneath the soaring ceiling. For example, on July 10, 1718, William and Mary students were assigned a gallery that still stands. Exterior stairs were added for access to some of these railed, overhanging rows of benches. In 1744, the building was enlarged, and in 1752 the vestry voted to make the east end as long as the west, extending the chancel 25 feet to the east. The assembly paid for the work, and it was completed in 1755.   Among the men of the Revolution who attended Bruton Parish Church were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, George Wythe, Patrick Henry, and George Mason.

And here is Department 56's miniature of Bruton Parish Church.

Tarpley's Store: John Tarpley began his store at this location in 1755.

And here is the copy

Next up we have a building that is not located in Colonial Williamsburg but in Philadelphia. I am including it in my Williamsburg collection for two reasons: 1) because it fits the colonial look of the 18th century (obviously). And 2) because there is no other historical collection of lighted houses that I can put it with. So, what else am I supposed to do?
Don't worry, I do let folks know about it when they see my set up, just as I am doing now.
So...the original...
 ~No...not in Colonial Williamsburg, but Pennsylvania~
Construction of the Pennsylvania State House, which came to be known as Independence Hall, began in 1732. At the time it was the most ambitious public building in the thirteen colonies. It wasn't until 1753, 21 years after the groundbreaking, before it was completed. Independence Hall is, by every estimate, the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. It was here that the Constitution of the United States was debated, drafted and signed. That document is the oldest federal constitution in existence and was framed by a convention of delegates from 12 of the original 13 colonies.

And here is the wonderful miniature from Dept. 56.

Having the lighted houses are fine and all, but it's the accessories that will make any ceramic village seemingly come to life. Dept. 56 did have people to go with the houses, but they didn't seem to have enough interest in this series (or it was not a big seller), for the Williamsburg Village was cancelled after only a few years, and so figurines were few and far between. However, it was in 2018 that I inadvertently discovered (through another miniatures collector) there were plenty more 18th century accessories than what Department 56 had available, though from another company. It seems that back in the 1990s Lang & Wise, through the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, not only put out a collection of houses, but, more importantly, period 18th century figurines.
I was elated.
However, I also learned that the houses put out by Lang & Wise were quite a bit smaller than the Dept. 56 size, and they didn't light up either. To top it off, the house sizes make the figurines that supposedly are to go with them look like they are much too large - they might be giants.
Needless to say, I am not interested in the Lang & Wise houses.
As for the people/accessories, I, once again, delved into the search engines of the internet, finding many, if not most from the L&W figurines at pretty good prices. Remember - you need to have patience. If you wait long enough, that $30 or $40 piece can be found at $10 or $15.
So, please allow me to introduce you to the townsfolk of my colonial village:
What would a 1770s colonial town be without a fife and drum corps?
These are part of the Department 56 collection.

The 'bug-eyed' town-crier sort of fellow to the left is not part of any particular series. In fact, he was made by a friend of mine who also made period-correct spoons and knives. I am sad to say he passed away only months ago, so this piece means a lot to me.
On the right we see someone who could be Benjamin Franklin with a young boy. This is from Dept. 56.

A couple more Department 56 figurines:
The soldiers on the left look to be enjoying some off time, sitting near the small cresset flame and "Telling Stories."
On the right is the set called "Going to Church," so naturally I placed them by Bruton Parish.

Another Dept. 56 accessory called "Carter Coach" takes unseen passengers to the next village or town.

We have the "Master Sign Painter" on the left and the "Post Master & Printer" on the right.
By the way, all of the Department 56 Williamsburg houses and accessories have been retired and can only be purchased through collectibles shops (or places like Ebay and Amazon).

If I had one major complaint it would be that all of the Department 56 Williamsburg houses are decorated for Christmas.
I know, I know...that's what they specialize in...
Still, I leave mine up all year long.
For this picture we'll concentrate on the two sets up front, 
again from Dept. 56.
What we have on the left are "Tavern Balladeers," and why wouldn't we? They are standing in front of the King's Arm Tavern.
On the right we have "Caroling in Williamsburg," though I just sort of assume they are singing along to the popular fiddle tune the musicians are playing rather than a Christmas carol.

"Two Men With Cart," put out by Lang & Wise~
 It seems to show the men emptying the cart, so I put it next to the tavern as if they were making a delivery.
What I also like about these figures, besides the high quality detail, is the lack of 'snow,' which seems to be on most Dept. 56 figures.

Another Lang & Wise accessory, this one called "The Mulberry Sociable." Look at the top-notch quality on every part of this. The detail - - ! Even the carriage body sits on springs!

From Department 56 we have, beginning on the left, "Going to the Ball," though for my scene this couple are looking to purchase from the man who has "Silver for Sale." On the right we have "Charlton's Morning Shipment," which looks to be a woman making purchases from the cart of a street vendor 

Lang & Wise: "Strolling Men" and "Strolling Women"~
Excellent depictions of the every man and every woman.
I have them visiting on the street, perhaps preparing to enter the home of Master George Wythe.

