Tavern Talks schedule set for 2018
● By Richard Gaw
Allison Schell, program and development manager at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, is a self-described “history geek,” largely because she grew up in the Lehigh Valley, inspired by the lessons taught by her father, who was a middle-school history teacher.
“My father would have Colonial Days and Civil War Days in his classrooms, but it wouldn't be just a day, but an entire week,” Schell said. “He would create hands-on activities for his students, and his approach to learning has always stuck with me. I'm a very hands-on learner as well, so I've attempted to adapt that teaching style to the adults who attend our Tavern Talks.”
About to kick off its third year, the Chadds Ford Historical
Society's Tavern Talks is a monthly experience aimed at adults 21 and
older that focuses on aspects of early American history and culture.
Guests get to experience history with hands-on activities, food and
drink tastings, demonstrations and more. This year's menu of events
will take visitors on a cultural stroll back the Colonial period,
with interactive evenings that will introduce a popular confection,
beverages of the day and common practices of the time, all in an
interactive setting at the the historic Barns Brinton House.
“People nowadays are looking for interesting experiences to do together,” Schell said. “They want a full experience, and that's what we provide. Some of our visitors really enjoy being able to speak with our lecturers who are in full period garb, while others prefer the lecture component of these events. Tavern Talks are a full mix of both, with an approachable feeling, and yet with a full learning element.
“Our visitors have appreciated the fact that it's all tailored to the way they learn.”
The eight Tavern Talks for 2018 will be:
Feb. 15 - Chocolate & Courtship
Wrapped around Valentine's Day, "Chocolate & Courtship" is now in its third year, and will partner with American Heritage Chocolate, who will conduct chocolate-making demonstrations taken from recipes from American history. Together with chocolate and drink pairings, the event will discuss how chocolate served as a popular drink among colonists. Col. George Washington impersonator Carl Closs will provide dating advice from the 18th-century mindset; and historical fiction writer Susan Holloway Scott will talk about courtship during the Colonial period.
March 15 - Mind Your Pints & Quarts
Paired with St. Patrick's Day, "Mind
Your Pints & Quarts" will invite Brandywine Branch
Distillers of Elverson to discuss how gin was a popular drink during
the Colonial era, and serve samplings throughout the evening. In
addition, historian Clarissa Dillion will discuss the popularity of
"small beer” that was brewed largely by women during the 18th
April 12 - Law & Order
In addition to discussions on how the
law worked to limit counterfeiting during the 18th century, "Law
& Order" will introduce various law enforcement measures
during the Colonial period, and what peculiar means of punishments
were handed out for public displays of embarrassment and debauchery.
Guests will get to participate in mock courtroom scenes, and be given
different roles to play.
May 17 - To Market, To Market
In addition to a generous sampling of
locally sourced brews and beverages, "To Market, To Market"
will invite local artisans whose talents reflect what shoppers of the
period might have seen on visits to village markets during the
June 21 - Enlightened!
“Enlightened!” will invite Dean
Howarth, who impersonates various philosophers, scientists and
astronomers of the Colonial era, for an evening of interactive
potions and experiments taken from the 18th century. Another
impersonator will portray an 18th-century astronomer. Liquid Alchemy,
a Wilmington-based meadery and cidery, will provide the elixirs for
Sept. 13 - Liberty or Death
In commemoration of the Battle of the
Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777, "Liberty or Death" will
invite Revolutionary War reeanactors, including soldiers, camp
guides, sailors and surgeons, who will entertain visitors with
battlefield stories, sea shantys and demonstrations.
Oct. 11 - Fermented & Tormented
In celebration of Halloween, “Fermented & Tormented” will entertain visitors with a variety of fermented drinks of the Colonial period, while introducing them to some of the more macabre and spooky tales from long ago.
Nov. 8 - Sugar & Spice
Wrapped around the culinary delights of the holiday season, “Sugar & Spice” will discuss how spices were used during the 18th century in sweet and savory dishes of the period. Visitors will then sample tasty treats, made from 18th-century recipes, while sampling holiday-inspired beverages.
All Tavern Talks will take place at the Chadds Ford Historical Society’s Barns Brinton House, an historic 1714 tavern, located next to the Chaddsford Winery at 630 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford. Admission is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. Tickets must be purchased in advance over the phone, in person or online. Attendees can purchase a subscription to Tavern Talks for the year to ensure a spot every month. All attendees must be 21 or older. Call 610-388-7376, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chaddsfordhistory.org.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email email@example.com.