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Did you read the Timepiece in Frederick Magazine's April issue?  The subject was a register from the Roger Brooke Taney House when it opened in the 1930s.  The Historical Society has quite a few of them, and they tell us a lot about who was visiting what in the first part of the 20th century.

Those of us going on the April 25 bus trip to George Washington’s Mount Vernon will be among the first to see the New Room (you know, the bright green one) after its recent 14-month restoration.

All of these pictures make my little historic preservationist heart go pitter-pat, and I can’t wait to see the room in person!

Want to join us? There’s still some room! More info.

Photos: Gavin Ashworth

Have you ever wondered how our 18th century grandmothers cooked over an open hearth? Find out how to do it yourself in our new hearth cooking class on Saturday, April 12 at the Roger Brooke Taney House!

Carrie’s “Timepiece” article in this month’s Frederick Magazine is on this copper teakettle, made by Matthias Zimmer of Frederick.

It’s one of the objects in our new feature exhibit, “Local Voices, National Stories: A History of Frederick County,” which officially opens in April.

The First Maryland Regiment that served in the Revolutionary War came from all over Maryland.  This blog tells their story based on muster rolls, battle histories and other primary sources from the Maryland State Archives. The 9th Company, under Captain Ford came almost entirely from Frederick County.

The blog features detailed information about the individual companies, and in some cases, individuals who served.

Here is a document that will be featured in our new exhibit, Local Voices, National Stories: A History of Frederick County. The exhibit opens April 5.

This document is a manumission, which emancipated the person described from slavery.

“On this 30th day of April 1828 personally appear George Rice before the ?abricut a justice of the peace in and for said County, and made Oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God that James Tooley the Negro man now in my presence is the same that manumitted and let free by Phillip Winebrenner. Sworn before George Rohm”

Through research we learned that Phillip Winebrenner released James Tooley many years before he died. The Winebrenners settled in Walkersville after moving from Mercersburg, PA, where he started a farm that stayed in the family into the 20th century. In 1820 Phillip owned four slaves, a male and female over the age of 26 and two males under 14. It can be presumed that James Tooley was the adult male slave from the census record. According to the 1830 census, James was living as a head of household with a free colored female in the Walkersville district. By 1840, James was no longer in the Maryland census, but Betsey Tooly, a free colored female, lived alone in Walkersville. Further research is underway to determine if Betsey was also a slave of Phillip Winebrenner. 

Carrie’s Timepiece in the January Frederick Magazine was about this adorable winter set from the 1930s.

Some pictures of the painting process:

  • Top: the old paint color
  • MIddle and bottom: the front parlor with the new paint color

We’re working on a new exhibit at the Museum of Frederick County History! This winter, the two parlor exhibits on the 1st floor will be replaced with “Local Voices, National Stories: A History of Frederick County.” 

Here’s what the parlors looked like in December as most of the furniture was being prepared to be moved into storage.

Top row: Back parlor all askew with packing materials

Middle row: 

  • Front parlor chairs, Friedrich Heinrich Scheer and empty picture hooks where Margaret and John Thomas Schley’s portraits once hung (Scheer’s portrait will be in the new exhibit.)
  • Empire style sofa detail

Bottom row:

  • Front parlor through the pocket doors
  • Claw and paw foot detail from front parlor table
  • Whitehill chair detail

A year ago the Frederick Magazine “Timepiece” featured a fraktur New Year’s greeting from the collection:

“Happy New Year” is the standard greeting for the first holiday of the year.   But John Hummel received a different tiding in 1779.  “May the New Year bring you blessing, peace and happiness.  May the Lord grant my prayer and mercifully guard you and wish the New Years tide bring back peace unto you,” read the first lines of a fraktur Hummel received while serving in the Revolutionary War.  Hummel, who resided in Frederick by 1765, was married with children by the time of his service in the war.  Frakturs are a type of highly decorated and elaborately crafted German folk art on paper.  This one is written in German.  Made from the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century, frakturs were created for a variety of events worthy of note, most commonly marriages, births and religious events.  Frakturs often carry an inscription listing the celebratory information and significant dates.  Designs and patterns illuminate the paper in ink, watercolor, or both.  The designs and patterns are typical German styles, including distelfinks and, hearts, tulips and scalloped edges.  Frakturs take their name from the German script that had a broken or “fractured” look to it.  Usually, a local teacher wrought these beautiful creations.  Teachers taught writing, and what better way to put those skills to use?

This fraktur is a little different.  After the thoughtful New Year wishes, the author continues by beseeching the recipient, Hummel, to come home from the war as soon as possible. The author asks for the war’s end so “that every man again enjoy in peace his bread in his own home.” The author pleads for Hummel to “consider this and do not live thus in riot so that God may avert this present devastation and present us with the Gift of his Spirit that we may show our gratitude to Him and praise His name.”  Thus the fraktur, in its beautiful illumination, conveys the author’s feelings regarding Hummel, the war and its associated “riot.”

by Carrie Blough, Jan. 2013