More strollers (part of the series in the previous picture). I've had more than one person tell me the gentleman bares a resemblance to me...or I to him. Well, then, this could be my wife Patty strolling with me!
In the background is the figurine that started the whole Lang & Wise collecting for me - "Cooper Making Wooden Barrel."
I received an e-mail not too long ago asking if I knew of a cooper figurine. I told the sender that I knew of no such item. Fortunately for both of us, she dug deep and found this one. I, too, ordered one (my great grand uncle - 2nd great grandfather's brother - was a cooper here in Michigan back in the 1880s) - and I thought it would be a fine choice to have. But once I saw the quality, I began searching for more of the series and found a whole slew of them, so, as mentioned earlier, I began to purchase as many as I could.
All because of an e-mail asking about a cooper.

Remember the 'bug-eyed' town-crier a few photos back? Well, the young man and woman facing each other on the left were made from the same gentleman. Perhaps he is asking to see her and maybe escort her to the dance...
The woman sweeping is from Dept. 56, but I cannot locate her box that denotes the name. But I believe she came from one of the Halloween series, hence the lack of snow at her feet.

It's not often that I have seen African Americans depicted in historic series such as this, but Lang & Wise made a few, including "Carpenter Teaching Son," shown here.
I love having people of color in my collection - and you'll see more as you scroll through this post - for it adds to the over-all realism of the set.

Wait----did you see that?
Yes, this is Paul Revere, galloping along. But, since this is not Lexington, I suppose I could just say he is delivering some important information to sources unknown in any old 18th century town.
He did make more than one ride, you know...
I found this particular figurine at an antique store and was told it was from the 1950s. There is a paper taped to the bottom that says "original Sebastian model," and, upon looking it up, it is of no real value. Except to me, I suppose.

 Lang & Wise "Man and Boy Whittling"~
Everyday folks. This is what I enjoy most.
Yes, I realize the figures are pretty large in comparison to the houses, but if they were to make then compatible in size, then either the figures would have to be awfully small, thus losing much of the detail, or the houses must be made much larger, which would not work for most collectors. 
Now let's take a leap over to the computer desk to see another colonial scene - - - -

~ ~ ~

To begin, here's a bit of information you might find interesting, for it includes the next phase in my miniature collecting:
My very favorite houses inside car magnate Henry Ford's open-air museum of Greenfield Village is the Daggett Farmhouse, originally built around 1750. There is an attachment I have to this house like no other.
And if you didn't know this about me, then you must be brand new to reading my blog!
But this breakback/saltbox-style home is, to me, the epitome of 18th century architecture.
Here it is:
The 1750 Daggett Farm
Though it was originally built in Connecticut over 250 years ago, it was painstakingly dismantled and relocated to its new and permanent 'home' at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan in the mid-1970s.
And right next to the Daggett house we find the Cape Cod Farris Windmill, built in 1633, also carefully taken apart and removed to the internationally known open air museum.
The 1633 Farris Windmill
This windmill was once the oldest on Cape Cod, and it originally stood at the road to West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. It was a gift to Henry Ford from his Ford dealership employees nationwide back in 1936, and now currently sits at the southeast end of Greenfield Village, right next to the Daggett Farmhouse.

Being that the Dagget house is my favorite, I've often thought how great it would be to have a Department 56 version for my collection.
Hmmm...
It was back during the latter part of this century's first decade that a friend of mine and his then fiance were at a local collectibles store, and they made sure they stopped by to tell me that they had seen a lighted ceramic Dept. 56 Daggett-style house for sale there.
Of course, I went to the store myself to see it.
Yep - there it was! And it was beautiful. In fact, there were four of these houses sitting on the shelf. Since they were a discontinued Dept. 56 product, thus considered used, they had no box or packaging of any kind.
And, unfortunately, they were also rather pricey, so I decided to pass on owning one, though I thought about this ceramic version of Daggett and how cool it would've looked on my shelf. I really wanted to get it, but I just couldn't pay the extravagant price.
I decided to see what I could find on Ebay.
Wise choice, for there it was, listed under the title "Home Sweet Home."
And guess what? With it came, in the same box, a windmill. A windmill that looked suspiciously like the Farris Windmill at Greenfield Village.
It wasn't being sold that way at the store - - - hmmm...something's amiss here...so I decided to go back to the collectibles store and let them know.
They could not care any less. How sad...
No matter, for the price for both items - the house and the windmill - in the original packaging, was less than half the price of just the house by itself from that shop.
Needless to say I bought it off Ebay.
It took only a few days til my package arrived - and here they are together:
And this is how the two structures look as they sit inside Greenfield Village:
Compare the two photos - - - - pretty cool, huh?

After researching it a bit I found out that the two Dept. 56 ceramics were introduced in 1988 and were discontinued in 1991. They are v-e-r-y close in comparison, especially considering they came in the same box.
But, alas, it was not replicated after the two Greenfield Village; Dept. 56's website says that the house was, "Inspired by the East Hampton, NY historic landmark home of John Howard Payne, composer of 'Home Sweet Home'."
Does the Payne home have similarities to Daggett?
Why, of course!
The home of John Howard Payne - with windmill
Even though it is not Daggett and Farris, I still think of it as such, so now I sort of have my own personal corner of Greenfield Village as well as the landmark historical home of the "Home Sweet Home" composer John Howard Payne all in one. Or two.
Who could ask for anything more, right?
But for this history nerd, owning "the Daggett Farm" wasn't enough. Besides the town miniatures you saw above, I also learned that Lang & Wise put out farming figurines as well. And since I am interested in historic farming, I dove head-first into this collection, once again blending Department 56 and Lang & Wise, and put together a colonial farm scene, and with a little imagination, we can get a slight idea of how the Daggett farm (or one similar) may have looked 250 years ago:
In this first picture we have the Dept. 56 House and Windmill.
However - - - - 
*poof* the windmill is gone.
Instead, I found a hay cart and had to add it to the scene. I only have so much room on the shelf and the accessory collection kept a-growing, so I removed the windmill to continue adding to the farm. No worries, though, for the windmill is in a safe place, ready to be brought back out when I am able to utilize a larger space for display. 
By the way, the ceramic house was originally painted green, but I repainted it a darker gray in order to give it a more "Daggett" look.
Now, let's get a closer glance at the accessories and figurines that make up my 18th century farm:
In my farm world there's always a touch of fall and harvest time:
from the left we see pumpkins, a corn shock, and a wood pile, all of which I picked up at Michael's, the arts and crafts store. We also see apples being pressed into cider. "Running the Apple Press" is a Dept. 56 figure from the, I believe, 'Snow Village' series. The woman is not dressed 18th century but, rather, 19th century. It is the only cider press figure I've ever seen, so it has to work for now.
Next to her we see an 18th century woman of African descent "Cooking Over a Fire" (Lang & Wise). Perhaps she is making dinner for the farm family and farm hands.
As we make our way along the front of the house - - -
The next piece is Dept. 56 - "Churning Temptation,"  which shows that ancient chore of churning milk into butter. Again, like the apple press woman, the fashion depicts the 19th century. And then we have a woman doing that time-honored craft of spinning wool into yarn. This is another very old piece put out in the 1950s by Sebastion Miniatures that I found in an antique store.
We have another Dept. 56 figure showing the necessary chore of candle dipping. Since my wife spins and since I dip candles, both were must haves for me.
And then, as we move away from the house, we see out-door chores with "Women Picking Vegetables."

All hands on deck when it comes to harvesting crops.
Oh---and note the "Water Well" behind the churner (left), and the flat bed cart with hay, both 
from Lang & Wise.

Heading out toward the field we see more field work:
"Working in the Field With Oxen" is another Lang & Wise miniature.
From the clothing to the work, I have never seen accessories like these before - actual farm work depictions from the colonial period.

The little ones around the farm tend to the chickens, roosters, and the eggs. In the center background we see "Girl Chasing Rooster" from Lang & Wise, while on the right the Dept. 56 figure is called "Gathering Eggs."

The Lang & Wise figure center left is called "Dairymaid Leading Cow," while the woman milking a cow is simply called "Dairymaid Milking."

I have a sort of wooden sheep pen, for sheep shearing is to take place. We just happened to find it in Frankenmth (Michigan) and bought it because I knew I could use it. Some of the sheep are from my parent's Christmas manger scene they purchased back in 1949/1950.

And here we are: two women "Shearing Sheep" (as this figurine is called) while another watches the flock.

Lang & Wise "Plowing in the Field With Oxen"~
And, since I've actually plowed behind a team of horses, this is a special accessory for me, even though it is oxen and not horses.
Seriously...how many people would get so excited about a plowing accessory?
Well...me, for one!
In fact, this entire collection is pretty exciting to me, especially since I, as a historical presenter, speak about colonial farming at reenactments, schools, libraries, or wherever me and my presentation partner are asked to go.
And, of course, I also speak as Paul Revere when asked.
This miniature collection really does fit in well with my love and fascination - infatuation? - for the colonial period in America's history, as well as with Greenfield Village's Daggett Farm in particular. I suppose it's a sort of could it have been like this?
Too bad I don't have more room to spread it out a bit more...
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this little reprieve from the modern world. In this day and age of insane Facebook anything goes craziness, I try to surround myself with the little things that help to get me through life.
Some people have sports. Others travel.
I have history.

Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time, see you in time.



To read more about the Daggett House, click HERE
To read about my Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection, click HERE
To read about everyday life on a colonial farm, click HERE.
And to read about my Colonial Williamsburg adventure, click HERE

























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